FST-01 Solved Assignment 2016-2017

1. Explain why it is important to know the History of Science.

Ans) In the development of the history of science, the histories of the individual scientific disciplines have played an enormously significant role. The goals and functions of these have recently received considerable attention, both because of the influence that such histories have had on the legitimacy and self‐image of the disciplines and also because of the adaptability that they have shown when faced with the conceptual and methodological changes that they have undergone. With regard to these disciplines, there are, moreover, alternative approaches whose advantages and disadvantages are also the subject of debate: from within the discipline itself or from a more general starting point external to the history of science; from motives that lead into history our the problems of today, and out of an interest for the past unrelated to present‐day concerns.

Certain old sciences, such as geography, constitute areas of special interest in this respect, since on the one hand there are diverse generations of disciplinary histories, connected with the most important theoretical issues and the contentious relations with other sciences; and on the other hand profound changes have recently taken place which have led to far‐ reaching transformations in historiography.

Within the frame of reference of the present simposium, it might be of interest to present some of these developments and, in particular, to offer a general overview of the origins and goals of the research program in the history of geography which, in what is today the Department of Human Geography of the University of Barcelona, has been in progress for almost two decades. The goals and the evolution of this project have led to a growing integration of our research with that which is being undertaken by other historians of science, while at the same time providing a stimulus for, and a new perspective on, the work on current issues in human geography which is being carried out in the Department.

The history of science is full of great works that have marked a turning point in the development of a branch of knowledge, and in which the proposals for a new theoretical frame of reference or a new systematization of the known facts were preceded by an extensive historical introduction consisting in the evolution of the topic up to that moment.

From the 18th Century on, with the growing specialization in science that gave rise to new disciplines, and with the acceleration of the changes in theories and scientific method, the number of works of this kind has grown considerably. Particularly in the 19th Century, there were many scientists who were conscious of the profoundly innovative character of their work, and who did not hesitate to draw self‐justifying historical pictures which promoted appreciation of the significance of their own contributions.

2. Highlight the characteristics of Scientific Knowledge.

Ans) Science works according to certain rules. One of them is that when a scientist has a new idea that he or she thinks is right, he/she publishes his/her results so scientists all around the world can check his/her results. If their experiments agree with his, his theory will be accepted as correct.

But it doesnʹt stop there. Other scientists will take the theory and build on it, attempting to explain the way our world works. Eventually the theory will be the basis of many other theories, and all of them may accurately describe, predict, or explain the way things work. But, surprisingly, this does not necessarily mean that the original theory was ʹcorrectʹ! It all depends what you mean by ʹcorrectʹ.

Scientific knowledge is based on empirical evidence, and is appropriate for understanding the natural world, but it provides only a limited understanding of the supernatural, aesthetic, or other ways of knowing, such as art, philosophy, or religion. Scientific knowledge is durable and robust, but open to change. Because science is based on empirical evidence it strives for objectivity, but as it is a human endeavor the processes, methods, and knowledge of science include subjectivity, as well as creativity and discovery.

Science rests upon sense data, i.e., data gathered through our senses—eye, ear, nose, tongue and touch. Scientific knowledge is based on verifiable evidence (concrete factual observations) so that other observers can observe, weigh or measure the same phenomena and check out observation for accuracy.

Scientific knowledge is objective. Objectivity simple means the ability to see and accept facts as they are, not as one might wish them to be. To be objective, one has to guard against his own biases, beliefs, wishes, values and preferences. Objectivity demands that one must set aside all sorts of the subjective considerations and prejudices.

Scientific knowledge must occur under the prescribed circumstances not once but repeatedly. It is reproducible under the circumstances stated anywhere and anytime. Conclusions based on casual recollec‐tions are not very reliable.

Scientists do not merely describe the phenomena being studied, but also attempt to explain and predict as well. It is typical of social sciences that they have a far lower predictability compared to natural sciences. The most obvious reasons are the complexity of the subject matter and inadequacy at control etc.

Science proceeds on a plane of abstraction. A general scientific principle is highly abstract. It is not interested in giving a realistic picture.

Scientific knowledge is accurate. A physician, like a common man, will not say that the patient has slight temperature or having very high temperature but after measuring with the help of thermometer, he will pronounce that the patient is having 101.2 F temperature. Accuracy simply means truth or correctness of a statement or describing things in exact words as they are without jumping to unwarranted conclusions.

