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Part 1: Towards the 21st Century
Chapter 3: The Relationship Between Science and Technology and Society in the 21st Century
Section 1: Role Played by Science and Technology in Society
1. Science and Technology Expected for the 21st Century

Some of the expectations of science and technology called for in the 21st century are listed below.

The concrete direction of science and technology which should be tackled at the beginning of the 21st century will be shown in the new Science and Technology Basic Plan which is currently being reviewed.

{1} The Recycle-oriented Society

In the 21st century, human society will be forced to advance to a recycling-oriented society which loads little on the environment aiming at energy saving, resource saving and recycling.

Some steps which must be taken to achieve this goal are outlined below:

{2} Advanced Telecommunications Society

Advanced telecommunications society achieves teleworking, distance medical care, and electronic commerce, thereby brings about major reforms in social and economic activities, while saving resources such as time, space and energy.

Advances in computer science such as simulation technology and high-speed calculation technology have made it possible to understand and forecast complex phenomena such as climate change, and such technology is being called for from the perspective of providing an appropriate answers to the needs of mankind.

{3} Life Sciences

There are still unsolved problems, such as cures for incurable diseases, and in particular there is a need to establish preventative and treatment methods for cancer and AIDS.

The Human Genome Project goes into the stage of clarifying the overall image, and there are expectations that great advances will be made in the 21st century with regard to the development of new pharmaceuticals, gene diagnosis and customized medical care.

Advances in gene recombination technology and cloning technology will make it possible to improve production in the agricultural sector, such as mass production of livestock with good qualities, and increased food production.

The results of life sciences have contributed greatly to these expectations.

{4} Basic Science

Since research results in basic science satisfy the intellectual curiosity and inquiring mind, and generate and bring into bloom unanticipated applications in society, it is desirable that they continue to be generated in the 21st century as an intellectual asset of all mankind.

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