The world is living through one of the greatest scientific revolutions in human history.
The advent of DNA, the sequencing of genetic material, has dramatically changed the world of medicine, nutrition and biotechnology.
But as we are now facing a second pandemic, the world needs to re-think how we think about technology, according to Professor Steve Bamberger of the Institute of Medicine, which is leading the World Health Organization’s efforts to develop new strategies to combat the pandemics.
“The technology we use today is incredibly important, but what it is, is not going to replace a lot of things in our lives,” he said.
“The technology of today is not very effective at the scale that we need it to be.”
The biggest challenge for the global health community is understanding how to use technology to solve the global challenges of climate change, pandemic preparedness and food security, according Bamberg.
“There are all these different models and approaches,” he explained.
“It’s all a matter of how we use it to help our society.”
We’ve seen what happens when we think we’re not going out to solve problems, we’re going out and trying to solve these problems.
We’ve had a lot more success with using social networks, social media, so we can talk to each other, talk to the public and to the government, and the public is willing to listen to us.
“But what we have to do is figure out what the most effective tools are, and what are the best things to do with those tools, and that’s really where we need to get into it.”
He said we must rethink how we talk to one another.
“We have to understand the value of what people have, what people value, and how we can give people that value,” he added.
“So we have a challenge in the science, in the medicine, in agriculture, and in the health care, because we’re all just human, and we have our own biases, and our own desires, and emotions, and so on.”
“There’s a whole bunch of social issues that need to be addressed, and then the question is how do you use technology in order to get the most out of the technology?” he added, suggesting a focus on health as the next frontier.
Bamberg said we need a new focus on “social engineering” and the development of new technology to change our thinking.
“If we can get people to think that we are all connected in the same way that we’re connected in society, we can be the masters of our own destiny,” he warned.
“It’s the way that society should be.
We should be our own masters.
We are the masters.”
The World Health Organisation has released a report called ‘Creating a Better World: An Agenda for a World of Better Health’, in which the organisation recommends that the global community be more focused on creating a better world rather than simply managing the current challenges.
“I’m not saying that we should stop using technology,” Bambergar said.
“In fact, I think it’s probably more important than ever that we learn to use the technology that we have,” he concluded.
“What I’m saying is that there are some big challenges we face in terms of technology, and some big solutions that we can bring to bear on those problems.”
“Technology is going to be the new war.”