Society is not what it was some hundred years ago. It has undergone many complex changes. Advancement of science and technology has contributed a lot to bring about this revolution. Swift means of transport and communication have brought the different parts of the world closer. Time and distance have lost their significance. The world has contracted. Thus, the conditions prevailing in one part of the world have their impact on the other. The changes are clearly visible in our ways of living. The agrarian society is fast changing into an individual one. Big industrial towns are coming into existence with their own multiple problems. In short, changes have taken place in every walk of life and self-sufficient village economy has been replaced by highly complex, interdependent industrial economy.
Today, the world at large is suffering from various acute maladies. Increasing population has become a serious headache to the thinkers and statesmen alike. Malthus, the great economist, was the first to predict the future has completely dark due to the ever soaring population and paucity of the means of subsistence. Various disputes between the different nations can be traced to the population problem. To feed the increasing population more and more land is required. To achieve the some countries try to annex the territory of their neighboring countries and this gives rise to armed conflict. In the present age it becomes the foremost duty of the scientists to find ways and means to check the growth of population.
In fact, the world today is on the top of a steep precipice. A slightly wrong step is bound to prove fatal. Everything will perish in the event of a nuclear war. Even the generation yet to be born will be badly affected. The future and the rich heritage which the present generations have inherited from the past, is at stake. The scientist, more than the politicians, will be blamed, if such a day befalls. It is the duty of the scientists to do all they can to prevent the outbreak of the third world war.
Yet another problem facing the governments of the world today is the problem of poverty. Some of the countries are enormously rich, while others are extremely poor. This sight of plenty and poverty existing side by side is an eye sore to many a people. This has to be removed. Many a social, economic and political ills of the world will be removed, if scientists provide the technical know-how and wherewithal for the development of the undeveloped parts of the world. In this respect too, scientists can be of great service to mankind.
The gigantic problems which face the world today make the responsibilities of modern scientists exceedingly heavy. It is only they, who can preserve world peace. They have always been imbued with an intense love for human welfare. So far their unceasing efforts have been successful in placing at the feet of the common man such comforts and luxuries as once even emperors and monarchs could not dream of. At the same time, they have placed such devastating weapons in the hands of politicians and rulers as threaten to annihilate the world itself. They have now to devote their energies to inventing means which will promote the happiness and welfare of mankind and saving it form complete extinction. They must divert the use of nuclear energy to channels which would make this world a safer and better place to live in. It is a very heavy responsibility, which has fallen on the shoulders of the modern scientists.
Mr. Luther, an eminent thinker, has rightly said, “Neither peace, nor freedom, can be made secure in a world of nuclear giants and moral pigmies”. This is the crux of the problem. Scientists have to bring about a change in the mental outlook of the people. Unless people give up their narrow affiliations of caste, creed, color, sex, etc., the world will not be free from its numerous conflicts. This can be achieved only when scientists play their part sincerely.
To discharge such heavy responsibilities, scientists need proper environment. They must have freedom to carry on their research programmers. State encouragement in this matter should not aim at making the scientists their tools to achieve their ulterior motives. Scientists will be able to use their head and heart for the benefit of mankind only under healthy conditions having no bindings upon them.