What has science ever done for me?

SCIENCE is irrelevant to your life, right? It’s all people in white lab coats doing experiments with test tubes in foreign places, probably underground, writing really long reports published in magazines you’ll never read.

Well, partly, yes, but science is also a huge part of our everyday lives, and has contributed more to the modern world than any other subject you study in school.

In fact, without science and scientific discoveries, life just wouldn’t be the same. Here are 5 things you wouldn’t have without science:

The internet. Yes, I know, you couldn’t imagine life without it. Neither could I, and I’m an old person (49, if you want to know). When I was born, the internet was just a twinkle in some scientific person’s eye. Now more than 3 billion people (that’s nearly half the world’s population) use it to plan their lives, gain information, find entertainment, do research for essays (or blogs!) and look at pictures of cats doing funny things or people falling over.

The concept of computers sharing information was first thought about back in the 1960s, but it took 20 years or so until computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee developed the worldwide web (that’s where the www comes from, in case you didn’t know), and the modern internet was born. It really only took off in the mid 1990s.

Modern medicine. Less than 100 years ago, when my grandma was a teenager, if you cut your toe while out playing in the street and it became infected, there was a fair chance it would actually kill you. Infant mortality rates, even in the ‘developed’ world, were relatively high – in other words, if you survived until your teens, it was highly likely you had seen at least one of your brothers and sisters die.

Now, thankfully, due to scientific discoveries in the field of medicine – antibiotics and immunisation are probably the two biggest – we are living much longer and healthier lives than ever before. If you get an infected toe, it’s very unlikely to be the death of you.

Television. I suppose it’s a bit dated, now that everyone watches films and box sets on other things, but you wouldn’t have most of those programmes you love so much if it wasn’t for the good ol’ telly. The first TV sets started to replace the radio (or wireless) in the 1930s and 40s, but wouldn’t be widespread until the 1950s. The earliest ones only had three-inch screens – yes, you read that right.

The telephone. Another thing you can’t imagine not having, right? But actually relatively new – my family didn’t have a phone at all until I was 12, and I personally didn’t have a mobile until I was in my 30s. Yes, I know, I’m an old person, but mobile phones only started being used in the 1980s, and then they were the size of a brick and only business people had them. Technology has advanced so quickly in the last 20 years, making these wonderful things available to everyone, all thanks to science.

So next time you search the internet for Family Guy episodes to watch on your mobile, remember you have science to thank.

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