Scientists and World Order: The Uses of Technical Knowledge in International Organizations

Scientists and World Order: The Uses of Technical Knowledge in International Organizations

Scientists and World Order: The Uses of Technical Knowledge in International Organizations

Scientists and World Order: The Uses of Technical Knowledge in International Organizations

Excerpt

In considering the order of the world at large, which will inevitably continue to undergo historical change, what we need is a system of hoineorhesis rather than one of homeostasis. . . . The only type of outlook which holds out any hope of being successful in this is one which holds firmly that the central focus of interest, for mankind in the next century or so, is in the improvement of the material conditions of life.

C. H. WADDINGTON

I submit that it is the economist's task to guide politicians in the elaboration of the proper international policies and their preparation, that is, international economic planning.

JAN TINBERGEN

Over ten years ago, a group of internationally prominent natural and social scientists met to consider the elusive notion of "world order." Jan Tinbergen and C. H. Waddington were among the participants, and the meeting was chaired by Raymond Aron. To some of the scientists the term meant the need for planning a new order in a setting of ideological conflict. Who would do the planning, since the ideological conflict was identified with the character of existing societies and their leaders? The task of introducing a new order was considered to be the duty of intellectuals in general and scientists of all kinds in particular. How could such planning go forward if the substantive meaning of "world order" was itself a matter of conflict? Aron proposed as a working definition, "Under what conditions would men (divided in so many ways) be able not merely to avoid destruction, but live together relatively well in one planet?"

Since this is a book about the world order concerns of internationally active scientists and technologists, Aron's definition can serve as our point of departure. But what does his formulation have to do with scientists? The Czech microbiologist Ivan Malek provided an answer:

The development of science, technology, and culture is proceeding at a rapid pace; the possibilities of a decent life for all men in the world are growing from day to day; the period of colonial oppres-

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