What are our ethical considerations and norms in finding the integration point between “Science” and “Technology”? This question did not pop up from nowhere. Instead, based on one of my conversations with my wife seeing a top notch science and technology channel yesterday. The channel was showing a media advertisement for a business enterprise that helps to foretell the nature of a pre-natal child by analyzing its DNA. And that too just for the cost of 20,000 INR. Now that we can ensure that every child prodigy gets recognized even its mother’s womb. Let the world be blessed with more Euler’s and Einstein’s. Bravo!
True! A brave new world! But is society in the equations? Technology is the game changer, and science has made a big leap, but where is society choosing its fate?
How is this going to ensure that the child will live this life as predicted by the DNA and genome templates? Is this not creating a prejudice in the mind of parents about the capabilities and nature of the child even before it is born? So many questions stemmed fast in my mind. Our recent scientific progress are faster getting assimilated to technical tools and inventory. Yes, it is a sign of good integration and interfaces between inventions and industry. However, how is social needs and vision influencing this? Isn’t it required?
I feel so. As scientists and technologists are now living in a social policy disconnected cubicles and academia, the social norms should be validated before every invention get absorbed into the Industry toolkit and devices. It should be added to the intellectual property norms. We speak about freedom in rigor and vigor. Social justice and democratic values. When hundreds of inventions are filed under IP law everyday, the social utility should be a determinant if not criteria. Not that it will not possibly add a bureaucratic element to the publication process. After all, in addition to Individual’s rights for intellectual property, society also stands eligible for a grantee that the invention will not affect its collective progressive course and cause negatively.