STEM comprises science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Although the main purpose of those areas is to bring breakthroughs in our daily lives and help society, sometimes even the slightest mistake can change the world upside-down. Only a few of an abundance of other examples are cloning humans and constructing potential massive-destruction machines.
To begin with, while areas of STEM tend to research everything related to nature and technology, there are certain boundaries that are not to be crossed. Essentially, this includes bringing the existence of humans into question. This does not necessarily mean making people completely extinct, but rather debasing them to a level of being unrecognizable. For instance, making planet Earth barely inhabitable for its inhabitants or making humans not resembling themselves anymore.
While there are certain STEM areas reaching “perfection”, there simply has to be a line that must not be crossed. For example, improvements in genetic engineering provide engineers with tools to make human clones. Even though this may not seem so bad, consequences of such an act could bring immense disaster. Namely, if such clones escape into the outer world (outside of laboratories), unprecedented mutations could happen if those clones had descendants with “normal” people.
Not only is genetic engineering a “battlefield” between STEM and ethics, but there are also worse things. Namely, that is weaponry of massive destruction capabilities. Whereas scientists are happy to experiment with nuclear fission and fusion in order to provide new, literally inexhaustible sources of energy, that can have a variety of consequences. To illustrate this, if machines for nuclear fission and fusion came into “wrong” hands, there would almost certainly be someone wanting to destroy the world by exerting a terrorist attack using such a machine.
Since the dawn of time, people have always wanted to understand the world and make their lives easier. Consequently, this is what STEM is for. However, it loses its purpose without applying ethics. To demonstrate this, trying to make humans “better” by cloning them and changing their genes will not necessarily bring any good. This is because if any failure happened (however small), human society could not be called human anymore. In conclusion, trying to make the world a better place by neglecting ethics has a potential to destroy a society as we currently know it.
Written by Teo Čokonaj, class 4 D