Home GENERAL STUDIES SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY IN DEVELOPMENT

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY IN DEVELOPMENT

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Businessman holds modern technology in hands.

Development cannot be realized without science and technology. Science and technology play a great role in many sector of the economy such as agriculture, industry, environmental conservation (management), tourism, transport and communication and so forth. These are normally interlinked and triggers to national development.

This chapter is designed to show how science and technology lead to development, evolution of science and technology in Tanzania in perspective, role of science to man, transfer of science and technology and issues pertaining science and technology in sustainable development in Tanzania.

Meaning for the concept of science and technology

Science

Science is the concept which means “know why”. In very comprehensive term science can be defined as systematic coordinated and organized body of knowledge derived from accurate empirical method, experimentation and observation. It can also be perceived as processes that involve the extraction of facts through empirical methods of laboratory investigation and observation.

Technology

In ordinary term technology means “know how” while science knowledge and skills about something through experiment and testing of the fact in special area like laboratory. Through process of testing and experimentation theories, principles, formula and laws that govern materials discovered are developed.

Many scientists used systematic method to discover various theories, and laws which are used in science disciplines such as mathematics, physics, biology and chemistry to date. On  other hand ,technology is identified in terms of hardware and software, hardware aspects of production refer to technology embodied in machines and processes while  the software of production consists of skills, know how and procedures for performing practical tasks.

Broadly, technology is conceptualized as an application of systematic acquired skills and knowledge to produce things. This acquired knowledge and skills is called science and when you apply to produce finished goods like computer, television, chemicals, calculator, and ships, missiles, bombs and cars is called technology.  Therefore, when you talk about technology, science is also applied

Relationship between science and technology

The concepts of science and technology are inter-dependent. Science contributes in technology at the same time technology contributes in science. The following are relationship between them.

>> Science and technology are inter-dependent, it means that knowledge generated by the scientific enterprises contributes to development of technologies and new technology influences the scientific enterprise in determining the research problem and means employed to solve them.

>> Technological development leads to improved methods and instruments for scientific research.

>> In the other hand science and technology have influenced social development throughout history at all levels of the society. It has been used to develop socio- economic infrastructures such as school, water supply and so forth.

>> Science is said to be the generator of ideas which are scientifically approved while technology is their materials embodied in it. This means without science, technology is not sustainable and technology indicates the presence of science.

>> Science gives human being a logical framework of their physical and social world, technology equips them with tools (equipments) which assist in responding to the challenges of the world.

There is great interrelationship between science and technology. It is knowledge and skill of scientists which generate software and hardware which when transformed produces technology. But, more and more discoveries, research and experiment produced by scientific body are continuously be used by technology in producing scientific devices or tools.

Major developments in science and technology  

Science and technology have evolved and develop in time perspective. This developments and evolution has been propelled by the need of the society or problems prevailing in the society like matter on innovation, research, discovery and proving some already existing laws, principles and theories.

Science can be traced during Galileo’s time. This scientist discovered that the Earth was round. He gave his hypothesis by criticizing the classical scientists who believed that the Earth was flat, the Copernicus’s discovered that it was the Earth that revolved around the sun rather the opposite way round, (Ishumi and Nyirenda, 2001:176)

Galileo and other scientists of his time had difficult time convincing the contemporary scientists that on the basis of new evidence, the earth was round. He did this by making a telescope, an instrument that he could use to observe the skies. He also made other observation concerning the rainbow, ship coming from far distance on the sea and the shape of the sky. Afterward scientists were convinced that the world was round and that it was sun which was in the centre of the universe. This was paradigm shift in the realm of physics and astronomy.

The picture of a scientist by the name Galileo Galilee who discovered the Telescope

Some years later, Copernicus faced the same problem to convince the proponents of the Galilean theory to the new one that the Earth was not the centre of the universe and that the Earth was not the centre of the universe but the sun.

Copernicus had postulated that the sun was the centre of the universe and that the earth (and other planets) went round the sun. This was yet another new and complete radical paradigm and it took sometime for other to believe it. But today, it is accepted that, the earth is round and that it around the sun and not vice versa.

Another evolution was in the realm of atomic theory whereby a scientist by the name Dalton in 1803 came with hypothesis that an atom was the smallest; indivisible, particle of matter that could take part in chemical reaction.

