Working in the aircraft industry I learned a lot about planes that move in three dimensions and undergo a wide range of stresses. It was essential to consider many things that differ from static structures on the ground. There were challenges like simplifying design, eliminating conspicuous waste, and obtaining the greatest performance with a minimum expenditure of energy.
Another factor encouraging my positive attitude about problem solving was World War II when the U.S. spent billions of dollars for weapons of mass destruction in the Manhattan Project. Cost was no object and it was one of the largest and best-financed projects undertaken to that date. I realized the same energies that went into the Manhattan Project could be channeled to improve and update our way of life, and to achieve and maintain the optimal symbiotic relationship between nature and humankind. If we are willing to spend that amount of money, resources, and human lives in times of war, we must ask why we don’t commit equal resources to improving the lives of everyone and anticipating humane needs for the future in times of peace.
When scientists were called upon to solve problems of a military nature, the answers were immediately forthcoming. This demonstrated to me the ability of science and technology to solve problems when properly organized and funded, but it is shameful that these methods are not applied to solving social problems on a global scale.
It is also shameful when billions are spent on space projects for terra-forming uninhabited planets to make them habitable while our own planet is neglected, and the land, sea, and air are polluted.
In my work I am not attempting to predict the future. I am only pointing out what is possible with the intelligent application and humane use of science and technology. This does not call for scientists to manage society. What I suggest is applying the methods of science to the social system for the benefit of human kind and the environment.