Importance of Science Merged with Politics
Importance of Science Merged with Politics
  • Reporter Chung Yu-sun
  • 승인 2014.04.09 15:22
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In Korea, there is a saying that the field of natural sciences and engineering is at a crisis, whether it is about the lack of applicants for the field, its educational system, or its policies regarding it. The Postech Times interviewed Professor Sang Joon Park (HSS), member of the Crossroads Editorial Board at the Asia Pacific Center for Theoretical Physics, on the lack of science & technology board members making policies regarding the specific field.                            <Editor? Comment>


In order for scientists to research, they need funding. To gain support, scientists need to publish theses. As the cycle continues, in the long term, scientists lack the capability to perform experiments that may be risky, yet critical. Thus, there needs to be a policy that allows scientists to research in the long term, even though there may be no immediate results. For such possibilities to be considered, there must be someone who understands how the science world works in the position of judging policies. In Korea, however, the situation is not so favorable.
The ratio of CEOs who majored in science has increased. For top 10 industries, 47.1% are from the field of science and tech., and for top 30 industries, 47.8%. Comparatively, in politics, there is a lack of science and tech. leaders. In the 18th National Assembly, only 4.3% were from science schools. In the 19th National Assembly, the percentage increased to 8.0%, but it still could not exceed 10%. Moreover, there are only 26% high ranked government officials 4th ranked or higher, who majored in science & tech. One of the most crucial problems is that in the four government departments (Ministry of Education, Trade, Inudstry & Energy Committee, Defense Acquisition Program Administration, Small and Medium Business Administration) that controls 80% of the nation? Research and Development (R&D) fund, only 15.4% majored in science & tech.
In order for engineering and science graduates to be in the position of making decisions regarding the specific field of study, there are certain characteristics that they should have. Instead of only being interested only in the field of science and tech., they need to also be aware of the news in society. In Korea, the education system is divided into two specific categories: science & tech., and humanities & social sciences. For students to be able to become well rounded, they need to be in an environment that is open to both science & tech. and humanities courses. In society, there is no distinguishing barrier between the two fields. Therefore, the barrier that exists in the education system needs to be eliminated.
Individually, the primary characteristic students can develop is leadership that places importance on relationships, cooperation, and communication. Another characteristic that is needed is to have lots of knowledge from different fields. For example, it helps to learn history and be able to read the trend of what society needs.
It should be noted that it is not only graduates from science and tech. schools who need to be aware of other fields of study. For the development of the nation, humanities major students also need to be somewhat aware of how things work in the world of science.