Technological dangers and challenges. Science and Technology Professors on the Social Impact of Modern Technology
Sociology and Social Anthropology AGH University of Science and Technology Poland,
The paper is based on the in-depth interviews with top full and assistant professors (and a survey among the fifth-year students) in one of the largest and best science and technology universities in Poland. This is a part of a much larger project, the findings of which are now in print in Polish. Them main topic of the project and of the paper is the analysis of the mentality or rationality of the scientists: to what extent it is or is not a technocratic rationality. This paper will deal with the following issues: new scientific discoveries as well as new sophisticated technologies and their broadly understood social impact, new technologies and new kinds of social differentiation, civilizational dangers, risks and challenges and their perception, "socially controversial" scientific and technological projects, potential and real control of science and technology, the role of experts in the public sphere. Analysis of the interviews and questionnaires shows that the mentality of these scientists is far from being strictly technocratic and their awareness of the social contexts of the production of science and technology, as well as of the dissemination and application of their findings is very strong.
TO THE JOINT SESSION: "SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY: THEIR ROLE INTHE GENERATION AND PREVENTION / MITIGATION OF CRISIS AND DISASTERS"