What is meant by the democratic dilemma regarding science and technology?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I would initially suggest that if you have some course readings or instructor- driven teachings that suggest a specific and particular democratic dilemma regarding science and technology, these should be referenced first before anything else.  In my mind, I understand the topic area as having to do with how advances in science and technology are able to be enjoyed by all people, and not just by the privileged few.  For example, the democratic dilemma regarding access to information technology is seen in the concept of the "digital divide."  In this idea and its global counterpart, the fundamental issue is how it is possible to ensure that advances made in computing technology are open to all people, not just those in the wealthiest or most urbane of areas.  Science and technology are, by definition, democratic entities in that scientific and technological advances are meant for everyone.  Yet, the paradoxical element is that advances in both fields are quickly appropriated by specific forces that wish to control it for political or financial gain, thus taking away from the democratic sensibility intrinsic to them.  The question becomes and the topic addresses how it is possible to ensure that the democratic element in both science and technology is preserved, thereby avoiding a democratic dilemma.

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