3. Elucidate the astronomical methods that have provided insights about the Universe.

Ans) Astronomy, a natural science, is the study of celestial objects (such as stars, galaxies, planets, moons, asteroids, comets and nebulae) and processes (such as supernovae explosions, gamma ray bursts, and cosmic microwave background radiation), the physics, chemistry, and evolution of such objects and processes, and more generally all phenomena that originate outside the atmosphere of Earth. A related but distinct subject, physical cosmology, is concerned with studying the Universe as a whole.

Space‐based observatories are telescopes located beyond Earth, either in orbit around the planet or in deep space. Such observatories allow astronomers to observe the universe in ways not possible from the surface of Earth, usually because of interference from our planetʹs atmosphere. Space‐based observatories, however, are typically more complicated and expensive than Earth‐based telescopes. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and other space agencies have been flying space observatories of one type or another since the late 1960s. While theHubble Space Telescope is the most famous of the space observatories, it is just one of many that have provided astronomers with new insights about the solar system, the Milky Way galaxy, and the universe. Observatories in space have a number of key advantages. Telescopes in space are able to operate twenty‐four hours a day, free of both Earthʹs day‐night cycle as well as clouds and other weather conditions that can hamper observing.

Space‐based observatories also have some disadvantages. Unlike most ground‐based telescopes,
space observatories operate completely automatically, without any humans on‐ site to fix faulty equipment or deal with other problems. There are also limitations on the size and mass of objects that can be launched, as well as the need to use special materials and designs that can withstand the harsh environment of space, creating limitations on the types of observatories that can be flown in space. These factors, as well as current high launch costs, make space observatories very expensive: the largest observatories, such as the Hubble Space Telescope, cost over $1 billion, whereas world‐class ground‐based telescopes cost less than $100 million. In many cases, though, there is no option other than to fly a space observatory, because ground‐based telescopes cannot accomplish the required work.

Most of the known galaxies that have only formed small amounts of the heavy elements are young galaxies that are undergoing gigantic outbursts of star formation. This makes them incredibly bright and easier to observe. One type of galaxy with bursts of star formation is called blue compact galaxies, as newly formed stars emit a bluish light.

4. Discuss the Systems view of life.

Ans) Over the past thirty years, a new systemic conception of life has emerged at the forefront of science. New emphasis has been given to complexity, networks, and patterns of organisation leading to a novel kind of ʹsystemicʹ thinking. This volume integrates the ideas, models, and theories underlying the systems view of life into a single coherent framework. Taking a broad sweep through history and across scientific disciplines, the authors examine the appearance of key concepts such as autopoiesis, dissipative structures, social networks, and a systemic understanding of evolution. The implications of the systems view of life for health care, management, and our global ecological and economic crises are also discussed. Written primarily for undergraduates, it is also essential reading for graduate students and researchers interested in understanding the new systemic conception of life and its implications for a broad range of professions‐from economics and politics to medicine, psychology and law.

While mechanistic science concentrates on reducing things to basic material building blocks, the emerging holistic paradigm recognizes that systems are integrated wholes whose properties cannot be reduced to those of smaller units. The two fundamental themes of this systems view of life are the universal interconnectedness and interdependence of all phenomena, and the intrinsically dynamic nature of reality, seen in dynamic processes and interrelationships as well as principles of self‐organization.

Systems theory accepts neither the traditional scientific view of evolution as a game of dice, nor the Western religious view of an ordered universe designed by a divine creator. Evolution is presented as basically open and indeterminate, without goal or purpose, yet with a recognizable pattern of development. Chance fluctuations take place, causing a system at a certain moment to become unstable. As it ʺapproaches the critical point, it ʹdecidesʹ itself which way to go, and this decision will determine its evolutionʺ (p. 288). Capra sees the systems view of the evolutionary process not as a product of blind chance but as an unfolding of order and complexity analogous to a learning process, including both independence from the environment and freedom of choice. However, he fails to explain how supposedly inert matter is able to ʺdecide,ʺ ʺchoose,ʺ and ʺlearn.ʺ This belief that evolution is purposeless and haphazard and yet shows a recognizable pattern is similar to biologist Lyall Watsonʹs belief that evolution is governed by chance but that chance has ʺa pattern and a reason of its ownʺ. In other words, Watson redefines chance to make it virtually synonymous with intelligence.

Thus although systems theory begins to move beyond the old mechanistic theory of evolution, it still remains wedded to several basic materialistic dogmas. While materialists believe that the physical world is the primary reality and that life and consciousness are the products of physical matter, the material world may equally well be seen as but the outer shell of superior worlds, whose underlying reality is infinite life and consciousness.

