Causes of scientific revolution.
- Discovery of the New World. Exploration/conquest leading to discovery of new plant/animal life. Traditional link between navigation and astronomy + great advances made my Portuguese navigators fueled an interest in learning more about the stars
- Invention of the Printing Press. Allowed for rapid dissemination of scientific knowledge. Numerous books and newsletters were in circulation keeping people informed of science
- Rivalry among Nation-States. Constant warfare among nation-states pushed for scientific development by placing an importance on technology, or applied science. Powerful leaders of nation-states funded scientific development.
- Renaissance / birth of knowledge. During this period, Human interest in the classical world increased. Renaissance time made people to develop interest in research/ learning.
- The need to solve their daily life problems like shortages, disease etc. necessity is the mother of all inventions.
- Financial support for governments and individuals. Governments and individuals financed scientific research.
- Religion failed to answer all questions. This sometimes betrayed man’s belief in supernatural power thus emphasizing research.
- The Egyptians discovered geometry which they used on farms. They discovered dead body preservation method (mummification). Build pyramids for their pharaohs using knowledge in mathematics.
- Greeks like Pythagoras contributed to mathematics, especially the right angled triangle as early as 200BC, Euclid did some work in geometry. Archimedes discovered how the lever works. Ptolemy is remembered for geographical work especially production of the Atlas.
- The Chinese made cloth from silk and developed acupuncture skills. They invented paper making in 70 AD. They made gunpowder and the calendar.
- The Indians invented the decimal system in mathematics.
- The Muslim Arabs developed the art of architecture as evidenced by the construction of unique mosques.
Impact of scientific inventions
Food production has been increased thanks to the use of farm machinery, fertilizers, pest
and control methods and scientific breeding. Hybrid seeds have been developed together with new animal breeds.
Scientific inventions have stimulated scientific research in the field of agriculture. This is done in schools, agricultural institutes and colleges.
Farming of perishable foods has been made possible due to invention of preservation methods for foods like canning and refrigeration.
Increased food production has led to increase in population. There is increased food security. There is also increased trade.
Biotechnology has contributed to diversification of agriculture leading to greater crop and animal production.
Farming has been revolutionized from small-scale subsistence farming to large –scale economic activity due to mechanization on farm
Negative impacts of scientific inventions on agriculture
- The consumption of chemically –treated and stored food has raised concern for food related disease such as cancer and heart diseases
- Use of pesticides and fertilizers sometimes poses the challenges of cost. Some pesticides are toxic and therefore harmful to humans and animals.
- Consistence use of fertilizers impoverishes the soil fertility. The more the fertilizer is used the more the soil becomes infertile.
- Traditional crops are being threatened by biotechnology and development of hybrids.
Impact of scientific inventions on industry.
- Large quantities of goods can be produced due to scientific inventions. This has led to enjoyment of economies of scale.
- Efficient sources of energy necessary for industrial production have been developed. New forms of energy such as nuclear, solar and electricity have been invented.
- Improvements in transport and communication have stimulated industrial development. Movement of labour, raw materials and manufactured goods is efficient.
- There has been increased exploitation of resources like factories, fisheries, minerals etc as factories yearn for raw materials due to increased production.
- The large scale manufacture of goods has led to growth of trade. This in turn has created wealth for industrialized nations.
- Space exploration has been enhanced through science. Satellites are used in photographing of the earth’s surface and in weather research.
- Science has revolutionized military technology. Dangerous weapons have been manufactured.
- There is faster dissemination and spread of ideas or knowledge and skills due to development of printing press, and internet development.
- Industries have created job opportunities. Exploitation of mineral deposits has created employment.
Negative impact of scientific inventions on industry.
- Scientific inventions in industry have led to industrial wastes and pollutants that contribute to environmental pollution. Smoke pollutes the air, machines cause noise pollution etc.
- Human life has suffered unnecessarily due to development of war weapons and accidents on roads and aeroplanes.
- Many people have been rendered unemployed due to development of machines.
Impact of scientific inventions on medicine
- Discovery of various medicines to treat both animals and human diseases has boosted both curative and preventive measures in promoting health.
- Improved nutrition has reduced the number of disease that kills man. Population has there increased as a result of reduced death rate.
- Proper diagnosis of disease is now possible with the use of x-rays and other modern scientific methods. With accurate diagnosis, proper treatment can be given.
- The manufacture of various drugs has been facilitated by scientific discoveries. Many companies produce drugs that prevent and cure diseases.
Factors undermining scientific revolution in third world countries.
- Lack of enough funds for scientific research.
- High level of ignorance and illiteracy.
- The educational systems do not allow for development of inquisitive mind and development of interest in science. The system is not science oriented.
- The brain –drain; the few specialized scientists have migrated to areas with greener pastures like Europe and America.
- There is too much dependence on developed countries for nearly everything manufactured or scientifically produced.
- Lack of adequate support from the government. This is clear in the type of budgetary allocations to scientific research.
Measures that can be undertaken to promote scientific research in third world countries.
- Putting emphasis on the teaching of sciences in schools.
- Making available financial resources for scientific research.
- Emphasizing on competitions and congresses in schools and colleges.
- The government of Kenya has set up research institutions and centres of science and technology.
- Scientists have been trained locally and abroad on new knowledge in science and technology.
- International cooperation conferences in science, which bring scientists together, are organized and attended by Kenyan scientists.