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The role of Science and technology in society

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In today’s societies, knowledge is recognized as a major challenge at the economic, political and cultural levels, to the point of justifiably qualifying societies that emerge today and achieve higher levels of development and quality of life. Moreover, the control of knowledge at different times in the history of humanity has been accompanied by inequalities, exclusions and social conflicts, which means that day by day we seek a greater diffusion of knowledge in order to achieve a better informed society and to make its own decisions based on facts and evidence.

Each society has its own knowledge assets, where it is essential to connect the various forms of knowledge that already exist with the new forms of development, acquisition and diffusion of knowledge, which is represented in the model of the knowledge economy, where its various forms are valued and this in turn generates better results in terms of economic growth, social equality, political decisions based on facts and greater transparency and ethics that are the key elements in knowledge-based societies.

This type of societies are constructed from the diversity of knowledge and culture is a public good available to all and is influenced by the scientific advances and the use of cutting edge technologies, where the education, critical thinking, the promotion of diversity and innovation are fundamental to the implementation of a knowledge society.

Knowledge-based societies generate greater awareness of the importance of Science and technology as a key element in valuing and optimizing the use of goods, products and services that a country possesses, generating citizens with greater competence to face current changes and to be more aware in their decisions that promote social welfare, respect for the other and equality.

The last two surveys of perception of science and technology developed in the years 2012 and 2015 by the Observatory of Colombian Science and Technology and financed by Colciencias show that day-to-day the colombian population feels akin to these issues, which is key to strengthening a knowledge-based society in the country.

The main results show that most of the Colombian population has a preference for the use of spaces for the communication of science such as museums, botanical gardens, libraries, among others, which has allowed progress in processes of appropriation of Science and technology in everyday life. Activities such as reading, the use of ICTs and the proactive search for scientific and technical data on various products and services of daily life (such as the revision of household appliance manuals, trends in consumption from public receipts, consultation of drug information, among others), changing consumption habits or ways of life to counteract environmental problems and participation in collective actions that seek to generate changes in the Nature-Society relationship begin to become more visible.

These results are important to the extent that strategies are designed to allow a greater appreciation of Science and technology with their respective appropriation, which allows to empower Colombian society through knowledge, application and decision-making based on scientific and technical evidence that have an impact on the development, economic growth and well-being of the population in the country.

In addition, it is important that producers of goods and services and knowledge generators increasingly increase communication and dissemination channels that provide knowledge to different interest groups, ensuring a better informed and decision-making citizen that is key to achieving a more inclusive and egalitarian society as it takes a more active role in engaging science and technology in its daily life in an efficient manner.

To the extent that Colombia makes the most of knowledge, new models of collaborative development can be generated where the government guarantees knowledge as ” public property for all” in such a way that it is accessible, capacities are developed for the entire population and the role of Technology where the ultimate goal is human development. A more empowered society based on scientific and technological knowledge requires greater investment in education and research and development, policies and strategies where the Citizen can value the importance of knowledge and its application based on the scientific and technological results generated in the country.

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