involve scientists, engineers, and others with wide ranges of expertise. For example, developing a means for safely and securely disposing of nuclear waste will require the participation of engineers with specialties in nuclear engineering, transportation, construction, and safety; it is likely to require as well the contributions of scientists and other professionals from such diverse fields as physics, geology, economics, psychology, and sociology.

ETS2.B: INFLUENCE OF ENGINEERING, TECHNOLOGY, AND SCIENCE ON SOCIETY AND THE NATURAL WORLD

How do science, engineering, and the technologies that result from them affect the ways in which people live? How do they affect the natural world?

From the earliest forms of agriculture to the latest technologies, all human activity has drawn on natural resources and has had both short- and long-term consequences, positive as well as negative, for the health of both people and the natural environment. These consequences have grown stronger in recent human history. Society has changed dramatically, and human populations and longevity have increased, as advances in science and engineering have influenced the ways in which people interact with one another and with their surrounding natural environment.

Science and engineering affect diverse domains—agriculture, medicine, housing, transportation, energy production, water availability, and land use, among others. The results often entail deep impacts on society and the environment, including some that may not have been anticipated when they were introduced or that may build up over time to levels that require attention. Decisions about the use of any new technology thus involve a balancing of costs, benefits, and risks—aided, at times, by science and engineering. Mathematical modeling, for example, can help provide insight into the consequences of actions beyond the scale of place, time, or system complexity that individual human judgments can readily encompass, thereby informing both personal and societal decision making.

img Human populations and longevity have increased, as advances in science and engineering have influenced the ways in which people interact with one another and with their surrounding natural environment. img



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