Later it was challenged by revolutionary theory that the atom was, in fact, divisible and had; inside it, other particles including proton, neutrons and electrons. But other scientist by the name of Einstein in 1879 to 1955 later challenged the “normal view’’   that held electrons to be particles by proposing that, in fact, they are “waves” and hence their movement must be explained very differently from that of particles.

Schrudinger later developed an explanation of how electrons could move in the form of waves. This show that theories can be completely discarded or improved when new evidences shows that they are no longer appropriate.

Later scientists continued with discoveries and challenging of already existing principles and laws. For example ,Archimedes developed the principle of rotation, Leonard, da Vince by 1500AD studied anatomy, astronomy, botany and geology by 1628, Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin as the first biotic in 1959.

Other recent development of science and technology includes

Space research, this has been done by using satellites whereby planets have been explored for the benefit of human life. Recently, the exploration has been done in moon and Mars planet. But yet space research programs have been necessitated with advancement of science and technology.

Information technology, this also a recent developed science and technology to facilitate easily communication, include use of E-mail, fax and internet (computerized electronic system communication) but also the so called cyberspace technologies have been improved which include Skype, facebook, YouTube and twitter (http./webpage.scu.edu/). This has improved communication but also interaction among people allover the world. But, also induces participation of people in the medium which is free of stereotype because does not consider an age, ethnicity or level of education.

Also the use of alternative sources of energy. This has developed in order to comply with the notion of sustainable use of environment. These alternative sources of energy have facilitated with science and technology.   It includes use of solar energy devices which developed to be used in trapping the sun rays and converting them into solar energy. But also the use of bio-gas technology which involves the use of gas from manure for cooking, lighting, warming and for other purposes.  Use of alternative sources of energy has lessened the people depending on firewood and charcoal electricity, but also has became cheap compared to the use energy generated from   oil  and  Hydro electric power (HEP) . Alternative source of energy like bio-gas and solar energy have aided environmental protection.

Many discovery, research and experimentations are still taking place. It is assumed in the near future many things will be discovered and challenged by scientists because human needs and problems are many. This will motivate scientists to long life doing their work.

The concept of development and sustainable development

The concept of development

Development is the concept which is wide; it depends on the perception or circumstances on which it has been used. This circumstance on development depend whether it consider individual, national or any development. But, at very ordinary level, development means a change from backwardness or lower level to a better or advanced stage in different aspects of human life, (Bukagile, 2008:30) such a aspects may be materials, socio- cultural aspects, economic and environment.

Development is however, considered at personal/ individual and national level. When considered at individual level you think about the situation whereby a man attain certain  skills and ability in production, creativity, innovation, high income, better production just mention a few.

But if development is considered at national level means an increased ability of social group to control their environment such that they produce more and better goods and services to satisfy human requirement. Thus, any development whether at individual or national level what is considered is betterments and progress from previous stage to the next stage.

Indicators of national development

Indicators of economic development are signs on which when are seen in a particular country reveals level of development attained by a given country. In other words indicators of development are measurements used to show the degree of economic development attained by a given country.

These indicators or measurements are divided into two economic development and social development as follows:-

1. Daily energy consumption, Energy consumption indicates the level of industrialization and investment level of a given country. Energy consumption also depends on the rate of science and technology which has been used to discover or innovate such energy. It is advanced science and technology which can be used in producing alternative source of energy such as nuclear energy ,Hydro Electric power (HEP), solar energy ,coal, natural gas and thermal generated electricity.

This means that in developing countries the source of energy utilization is very low compared to that used in developed countries. This is because the developed countries are industrial national and they need more power for their industries, domestic (homes) and for transportation.

2. Per capital income. Per capital income is the average income derived by the people in a given country in a given year. It is obtained by dividing the total annual income of the country by the number of people in that country. It is computed as-

Per capital income of a country =   

Where

GNP= The sum of the market values of goods and service produced by the citizen of a country in a given period of time .GNP is obtained by summing the value of goods and services produced by citizens living outside the country. All developed countries have higher per capital incomes compared to the developed ones.

