An Alphabet Of my Life: S

S=Science

This S is about the applications of science in my lifetime. Things that were unimaginable when I was born are commonplace now. Some of those are materials; things like Teflon, Polyurethane, Velcro, Waterproof Fabrics, Memory Foam, Polyester. They have provided advances in comfort, ease of use, preserving and cooking food, and in safety wear for those working outside. Unfortunately, they have also contributed to landfill, the pollution of the oceans, and even microparticle contamination of human bodies.

Everything we invent comes with a price, it seems.

Medical science has exceeded all expectations since my birth in 1952. Birth control, In Vitro Fertilisation, Open-Heart Surgery, Genetics, DNA, Artificial Valves, Pacemakers, Organ Transplantation, and Micro-Surgery. The eqipment and expertise to care for a premature baby that would previously have died. Drugs to control Diabetes, Epilepsy, and many other life-changing or life-threatening conditions. Add to that the advances in Scanning, Medical Lasers, the ability to operate on babies in the womb, and an adult from 1952 would find it hard to comprehend the amazing possibilities 70 years later.

Life expectancy has extended significantly since I was born. Average life expectancy in 1952 in Britain (male and female lifespans combined) was 69.17 years. 70 years later, it is now 81.65 years. That has brought with it a huge number of problems. The increase in elderly people with Dementia. The problems of caring for the elderly and disabled in their own homes, or in dedicated old people’s homes. Hospitals full of old people who cannot be easily discharged after breaking bones or having major surgery. The cost of paying pensions to so many more people who lived much longer than expected, and the reduced birth rate failing to supply enough working people to pay the National Insurance and Taxation required to fund such an ageing population.

Back to everything we invent coming with a price.

There are other scientific achievements in my lifetime that were less desirable.

Atom bombs were replaced by nuclear bombs, and those in turn replaced by thermo-nuclear bombs. Military weapons became more advanced, and the ability to kill more people from a greater distance is the darker side of ‘progress’ during the last 70 years.

(Technology will be dealt with in ‘T’.)

41 thoughts on “An Alphabet Of my Life: S

  1. There has been alarming changes in the world since we were born, and you names most of them, the apple phone being one of the worst temptations! It seems as if we’ve become slaves to our inventions instead of the other way around. I can’t even imagine what the next 50 years will bring. It is my hope for my grandkids that the world will tilt towards progress but progress that sustains human life instead of harming. Hugs, C

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I certainly do. The interesting side effect is that penicillin will not work on anything that can live inside me to this day. It was one hell of a mass dose before they quite had the parameters down for the drug. Warmest regards, Ed

        Liked by 1 person

  2. As you say we’re living longer, but this raises more problems and is costing the NHS millions of pounds as we all succumb to the diseases of old age. However, I for one am grateful I’ve had the chance to meet all my grandchildren, which I wouldn’t have been able to do had I not had all the treatment I’ve had in the past.

    Liked by 1 person

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