5. Describe the various renewable resources of energy that have the potential to fulfill the needs of the society.

Ans) Renewable energy — wind, solar, geothermal, hydroelectric, and biomass — provides substantial benefits for our climate, our health, and our economy.

Each source of renewable energy has unique benefits and costs; this page explores the many benefits associated with these energy technologies. For more information on their potential impacts including effective solutions to mitigate or avoid them entirely.

Human activity is overloading our atmosphere with carbon dioxide and other global warming emissions, which trap heat, steadily drive up the planet’s temperature, and create significant and harmful impacts on our health, our environment, and our climate.

Electricity production accounts for more than one‐third of U.S. global warming emissions, with the majority generated by coal‐fired power plants, which produce approximately 25 percent of total U.S. global warming emissions; natural gas‐fired power plants produce 6 percent of total emissions. In contrast, most renewable energy sources produce little to no global warming emissions. According to data aggregated by the International Panel on Climate Change, life‐cycle global warming emissions associated with renewable energy—including manufacturing, installation, operation and maintenance, and dismantling and decommissioning—are minimal. wind and solar energy require essentially no water to operate and thus do not pollute water resources or strain supply by competing with agriculture, drinking water systems, or other important water needs. In contrast, fossil fuels can have a significant impact on water resources. For example, both coal mining and natural gas drilling can pollute sources of drinking water. Natural gas extraction by hydraulic fracturing (fracking) requires large amounts of water and all thermal power plants, including those powered by coal, gas, and oil, withdraw and consume water for cooling.

Biomass and geothermal power plants, like coal‐ and natural gas‐fired power plants, require water for cooling. In addition, hydroelectric power plants impact river ecosystems both upstream and downstream from the dam. However, NRELʹs 80 percent by 2050 renewable energy study, which included biomass and geothermal, found that water withdrawals would decrease 51 percent to 58 percent by 2050 and water consumption would be reduced by 47 percent to 55 percent.

Renewable energy is providing affordable electricity across the country right now, and can help stabilize energy prices in the future. The costs of renewable energy technologies have declined steadily, and are projected to drop even more. For example, the average price of a solar panel has dropped almost 60 percent since 2011. The cost of generating electricity from wind dropped more than 20 percent between 2010 and 2012 and more than 80 percent since 1980. In areas with strong wind resources like Texas, wind power can compete directly with fossil fuels on costs. The cost of renewable energy will decline even further as markets mature and companies increasingly take advantage of economies of scale.

6. How has the application of scientific knowledge improved agriculture in the Arid zones, Dry lands and Hilly regions of our country?

Ans) In every region of the world it is necessary to find or develop appropriate techniques for agriculture. A large part of the surface of the world is arid, characterized as too dry for conventional rain fed agriculture. Yet, millions of people live in such regions, and if current trends in population increase continue, there will soon be millions more. These people must eat, and the wisest course for them is to produce their own food. Yet, the techniques are so varied that only a very large volume would cover the entire subject. This publication is only a primer, an introduction to appropriate techniques. More extensive treatments are mentioned in the bibliography. In many cases the most suitable techniques for a particular region may be those already developed by the local inhabitants. In some cases it will be difficult to improve on local techniques, but at times even simple and inexpensive innovations may be almost revolutionary. This technical note suggests that one must begin to improve local agriculture in arid zones by learning what is already there. Then both techniques and plants that may be useful in specific situations are suggested. Several degrees of dryness must be recognized. The first is where the dry climate is modified by seasonal rainy seasons. In such a region it might be possible to produce a wide range of annual crops during the short rainy season, enough to sustain animals and feed mankind, although few food or feed trees might be feasible without special techniques.

The second situation is a year round aridity, sometimes modified by light or irregular rains, which might make production of crops impossible. The third situation is where water is brought in by wells, canals, or other means so that normal agriculture can exist, in spite of the aridity of the climate. This primer concerns the first two situations, but not the third.

There are techniques suitable for all arid regions. Water is absolutely necessary for all plant and animal life. Plants have evolved that are capable of living and reproducing in semi arid, arid, and even desert regions. However, as aridity increases, fewer and fewer species are adapted, and the potential biomass is reduced. Plants are adapted to aridity by several mechanisms. There are plants with a short life cycle that can germinate, grow, and produce during a very short period of available moisture. There are plants with deep or extensive root systems which have the ability to gather water over a wide area. There are plants which store up water in their tissues and release it very slowly. There are plants that are protected from water loss by wax or other impediments. There are plants with very small or narrow leaves, thus reducing water loss. There are plants in which the tissues themselves can withstand much desiccation without dying. Crop plants in arid regions may have any or a combination of such mechanisms.

