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Effects of Science and Technology in Modern World History Since 1500


Science and technology has proved to be one of the most dynamic spheres of life on earth. Each passing day has seen the discovery of new technologies and scientific breakthroughs that have had a lasting impact on life on earth in general and human life in particular. The common wisdom is that there is nothing perfect and this is true for scientific and technological breakthroughs that have been realized since the 1500s to the present moment.

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There have been both bad and good effects of these scientific and technological advancements but not on an equal footing. The cost has also been high but the benefits have been equally admirable. This essay shall provide evidence in support of the thesis that the benefits of scientific and technological advancements have been higher than the cost as well as the negative effects.

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As a starting point, the invention of electricity in the 1890s led to great benefits to man through the elimination of the need for crude force in carrying out many heavy duties such as transportation (Patterson 14). Before the invention of electricity by Michael Faraday, most heavy duties were carried out by the use of steam (Stuart 1-4). The printing presses and other machines all relied on steam, a source of power that was not only inefficient but also demanding. But this changed immediately electricity was invented. The swift nature of electricity made it easy to operate these machines with minimum labor and greater speeds were achieved.

The end result was increased production in whichever field where electricity was applied. Steam was left behind and man made a giant leap to efficiency and effectiveness, and horse-drawn carriages were rendered obsolete with the emergence of vehicles that utilized electricity. Much work may have been done by scientists such as Faraday who had to ensure that their new discovery was properly conceptualized but that is insignificantly small when compared with the benefits of electricity.

Leaving the above aside, scientific and technological progress in the world of communication through the invention of the telephone and telegraph made message transfer better and simpler. Great scientists such as Samuel Morse of the United States and William Cooke of the United Kingdom developed their different versions of the telegraph in 1832 and 1836 respectively. This was followed by Alexander Graham Bell who came in with his telephone in 1876 (Brown 179).

These new scientific and technological developments were refined with time and it was not long before they were fully integrated into the world of communication. The traditional means of sending information through letters did not become outdated but faster message transfer was attained through the telegraph and the telephone. In a matter of minutes or seconds, important pieces of information would be relayed and in cases where it was a matter of life and death, lives would definitely be saved. The effort that was invested in developing these areas was not as high as the benefits being realized by man. The benefits are clearly huge and negative impact only comes in when these means of communication are used for the wrong purposes.

Apart from the above, scientific and technological discoveries have revolutionized the field of medicine by making it more efficient and more effective. Scientists working in laboratories have managed to come up with efficient machines that are used in the diagnosis of diseases in the human body as well as animals. More disease causing micro organisms that used to kills millions of people around the world have now been identified and their cures found.

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For example the great scientist by the name Robert Koch managed to identify the agents that cause tuberculosis, a disease that has troubled mankind for a long time. The search for an ideal cure is still ongoing and the means of preventing the disease have now been devised since its spread is better understood. The careful scientific research on the composition of the human Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) has assisted in the identification of genes that are responsible for certain conditions and even diseases (Olby 34).

This has made it easier to search for means of dealing with these diseases since the genetic area of the human body that they originate from is understood. The overall impact of these advances in medicine is the ability to improve human life and therefore lengthen it. The effort and resources required to carry out all the research is high but the benefits are higher. Negatives in scientific inventions and discoveries can only arise if the technology is misused either intentionally or accidentally.

Also, the continued research in the world of computing has led to faster computers that have hastened information processing and eliminated delays and time wastage. Unlike in the past when calculations took long periods to carry out, these days the computation is carried out by computers that do the tasks at supersonic speeds. Other higher processes such as the analysis of the data can also be carried out by these very efficient machines if given the right commands. These computation machines have an underside in that they can encourage laziness in that the level of engagement of humans decreases.


In conclusion, the benefits of scientific and technological inventions and discoveries are far much higher than the cost and the negative impact. The faster communication that came with the telegraph and the telephone, the work that has been made easier due to the discovery of electricity and the benefits of medical inventions and computations machines are all reasons for man to be happy for science and technology. The cost is small compared to the benefits and the negatives only arise when the applications are misused, meaning that with care, they can be avoided.

Works Cited

Brown, Travis. Historical first patents: the first United States patent for many everyday things (illustrated ed.). University of Michigan: Scarecrow Press, 1994. Print.

Olby, Robert C. The path to the double helix: the discovery of DNA. New York: Dover Publications, 1994. Print.

Patterson, Walter. Transforming Electricity: The Coming Generation of Change. New York: Earthscan, 1999. Print.

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Stuart, Robert. A Descriptive History of the Steam Engine. London: J. Knight and H. Lacey, 1824. Print.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, December 5). Effects of Science and Technology in Modern World History Since 1500.

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"Effects of Science and Technology in Modern World History Since 1500." StudyCorgi, 5 Dec. 2021,

1. StudyCorgi. "Effects of Science and Technology in Modern World History Since 1500." December 5, 2021.


StudyCorgi. "Effects of Science and Technology in Modern World History Since 1500." December 5, 2021.


StudyCorgi. 2021. "Effects of Science and Technology in Modern World History Since 1500." December 5, 2021.


StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Effects of Science and Technology in Modern World History Since 1500'. 5 December.

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