Social Scientist. v 2, no. 21 (April 1974) p. 18.


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RAJE^DRA PRASAD

Science and Technology: Impact on Society

^'Nature builds no machines, no locomotives, railways, electric telegraphs, self acting mules etc. These are the products of human industry, natural material transformed into organs of the human will over nature, or of human participation in nature. They are organs of the human brain, created by human hand: the power of knowledge objectified." —Marx, Grundrisse, Penguin Books 1973, p 706.

WE are living in an age that is deeply influenced by the scientific and technological revolution. What interests us most is the analysis of the nature, basic characteristics and historical possibilities of this revolution. The aspects that need to be disentangled are the natural scientific and technological, the socio-economic and the ideological or philosophical. It is only after making a detailed analysis of these aspects and forming a comprehensive picture based on it that the full implications of this ^nuch talked-of revolution can be grasped. Such an analysis is based on the explicit understanding that scientific and technological progress^ a social phenomenon subject to specific regularities, is capable of being rationally understood and planned. Historical experience testifies to this. The scientific and technological progress achieved by Europe over 200 years, was achieved by the U S A in 100 years, by the U S S R in 50 years, ^nd by China in 25 years. The rational explanation of this historically decreasing growth period lies in the recognition of the fact that such



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