7. Enumerate the various practices for the prevention of disease in ancient and modern times.

Ans) In many systems of medical care, prevention is at least as important as the treatment of an acute disease. Ancient Greek practitioners believed that balancing the four fundamental fluids or ‘humours’ in the body was essential for health. So they advised their patients in methods to maintain good humoral balance. An early Hippocratic text called for appropriate diet and exercise as well as the use of music, and advised on the frequency of sexual intercourse.

Similar humoral theories are used by many traditions of prevention. Traditional Chinese Medicine, for instance, tries to achieve a balance of vital energy or qi in the body, and an alignment between the body and its environment. The Indian system Ayurveda bases its advice for a health‐preserving lifestyle on a balance of three basic humours or doshas.

Some forms of prevention were aimed more specifically at particular diseases. When the plague (the ‘Black Death’) ravaged medieval Europe, there were numerous explanations for its outbreak. Accordingly, preventative measures ranged from self‐flagellation (among those who believed that God had sent the disease as punishment for the sins of mankind) to the killing of cats and dogs (which were supposed to be contagious). Doctors who thought that the plague was caused by a pestilential atmosphere wore long gowns and masks stuffed with aromatic herbs, and recommended strong‐smelling herbs such as myrrh for purifying the air.

In Europe, beginning with the Enlightenment of the 1700s, philosophers and physicians urged the public to take systematic measures to remain healthy and productive, whether by exercise or diet. By 1800 intellectuals suggested that not just the individual, but the state as well, had a responsibility for the health of the citizen. Doctors and reformers such as the German Peter Johann Frank and the British Edwin Chadwick developed measures of disease prevention on a large scale. After the development of germ theory in the 1860s, and until the 1940s, hygiene was the basis for controlling infection. This often led to a fanatical fear of ‘germs’.

An important motivation for the development of preventative measures was religious: many religious movements argued that a healthy lifestyle was an important part of living a godly life. For example, in the 1800s the Adventists, a Christian sect in America, preached a ‘gospel of health’ which included a restricted diet, limitations on alcohol and sexual activity, and rigorous personal hygiene. American health reformers such as John Harvey Kellogg developed foods that aimed to be healthy and ‘pure’, part of living a moral lifestyle.

8. How can the technological advances in mass communication benefit the distance education system in India? Discuss.

Ans) In a distance education system (DES), teachers and learners are physically separate and the instructional materials are delivered via telecommunication systems. The global application of the DES has proven to be an approach that is both successful and useful in education.

Based on technological, structural, and financial capabilities, a number of varieties of technologies are applied in higher education distance learning systems. Print media (textbooks, study guides, study aids, and newspapers), audio media (Audio‐books, audio‐cards, records, audio‐cassettes, reel‐to‐reel audiotapes, audio Compact‐discs (CDs), telephones, cell phones, audio‐texts, radios), and video media (Televisions, satellites, direct broadcast satellites, cable televisions, closed‐circuit televisions, asynchronous and synchronous Podcasts and vodcasts, teleconferences, microwaves, interactive videos, teletexts, videotexts, computer internets, weblogs (blogs), electronic mails, chatrooms, and multimedia) are used to convey messages in terms of specific educational objectives to deliver and disseminate instructional materials to learners. The present day world is facing two general problems‐“information explosions” and the “population explosion”. Information explosion means an explosion of knowledge. Today, throughout the world, social and technological changes are taking place rapidly due to expanding world of information. So there is explosion of knowledge. New frontiers of knowledge are opening day by day and the horizon of human knowledge and understanding is expanding very fast.

So the two general factors – “information explosion” and ” Population explosion” have posed critical problems for education‐more things to be learnt and more people to be taught. Today there is a cry for “more education to more people in less time”. For solving these problems successfully, educational technology consisting of various media of mass communication are essentially required. Both qualitative improvement and quantitative expansion of education can be facilitated and accelerated with the help of this mass media under educational technology. So the mass‐media has come to our rescue to tackle this problem.

Education of tomorrow will be able to play its role more effectively by making the individuals creative, active and efficient. Success of education cannot be achieved merely by substituting mechanical methods for human beings, but by developing new patterns using both human beings and technological advancements in order to teach more people better and more rapidly.

