Daniel Halliday
Nov 4 · Last update 5 mo. ago.
What role can science play in addressing the biggest challenges posed to human peace and development?
What are the biggest challenges posed to human peace and development, and what role can science play in addressing them? un.org/en/events/scienceday
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The fight against poverty
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Overpopulation
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The application of blockchain technology could minimise corruption directly
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The housing shortage
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Science is the only tool that we can use to address climate change
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Science will inadvertently reduced conflict and corruption
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The fight against poverty

Increased accessibility of poverty stricken people to science and technology will bring about economic change and development that will help in the fight against poverty. One such example is the Farmer-Scientist Training Programme in the Philippines where farmers enter a three stage training program that arms them with scientific knowledge to increase yields. The program puts farmers in touch with scientists to begin with, gives them the opportunity to test the new technology and techniques, and then encourages them to train other farmers in such modern methods. This process often leads to a 50% reduction in productions costs, however the ultimate goal is to enable farmers to take the role of scientist and to hopefully lead to exponential education of their community and tackle poverty.

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Overpopulation

Scientists and science fictions writers have for many years proposed that the answer to Earth’s overpopulation problem is extraterrestrial colonisation. Scientists have proposed theories on why certain places in our solar system would be easier to colonise than others, and have even hypothesised likely transport solutions for such a difficult task, such as James R. Powell’s ‘StarTram’ concept. The European Space Agency is also testing concepts involving utilising mushroom mycelium as a space worthy, highly recyclable building material. As science research develops in this area, such theories seem to offer more hope to this gloomy human conundrum.

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The application of blockchain technology could minimise corruption directly

Blockchain technology was invented so that a cryptocurrency did not require a centralised trusted authority to secure value in the currency and stop double spending. Similar uses of blockchain technologies such as smart contracts have the potential to revolutionise how government bodies function and how societies are administered, increasing transparency and efficiency by guaranteeing trust and securing both the integrity and security of information and agreements. The applications of such technology range from securing voting, tracking transactions, verifying identity, fighting human trafficking, and registering assets; thus minimising the plausibility of bribery and corruption in future societies.

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The housing shortage

It is in the development of new technologies that science plays its most important role in helping tackle humanities biggest challenges. This is definitely the case with the severe housing shortages facing many cities across the world, as new technologies will allow the construction of safer, more modern, cheaper and faster to construct building alternatives. Architects Ackroyd Lowrie have recently published a whitepaper indicating the use of offsite construction would allow housing projects to reach completion up to 60% quicker, while VR technology could be used to speed up client input in projects further increasing the efficiency of construction projects.

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Science is the only tool that we can use to address climate change

Humanity are not likely to give up the technological prowess of the 21st century any time soon, so it is more likely that the answer to climate change will lie in scientific development. Just as it was science and technology that were responsible for the industrial revolution and thus climate change, so it is the same tools that will ultimately be needed to bring us back from the threats posed by global warming. From alternative fuel sources to more efficient nuclear power generation, through to atmospheric carbon fixing machines, science will ultimately hold the answers to this threat to human peace and development.

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Science will inadvertently reduced conflict and corruption

Science and technology have led us to an age where much of our lives are spent connected in some way to the internet, and the dissemination of information is being revolutionised as a result. This has two effects, one is that more information is available and the other is information is more easily made available. This has already had an effect on societies, such as the raised awareness of police brutality in the US, which has lead to widespread condemnation and many subsequent social movements. As science aids this technology develop further, such social movements will inevitably lead to social change and a reduction in conflict and corrupt actions.

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Daniel Halliday
Nov 29
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DH edited this paragraph
Science and technology have led us to an age where much of our lives are spent connected in some way to the internet, and the dissemination of information is being revolutionised as a result. This has two effects, one is that more information is available and the other is information is more easily made available. This has already had an effect on societies, such as the raised awareness of police brutality in the US, which has lead to widespread condemnation and many subsequent social movements. As science aids this technology develop further, such social movements will inevitably lead to social change and a reduction in conflict and corrupt actions.
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