3. Labour force employed in agriculture

It refers to the number of people employed in agriculture .In developing countries especially. African countries, about 85 % of population are employed in agriculture. This is centrally to developed countries like Sweden, Denmark, USA, Britain and so forth on which only 5% engages in agriculture. The reason for the contrast is that developing countries lacks relevant science and technology in agriculture. It is characterized with lack of agricultural experts, poor agricultural tools. Developed countries use mechanized farming methods that is why it has employed few people.

4. Life expectancy of the people of the people. It is average number of years which an individual is expected to live. In developing countries life expectancy is lower than developed countries. The situation is triggered with problems like-: Inadequate food supply and balanced diet, poor supply of clean and safe water, infant and maternal mortality, poor science and technology, living in poor unhealthy environment and so forth.       In developed country this situation is managed. In case of Tanzania by 1992 life expectance of Tanzania was 52 years but recently life expectancy has reduced because of HIV/AIDS.

5. Literacy rate .This is a situation or the degree to which people in a nation can read and write. In developed countries, this degree is higher because of having resources to afford their education to the entire population. However, the situation the situation is centrally in the developing countries due to their economic backwardness.

6. Daily food intake or supply. It is measured in calories and indicates the energy values of an average diet in a country. It is calculated by dividing the available food supply to the total population. This is lower to people in developing countries because of poverty .In developed countries the situation is centrally.

7. Improvement on women social status in the society. In developed nations women status has been uplifted and they enjoy fair treatment like men in all aspects in national building. In developing nations it is centrally due to the fact that there is widespread of traditional beliefs, practices, oppression and humiliation of women. In developed countries therefore the degree of women empowerment is at great extent compared to developing countries.

8. Mortality rate and healthy status of the people in a given countries. In developing countries mortality rate and poor healthy especially infant mortality. This is due to high degree of poverty among the developing countries which hinder poor provision of social services, poor development in social services providers like nurses and doctors of different specialization like medicine, clinical officer, pharmacists, Dentists and surgeon. Besides healthy centers, dispensaries and hospital have not yet developed in many places .

It compel the mass to travel long distances in finding healthy services .This is due to high degree of poverty among those states such that most people cannot afford costs of medicine ,they cannot consult with some qualified doctors and so forth. Also unimproved sanitary condition of their environment which propels to diseases like cholera, diarrhea and malaria and causing death that could be controlled by cleaning our environment.

Indicators of national development indicates also the level of science and technology in a given nation or country. The country with good indicators is also developed in science and technology. That means, developed nations are also developed in science and technology because have good indicators of development and vice versa is true

b) The concept of Sustainable Development

Development being an improvement or progress from one stage to the next stage determined at individual and national level. Sustainable development is considered in the realm of environmental protection and natural resources use. Sustainable development is a pattern of resources use that aims to meet human needs while preserving the environment, so that these needs can be met not only in the present but also for generations to come.

But can be scientifically defined as Development that meets the needs of present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs (United Nation, 1987)

The role of sustainable development in building quality life

Suitable development being crucial in protection of both contemporary and future generations, thus contributes in quality life for these generations.

The following is the role of sustainable development in building quality life.

1. Sustainable development improves science and technology especially in innovation of using alternative source of energy. These kinds of energy include wind energy, biogas, solar energy, hydro electric power (HEP), nuclear energy and so forth. This assists in conserving of environment through lessening global warming, deforestation and pollution which is very vital for present and future generation.

2. Sustainable development motivate people to engage in afforestation programs or creation of forest reserve and game reserves, a forestation programs and game reserves will continuously provide requirements to the present generation, but also plants and animal species which have kept in game and forest reserves will be used for future generations.

3. In agriculture sector in order to be sustainable the compose manure should be used but also matching, terracing and contour ploughing will keep the land purity and high productivity will be realized by present and future generations.

4. Natural resources should used sustainable especially that resources which are difficult to be renewable such as minerals natural gas, oil and so forth. Thus, when utilized by present generation will consider the coming generations through creation of natural resources reserves. Thus, both the present and future generation will have quality life.

5. Sustainable development practice ensures provision of furniture’s and other requirements like medicine, animal habitat and keeping the purity of environment. This is through sustainable use of environment, especially forest resources.

6. Sustainable development eliminates hunger by providing sustainable food throughout the present and future generation. Food provision is through proper land use especially use of compose manure, terracing, matching, and contour ploughing. This also induces the protection of land resources for present and future generation and improves the quality of their life.

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