9. List three ways of technology transfer and discuss their various dimensions.

Ans) Technology transfer, also called transfer of technology (TOT), is the process of transferring skills, knowledge, technologies, methods of manufacturing, samples of manufacturing and facilities among governments or universities and other institutions to ensure that scientific and technological developments are accessible to a wider range of users who can then further develop and exploit the technology into new products, processes, applications, materials or services. It is closely related to (and may arguably be considered a subset of) knowledge transfer Horizontal transfer is the movement of technologies from one area to another. At present transfer of technology (TOT) is primarily horizontal. Vertical transfer occurs when technologies are moved from applied research centers to research and development departments.

Many companies, universities and governmental organizations now have an Office of Technology Transfer (TTO, also known as ʺTech Transferʺ or ʺTechXferʺ) dedicated to identifying research which has potential commercial interest and strategies for how to exploit it. For instance, a research result may be of scientific and  
commercial interest, but patents are normally only issued for practical processes, and so someone—not necessarily the researchers—must come up with a specific practical process. Another consideration is commercial value; for example, while there are many ways to accomplish nuclear fusion, the ones of commercial value are those that generate more energy than they require to operate. The process to commercially exploit research varies widely. It can involve licensing agreements or setting up joint ventures and partnerships to share both the risks and rewards of bringing new technologies to market. Other corporate vehicles, e.g. spin‐outs, are used where the host organization does not have the necessary will, resources or skills to develop a new technology. Often these approaches are associated with raising of venture capital (VC) as a means of funding the development process, a practice more common in the United States than in the European Union, which has a more conservative approach to VC funding. Research spin‐off companies are a popular vehicle of commercialisation in Canada, where the rate of licensing of Canadian university research remains far below that of the US. Technology transfer offices may work on behalf of research institutions, governments and even large multinationals. Where start‐ups and spin‐outs are the clients, commercial fees are sometimes waived in lieu of an equity stake in the business. As a result of the potential complexity of the technology transfer process, technology transfer organizations are often multidisciplinary, including economists, engineers, lawyers, marketers and scientists. Technology transfer must be recognised as a broad and complex process if it is to avoid creating and maintaining the dependency of the recipient, and if it is to contribute to sustained and equitable development.

10. Write an essay on ‘The importance of self-reliance in Science and Technology for national development’.

Ans) Self‐reliance is being independent, which is being able to depend on you alone and to do things by yourself without assistance from others. Self‐reliance is what you do using your mind, body and soul. I believe that self‐reliance is just being your own person and not always following behind one person and not to be influenced by negative things from negative people. This is why you should be your own person.

We accomplished self‐reliance as a group because we were alone a lot doing things as a group without the counsellors. We hiked, cooked, and found camp alone at times. That is an example of the Outlaws using self‐reliance. The term self‐reliance is often confused with self‐sufficiency though they are not one and the same.Self‐sufficiency can be interpreted in both a general as well as a partial sense. In general sense, self‐sufficiency implies that a country is in a position to fulfill all its requirements of goods and services from domestic sources and is not at all dependent on import. In such a situation the possibility as exports can also be ruled out as, if the country is not dependent on imports, foreign, exchange earned through exports has no relevance for such country. In fact, self‐sufficiency in general sense is an unrealistic situation. However, self‐sufficiency in partial sense implies that a country is in a position to fulfill all its requirements of goods and services either from domestic sources or has adequate foreign exchange to import goods and services it requires from abroad. Self‐reliance implies self‐sufficiency in partial sense, i.e., a country is capable of meeting all its requirements either from domestic sources or has an ability to import them from abroad. Therefore, it can be said that to be self‐reliant a country need not be self‐ sufficient.

First, with respect to the physical world, advancement in science and technology can help bring about development in terms of increasing productive capability and greater freedom vis‐a‐vis the constraints of nature. Secondly, such advancement is also instrumental in producing societal change and transformation, with significant impacts on problems of human and social relations. Hence the specific human and social dimensions of science and technology need to be objectively perceived, quite apart from their technical and seemingly universal character.

In terms of scientific and technological advancement, all this means that the process and objective of change and development must be shifted from the all‐too‐familiar quantitative notion of growth to the qualitative one of freedom and justice. The world has indeed come a very long way from eighteenth‐ and nineteenth‐century Europe, where an extremely high sense of optimism prevailed in the Age of Enlightenment. It was followed by the biological and social theories of evolution. That age was full of high and rising expectations of unlimited material growth on the one hand and social, cultural, and moral progress for mankind on the other. All this was to be achieved by means of science, technology, and industry.


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