If one looks back at the history of science, one notices that the progress of science has just been a blink of an eye in the history of mankind. Sure, science applications are ancient, but it has been in the past 350 years or so that science has provided the greatest input and contribution to society. And, all of it is manifested through technology. [As a side note, there are two excellent books concerning this matter: Jacob Bronowski's The Ascent of Man and James Burke's Connections.] The point is that technology has provided many things to improve mankind's lifestyle--not all of it being of a positive nature. Miscalculations, malfunctions, and human error/motivations of usage or abuse spawns problems for society. Covering a bit of member's chronology there was the thalidomide pharmaceutical, Exxon Valdez, nitrites in food preservation, asbestos insulation, over the counter cleaning products/pesticides [carbon tetrafluoride, arsenic, DDT], combustion engine emissions, creosote rail road ties and telephone poles, CCA lumber, and the list goes on and on. Science itself cannot be blamed for it is neutral in observation, data gathering, and analysis--the Joe Friday of science..."Just the facts". And too, technology cannot be blamed--just a neutral part of the manifestations of science. Well then, who is left? Mankind is solely responsible. Should some of the culpability lie with the scientists who should inform all of every known aspect of a discovery and potential for harm? How about the manufactures? Now the engine of "commerce" enters the picture for many manufacturers will throw such data to the wind or turn their heads knowing full well the potential for harm. But, the consumer must be responsible too far above simple quality control neglect. There will always be the probability of a small chunk of metal in the next Snicker's candy bar ruining the new filling. But above those obvious "accidents' the consumer should be active and skeptical of technology and "blow the whistle" whenever something is suspect and support bodies of power [government if you like] to regulate distribution and frequently check the flood of technology. Your thoughts please. Where do you think responsibility lies?
"The Citizen-Scientist's Obligation To Stand Up For Standards"
"The Poisoning Of Minamata"