The explosive progress of science and technology up to the 20th century brought prosperity and enriched the quality of life for much of mankind.
However, the advance of science and technology raises important ethical, safety and environmental issues: possible negative applications are threatening mankind’s own future. Since progress in science and technology is expected to accelerate and will be necessary for sustainable human development in the 21st century, wisdom must be exercised to keep it under proper control.
In that sense, the most pressing problems we face today include harmonizing economic development with global warming; preventing terrorism; controlling infectious diseases; and assessing the potential health benefits and ethical factors relating to cloning technology. International efforts to address these problems are needed now more than ever. This is really what symbolizes the “lights and shadows of science and technology.”
Opportunities need to be taken, but the risks must also be controlled. Health, meeting energy needs, and many other aspects of human welfare are dependent on continued progress in science and technology.