The Survival Nexus: Science, Technology, and World Affairs

Book by Charles Weiss: “Technology and science can enable us to create a richer, healthier, sustainable, and equitable world, but they can also lead to global disaster. After all, human technical, political, economic, business, and ethical decisions determine the impact of scientific discoveries and technological innovations…

In this book, Charles Weiss explores the intertwining of science, technology, and world affairs that affects everything from climate change and global health to cybersecurity, biotechnology, and geoengineering. Compact and readable, the book ties together ideas and experiences arising from a broad range of diverse issues, ranging from the structure of the energy economy to the future of work and the freedom of the internet.

The Survival Nexus highlights opportunities to mobilize science and technology for a better world through technological innovations that address global health, poverty, and hunger. It alerts the reader to the Earth-in-the balance risks stemming from the decline in the international cooperation that once kept the dangers of pandemics, climate change, and nuclear war in check. It warns of the challenge to democracies from the multi-faceted global information and cyber-wars being waged by authoritarian powers. Central to the global problems it explores are questions of basic ethics: how much are people willing to respect scientific facts, to act today to forestall long-run dangers, and to ensure equitable sharing of the benefits, costs, and risks arising from advances in science and technology.

Weiss clearly explains the technical principles underlying these issues, showcasing why scientists, policy makers, and citizens everywhere need to understand how the mix of science and technology with politics, economics, business, ethics, law, communications, psychology, and culture will shape our future. This important nexus underpins issues critical to human survival that are overlooked in the broader context of world affairs…(More)”.