Scientific Research is a Token of Humankind’s Survival: by Vladimir Keilis-Borok- Summary and Exercise NEB Grade - 11
Summary of the Essay
"Scientific Research is a Token of Humankind's Survival" by Vladimir Keilis-Borok About Author: Vladimir Keilis-Borok (1921-2013) was a Russian seismologist and mathematical geophysicist. He was a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles. He was the research group leader at the Russian Academy of Science's International Institute for Earthquake Prediction Theory and Mathematical Geophysics. He was also Co-Director (and Founder) of the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics' Research Programme on Nonlinear Dynamics and Earthquake Prediction in Trieste. In his essay 'Scientific Research is a Token of Humankind's Survival, 'Keilis-Borok discusses his career as a scientist and believes that science is the indispensable guardian and caretaker of humanity.
Vladimir Keilis-Borok wrote the essay "Scientific Research is a Token of Humankind's Survival." The writer has presented the importance of science and its inventions to the welfare of humanity in this essay. Science, according to the author, is an indispensable guardian and caretaker of humanity. The author claims that scientists cannot live without science, despite earning less money. They appreciate their freedom, camaraderie, and independence. The discovery itself is a significant reward for scientists. According to the writer, he was summoned to Geneva because an American scientist cited his work while arguing with Moscow experts. Prior to the Geneva Summit, the leaders of three powerful countries were willing to agree to a moratorium on new nuclear weapons tests. They were confronted with the issue of violating the ban agreement.
A team of technical experts was assembled to detect a secret underground nuclear weapons test. As a seismologist, the author had theoretical knowledge that had a direct application in the field of human survival. The writer became aware of the true significance of science, scientists, and scientific tools to the well-being of humanity's survival. The writer was able to tell the difference between the two tremors. Tremors, both natural and man-made. Natural disasters include earthquakes, self-inflicted megacity destruction, environmental catastrophes, and economic and social crises. Man-made disasters include a massive release of radioactivity from nuclear waste disposal, an outbreak of mass violence, war, and other similar events. Scientists are the most pragmatic people on the planet. It can be seen in their various inventions. Basic science knowledge is always beneficial to people in various fields. Science is the only force capable of ensuring humanity's safety and survival. Scientific research is a sign that humanity is still alive. Science is the unavoidable defender and caretaker of humanity's survival. Science should be used in a humane manner, with no malice intended.
Vladimir Koillis-Borok, a Russian mathematical geophysicist and seismologist, wrote the essay "Scientific Research is a Token of Humankind Survival." This essay has presented facts about science and its significant contribution to the lives of people all over the world. This essay demonstrated how scientists from all over the world rise above their national identities to solve common problems that affect all nations. This essay's speaker is the author himself. Here, he defends science, claiming that science is the indispensable guardian and caretaker of humanity. The author begins with the profession of a scientist, stating that scientists earn less than businessmen, lawyers, and doctors. Despite this, some people choose to be scientists because they cannot live without science. According to the author, science is an exciting adventure in which the main reward is the discovery itself. Instead of large sums of money, the scientist receives honours and promotions as a result of his or her discoveries.
A scientist earns less money than lawyers, doctors, and businessmen, but he or she enjoys more freedom, camaraderie, and independence. The author then tells his readers about his experiences during the Cold War. The author claims that in 1960 while conducting research on seismic waves (Earth tremors) in Moscow, he was summoned by the President of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The President showed him a letter from Geneva pertaining to a Geneva meeting on nuclear weapons. Fran Press, an American scientist, summoned him to Geneva for the discussion. As a result, the author ended up in Geneva. The fear of nuclear annihilation was extremely high at the time. People were under threat. The cold war was at its peak in 1960. Russia (Soviet Union), America, and the United Kingdom all possessed a large number of nuclear weapons. They could easily destroy other countries with nuclear weapons in their first strike.
Prior to the Geneva Summit, three powerful nations made an important decision for the sake of humanity's survival. The three nuclear powers were willing to reach an agreement prohibiting new nuclear weapons tests. That was the atmosphere of the cold war when scientists from opposing sides had to reach an agreement to promote world peace and prevent the use of nuclear weapons. That episode taught the writer that science is the only hope for everyone's survival and well-being. The writer was a seismologist with theoretical knowledge of seismic waves. His theoretical knowledge had a direct application in the field of human survival. He was well-versed in tremors caused by underground nuclear explosions as well as tremors caused by earthquakes. The writer would be able to tell the difference between the two tremors based on his knowledge. Scientists, according to the author, are the most practical people on the planet. This could be seen in new technologies and industry brands ranging from defence to entertainment. Antibiotics, electronics, biotechnology, synthetic fibres, the green revolution, and genetic forensic diagnosis are all inventions of scientists.
