Technological Trends and National Policy: Including the Social Implications of New Inventions. June 1937

Technological Trends and National Policy: Including the Social Implications of New Inventions. June 1937

Technological Trends and National Policy: Including the Social Implications of New Inventions. June 1937

Technological Trends and National Policy: Including the Social Implications of New Inventions. June 1937

Excerpt

By the Science Committee

Anticipation of the future is the key to adequate planning for the best use of our national resources, It is, however, more difficult to look forward without the aid of precise instruments, than it is to look backward, with the aid of memory and records. Though this report attempts to deal with the future, it is fully realized that the future grows out of the past and hence that past trends must be studied to determine future trends.

Planning is usually carried on in relation to a specific task, for a definite time, in a limited territory: but changes coming from without these limits may upset the best laid programs. Thus the chemical inventions making substitutes of wool and cotton from cellulose, gasoline from coal, and rubber from coal and chalk, may affect cotton, coal, and timber production, and no doubt policies in regard to other natural resources. So closely interrelated is the mechanism of modern civilization that a change occurring in one part, say in industry, will produce an effect in a quite different and unexpected part, as for instance, in the schools, or the use of natural resources. Hence we need a view of the general causes, types, and trends over a broad front, since any specific program may be affected by forces originating elsewhere

Invention is a great disturber and it is fair to say that the greatest general cause of change in our modern civilization is invention; although it is recognized that social forces in turn encourage or discourage inventions. Certainly developments in technology cause a vast number of changes in a great variety of fields. A banker once defined invention as that which makes his securities insecure. Hence a study of the trends of inventions furnishes a broad perspective of many great movements of change and basic general information for any planning body, however, general or specific their plans may be.

The Nature of the Report

This report presents a survey of most of the great fields of technology and applied science, namely, agriculture, mining, transportation, communication, the construction industries, power production, the metallurgical and chemical . . .

Author Advanced search

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.