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Humans must learn to use science wisely

Posted: Monday, January 08, 2001

Science, which tirelessly challenges the unknown, and technology, which is the practical application of science, have created scenarios that people could never have predicted.

In this respect, it is hardly necessary to elaborate on the threat that nuclear weapons constitute for the future of the human race. It has been said that by using technology to manipulate life, humans have stepped into 'God's territory.'

... The discharge of various artificial materials and the consumption of natural resources and energy have threatened the Earth's life -- supporting environment, making it an urgent task to build a society that is sustainable.

In other words, with humans obtaining the power to choose their own destiny, it has become clear that scientists cannot merely be allowed to pursue their own interests.

It is a challenge for human intelligence today to utilize human knowledge, including the social sciences, beyond the conventional framework of natural science, to prevent the uncontrolled stampede of science and technology and to try and create an ideal future world.

-- Yomiuri Shimbun, Tokyo

Jan. 3

Federal education money should go to those in need

President-elect Bush will soon give the new Congress an opportunity to do what the last Congress wouldn't: set new ground rules for the basic forms of federal aid to education from kindergarten through high school. ... As the debate gets under way, a couple of points are worth remembering.

The first is that federal spending is only a tiny portion of the overall cost of elementary and secondary education. State and local governments already foot the bill for more than 90 percent of that effort, and that means the most important policy decisions will inevitably remain at the state and local level. ... At best, federal leverage on elementary and secondary education is largely on the margins.

Within those limits, federal aid has always aimed at those most in need. The biggest chunk of federal education spending, Title I, has been targeted to the poorest students and the poorest schools. That is a link the new administration and Congress must maintain.

To get it right this time, the new administration and Congress need to reach agreement on a straightforward test: the approved proposal must not result in a shift of resources away from poor children. If anything, it should do the opposite. Gov. Bush has set an admirable goal of leaving no child behind. A fundamental part of meeting that goal is to make sure the federal government keeps its commitment to those most in need of its help.

-- The Washington Post

Jan. 3



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