This is a rare publication authored by M.M.J.W. Herath and Dr. Rajiv Herath Meewakkala. The former who was a Director of the Commonwealth Secretariat, London, was fortunate enough to visit and gather from over 30 Commonwealth countries various aspects of their science and technology policies. The section on Development has been obtained from a PhD thesis on Privatization in Sri Lanka, submitted to the Honolulu University by Dr. Rajiv Herath Meewakkala, Marketing Director of Ceylon Tobacco Company.
We all know that science refers to both a process and product. The process involves the particular way in which scientists go about seeking knowledge and about what motivates them in this search. Ideally a scientist is motivated by curiosity, characterized by a longing to know and understand, a questioning of all things and search for data and relationships. Technology is different from science. It is not a body of theoretically related laws and principles. It consists instead of the practical knowledge of what can be done and how. Technology is characterized by techniques, devices, procedures, processes and materials. It is more a collection of practical information relevant to the task of getting something done. Technology is not a science.
What drives the scientist is the desire to understand. What drives the technologist is the desire to translate ideas and plans into working realities. Science and technology therefore spring from two different but equally important activities. One is the search for knowledge and understanding, the other is the application of knowledge to satisfy human needs.
Development should not be confused with ‘westernization”– it is a much more complex and painful process. Development must be geared to the satisfaction of needs. It must be endogenous and self-reliant and must be in harmony with the environment. The first attempt to set up industries in Sri Lanka under colonial rule was in 1916 where a royal commission was appointed to report on suitable industries to be set up. In 1977 the commanding heights of the economy was mainly in state hands and the country was embarking on import substitution industrialization. In August 1977, the new government planned strategies formulated within the context of a competitive market economy including the privatization of commercially oriented state enterprises. This volume on Science Technology and Development published by Godage Book Emporium-Maradana will undoubtedly be of immense value to all those interested in this subject area.
The reviewer is Chairman/Geological Survey & Mines Bureau