Men on the moon, cure for incurable diseases, a workstation that can fit in the palm of our hands, space travel! All these marvels that the world has witnessed, is the outcome of the advancement in the human understanding of how the universe works, how life works or in short, Science.
According to the oxford dictionary, “Science is the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment”.
Science has played an important role in human history, even more than we can begin to comprehend. Scientists nowadays are respected, revered and looked up to. But it hasn’t also been this way, and there was a time when these very scientists were shun by society.
The study of science began when the early man began to get curious of his surroundings and began wondering how things worked. While there were some who believed that nature was God and that natural events and phenomenon like lightning are acts of God, there were some who questioned these events and tried to understand and figure out why they occurred.
This sense of curiosity eventually divided the society into factions; one who thought each and every occurrence is the doing of an all-powerful entity and those who believed that there is a logical and scientific reasoning behind these events.
This eventually lead to clashes between these two factions and the former being in majority, the scientists, thinkers, artists and philosophers ultimately suffered. For example, the world was of the opinion that planet Earth was the center of the universe and the sun, stars and other planets revolved around it.
A scientist and inventor named Galileo Galilei was one of the first ones to oppose this idea and proposed that earth is merely a planet among others in the solar system and they all revolve around the sun.
He was imprisoned for opposing the common belief, but ended up inventing the telescope which enabled humans to gaze into space and observe other celestial bodies.
He has made many more of such discoveries and is regarded as the Father of Modern Science. As times changed, science gained more prominence in daily life and society slowly began accepting its inevitable importance.
Science has had a major impact on human development as a whole. From the accidental invention of fire, to the creation of tools by the Paleolithic man, to the important invention of the wheel, to the advent of automatic equipment’s, furnaces and automobiles, science has been the stepping stone to advancement.
Science has helped save millions of lives by oiling the advancements in the medical field. Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin; a vital medicine that could act as an antidote against a variety of infections and helped saved an astonishing amount of lives during the war, where soldiers were succumbing to infections on account of injuries during battle.
Many diseases which were believed to be incurable have been gotten rid of thanks to the astonishing advancements in the field of microbiology. We now have procedures that can detect even minutest of irregularities in the human.
We have tests that can diagnose the most complex of ailments. Science has also been a major driving factor in the advancement of technology. Tasks which would usually require hours of manual labor can now be done in minutes.
There is no need any more to carry multiple instruments and devices like the calculator, Walkman, flashlight, portable DVD players etc. as all these features come included in the modern day smartphone, which could easily fit in the palm of your hand.
Though scientific development has been a remarkable for the progress of the human race, there have been times when science has been more of a curse.
The Manhattan Project, an operation that employed Dr. Robert Oppenheimer, was responsible for the creation of the atomic bombs that ultimately caused devastating destruction in the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
It was science that enabled the building of such destructive weapons, and it is science that is enabling the creation of many more to come.
Despite of these woes, it is very clear that science is an important and irreplaceable component of human existence.
And it is safe to say, that without it, we humans would be left ignorant to the unimaginable wonders that this world of ours holds.