People's lives are always aided by a basic understanding of science. Natural and man-made disasters, according to the author, are threatening the survival of our civilization. Natural disasters include earthquakes, self-inflicted destruction of megacities, environmental disasters, and economic and social crises. Man-made disasters cited by the author include a massive release of radioactivity from nuclear waste disposal and an outbreak of mass violence. Science is our unavoidable protector and caretaker because it is the only science capable of ensuring that we move with time safely. Countries signed a treaty not to test nuclear weapons in secret for the sake of humanity's survival. However, science and its scientists ensured humanity's survival. It is the only science capable of distinguishing between tremors caused by nuclear explosions and natural earthquakes. Science can provide us with new energy sources, mineral deposits, and effective anti-terrorism defences. Science's hope for humanity's survival has a broader significance as well. In the current scenario, both natural and man-made disasters endanger humanity's safety. Whether it is a tsunami or terrorism, money alone will not solve the problem. The only hope is for scientific solutions. Thus, the author has a plethora of reasons to conclude that science is the only hope for survival.
About the Author
Understanding the Text
Answer the following questions.
a. What does a scientist get instead of big money?
➜ Instead of large sums of money, scientists are rewarded with honours and promotions. He/she receives these benefits as a result of his/her discoveries.
b. What was the problem that the nuclear powers had faced?
➜ The nuclear powers had agreed to a moratorium on nuclear weapons testing. However, they were concerned that if anyone violated the agreement by secretly testing nuclear weapons underground, they would not be able to detect it.
c. In which area did Keilis Borok's theoretical knowledge have a direct application?
➜ Keilis Borok's theoretical knowledge was directly applicable to human survival. Underground nuclear explosions caused earth tremors similar to those caused by earthquakes. The author would be able to tell the difference between the two types of tremors based on his knowledge.
d. What was the important decision that the politicians took before Geneva Summit?
➜ Prior to the Geneva Summit, politicians made an important decision to prohibit the testing of nuclear weapons. The decision was made in the hope that humanity would survive. They claim that after nuclear tests are prohibited, there will be no competition for developing nuclear weapons.
e. What are the natural and man-made disasters mentioned by the author?
➜ Natural disasters mentioned by the author include earthquakes, self-inflicted destruction of megacities, environmental catastrophes, economic and social crises, and so on, whereas man-made disasters include a massive release of radioactivity from nuclear waste disposal, an outburst of mass violence, war, and so on.
Reference to the Context
a. The professional addressed as ‘you’ in the sentence “If you are clever, why are you so poor?”
refers to a… i. lawyer ii. doctor iii. scientist iv. businessman. Justify your choice.
➜ It refers to a scientist. Scientists are intelligent and brilliant because of their minds. Their earnings are lower than those of other professionals such as lawyers, doctors, and businessmen. They do, however, enjoy their freedom, camaraderie, and independence. The author intends to demonstrate that, while scientists are very wise, their wisdom does not generally help them generate wealth. As a result, scientists are generally wise but not wealthy.
b. The writer says, “I found myself in Geneva.” What does it express?
➜ It expresses the author's surprise. He was unexpectedly summoned to a nuclear weapons conference in Geneva. While arguing with Moscow experts, American scientist Frank Press cited his work.
c. Are the following statements true? Why or why not? Discuss with your partner.
i. Money is more powerful than intellectual resources.
➜ This statement is not true. Money is transient, whereas intellectual resources continue to produce excellent results. There is no financial guarantee. Money causes a slew of issues. Intellectual resources, on the other hand, can propel anyone to success and perfection.
ii. Intellectual resources help the survival of mankind.
➜ This statement is true. Intellectual resources are nothing more than hopes for the future of humanity. Humanity has benefited from intellectual resources in the form of disease relief, terrorism protection, a healthy lifestyle, and entertainment.
iii. Basic research is a way of stalling disasters.
➜ This statement is true. People all over the world live their lives with confidence because they believe in scientific research. Scientists continue to study environmental changes and warn the public about potential disasters. People are safe because of their research-based information.
d. How does the essayist justify that scientific research is humankind’s survival?
➜ By presenting his arguments in favour of science and its research-based inventions, the essayist argues that scientific research is essential to human survival. Science, he believes, is the unavoidable guardian and caretaker of humankind's survival. Scientific research ensures the survival of humanity. Science and its researchers can only find solutions to problems in people's lives. It is the science that can provide us with new energy sources, mineral deposits, medicines, and effective anti-terrorism defences. Scientists can easily predict impending disasters and save humanity. It is the only science that can guarantee that we are moving with time in a safe manner. Thus, the writer has numerous reasons to believe that scientific research is humanity's best hope for survival.
e. What can be the purpose of the essayist of using quotations in the essay?
