keep up. Science remains an external, widely misunderstood field. It is the domain of specialists who live in a world of abstraction and rigor, and only those with highly specialized knowledge have the keys. In addition, it is difficult to understand the real purpose behind the flow of technology or which societal needs drive these innovations. We are currently in a period of rapid transition from a society focused on mankind’s future to a society that values objects and means but has not thought through, expressed opinions about, or made decisions regarding the future of the human condition. The gap appears to be growing between science and culture, regardless of the following definitions we give to this polysemous term.
Culture as the intellectual product of an era: scientific activity is highly intellectual, but it is also extremely compartmentalized within narrow disciplines. Researchers must remain current in their areas of expertise, but often are unaware of the historical theories and concepts behind their modern science; they delay exploring underlying meanings to a later date. Yet within its own boundaries, science makes an important, albeit limited, contribution to culture.
Culture as the total sum of a society’s technology: there is a daunting barrier—for reasons as much psychological as intellectual—between those who create technology through science and those who consume the technological products of science.
The paradox is as follows: even though scientific research leads to the technological products that elevate the standard of living for all members of society, the elements of science—symbolic language and specialization—are too esoteric for the majority of the population to understand. Unfortunately, the education that we provide to our youth is too often unable to (a) awaken a sense of curiosity for scientific and technical questions, (b) keep abreast with developments in science and rapid changes in its applications, (c) understand its implications, or (d) present science as a living thought process that takes the risk of questioning itself. Science