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International Conference for Ecozoic Culture 2018 - Session Five "Restructuring of Science and Technology and the Society"
  • 2019-01-22
  • 326

The Session Five hosted by Kiwon Song, professor of Yonsei University started with the presentation by Philip Clayton (Claremont School of Theology). In his presentation under the theme of Redefining the Relationship of Nature and Science, he explained that in the time of revolutionary change in science, modernity which considered nature as invaluable should be reconsidered and the only way that makes it possible is developing a new understanding of science and nature. He emphasized that science could support the world when nature and human beings live in harmony.

The presentation by Sungook Hong (Seoul National University) was under the theme of Tasks of the Scientific Technology and Ecological Era. He began his presentation by pointing out that the facts proved by experiments such as rationality, objectivity, universality of science, and the proposition are socially agreed. In spite of agreed uncertainties, modern science and technology has created irreversible environmental problems. Hong believes the value of science and humans should be able to objectively evaluate the risks of the outcome of science and technology. He claimed that trust building system that discloses information transparently should be created and used to defend ourselves from risks such as environmental problems. He concluded that the pace of change in worldview by scientists is much slower than that of philosophers, and it is important to change the world view to ecological civilization in the long-run as well as doing what we can do at the moment. 

The third presentation was by Song Tian (Beijing Normal University) under the theme of No More Fantasies: At the Critical Point of the Relationship among Science, Technology, Society and Environment. He said that our society has a fantasy that we will be able to solve problems related with science and technology and establish ecological civilization. The ‘science - technology - product – industry’ chain, the key operating mechanism of industrial civilization, has been seen as progression and growth. However, in fact the global operating chain includes pollution and waste; ‘science - technology - product - industry - pollution and waste’ which destroys ecology. Furthermore, in reality, science and technology has limitations, cannot be completely recycled, and the ‘technology dividend’ gained by pressuring nature has been exhausted and nature has been degraded. Song said that it means that investing more money in science and technology will not make more profit and it’s time for a change in the role of science and a non-mechanistic view of nature. 

The Group Discussion’s first panelist Chul Chun (Hanshin University) said that ecological civilization is not a return to pre-human, but a path to post-human. He claimed that at the heart of this immense transformation period citizen participation, social trust, horizontal communication are more important than professionalism, monopoly and exclusivism. In his discussion under the theme of Search and Method of Ecological Civilization, Hee-Jong Woo (Seoul National University) said that the role of science and technology requires a specific code of practice and serious concerns for ecological civilization. The last panelist Seung Jin Kim (Korea University) said that long-term, macro, and systematic discussions have limitations in presenting solutions to immediate problems. Kim concluded that it is necessary to consider the relationship between human and human power and the reason why we could not change nor solve the current problems in the past 50 years.