➜ The purpose of the essayist's use of quotations in the essay is to make all of his readers aware of the main points that he wishes to convey. The essayist continues to use quotations from legends to support his ideas in his essay.
f. Discuss and illustrate the writer’s stand that scientists are the most practical people in the world
➜ The author's position in this essay is that scientists are the most practical people on the planet. According to him, their practical application can be seen in new technologies and new brands in industries ranging from defence to entertainment. Antibiotics, electronics, biotechnology, synthetic fibres, modes of transportation, the green revolution, and genetic forensic diagnosis are all inventions of scientists. Hence, This proves that scientists are the most practical people.
Reference Beyond the Text
a. Everyone lives under the fear of annihilation by nuclear weapons. Explain this statement.
➜ The essayist is informing all of his readers about the dangerous situation of the cold war in 1960 in this line. It was a terrifying situation. The superpowers, such as the Soviet Union, the United States, and the United Kingdom, had more than enough nuclear bombs to destroy the other countries in a single strike. As a result, every man, woman, and child on the planet lived under the threat of nuclear annihilation. These superpowers were willing to reach an agreement in order to deal with this threat.
b. The essayist says ‘While there is science, there is the hope of survival and wellbeing for all of us.’ Explain it.
➜ The essayist says ‘While there is science, there is the hope of survival and wellbeing for all of us.’ According to the essayist, science is our unavoidable guardian and caretaker because it is the only science capable of ensuring that we move with time safely. Countries had signed a treaty to refrain from secretly testing nuclear weapons for the sake of humanity's survival. Countries had signed a treaty to refrain from secretly testing nuclear weapons for the sake of humanity's survival. However, science and its scientists ensured the survival of humanity. It is the only science capable of distinguishing between tremors caused by nuclear explosions and natural earthquakes.
It is the science that can provide us with new energy sources, mineral deposits, and effective anti-terrorism defences. Science's hope for humanity's survival has a broader significance as well. In the current scenario, both natural and man-made disasters endanger humanity's safety. Whether it is a tsunami or terrorism, money alone will not solve the problem. The only hope is for scientific solutions. Thus, the author has a plethora of reasons to conclude that science is the only hope for survival.
c. Is science a blessing or a curse? Write an essay on it
Science – A Blessing Or A Curse
Essay - I
Science is the systematic search for and application of knowledge and understanding of the natural and social worlds using evidence-based methodology. Scientists experiment with a variety of new things related to the world and life. Science can be viewed as both a boon and a curse.
The application of science is the most important aspect of it. Science has performed various tasks for the benefit of mankind, but it has also had a number of negative effects on humanity in this world. Antibiotics, electronics, biotechnology, synthetic fibres, the green revolution, and genetic forensic diagnosis are all inventions of scientists. All of these inventions have improved people's lives. People's lives are always aided by a basic understanding of science.
Most people are dying out today as a result of science and its inventions. Different types of weapons are the result of science. Science should not be used to harm humanity. It should be used to benefit humanity. Hence, science should be used with good intentions.
Essay - II
Science has benefited man in several ways. It has made man’s life more comfortable, more secure and more powerful. But it is not an unmixed blessing. There are several disadvantages of science. However, the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages.
Science has revolutionized human existence. Take, for instance, electricity which is one of the many gifts of science. All one has to do is to press a button. The room is flooded with light, the fan begins to whirr and give refreshing air, or still more, a desert cooler or an air conditioner turns the room into a hill resort. A thousand types of machines are run by electricity. Room heaters, electric ovens and cooking ranges and several other household appliances are operated by electricity. It runs factories which produce innumerable things for our daily use.
Science has also relieved to a great extent human suffering. Advances in the field of medicine and surgery have reduced the rate of infant mortality. The average life span of man has increased. Today, many dreaded diseases like cholera, smallpox and even tuberculosis are easily curable with the help of medicines. Surgery can remove malignant also proved to be harmful. The machine age made many people unemployed. Now there is no need for so many hands to do a task. Only one person is required to manipulate the machine. Thus, it has led to unemployment.
In the light of all these grave dangers, it is imperative that man tries to make judicious use of machines. After all, the man had applied his mind to invent new things not to make his life miserable, but to make it more comfortable and better. Machines should serve mankind. A man should ensure that he does not allow them to destroy his environment and health and put the lives of all living things in grave danger beyond a point of no return.