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the level of prosperity of a given society and the development of mathematics and scientific knowledge

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Do you think that the level of prosperity of a given society influences the development of mathematics and scientific knowledge in that society? Give examples of how these issues might be connected. Do you think that the prosperity we enjoy in the developed world endows us with a responsibility to share our knowledge with the undeveloped nations in the world?

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This is an interesting question, and one must ask several additional questions to come up with an appropriate way of framing an answer. Listed below are some guiding questions for you to consider, as well as some additional sources to consult.

1. When did mathematics develop? (hint, which early societies?) Were these societies composed of a large leisure class and/or a great deal of prosperity?

2. Think of some of the Ancient Civilizations and their contributions to science and math - e.g. the Mayan Calendar, Phoenician and Egyptian navigation, architectural theory, etc. - what societal reasons influenced the development of math and science in those years?

3. Typically, what drives a society to increase thought, writing, and actual applications in math and science? (Hint: why was it necessary to accurately track latitude and longitude, for instance?)

4. What types of cultural, political, and social issues prevented math and science from taking a forefront during the Middle Ages?

5. Why, do you think, science and math progressed dramatically in the Islamic area during the timeframe of the Middle Ages and Renaissance in Europe?

6. How are math, science, and philosophy tied together and what leads great thinkers into further exploration of the sciences (e.g. Locke, Hobbes, Copernicus, Leibnitz, etc.)

(See response below)

7. What effect does a larger leisure class have on scientific development?

8. How does economic prosperity encourages further scientific research - what motivates the non-scientist?

9. What is globalism and how will it potentially affect cultural AND academic development?

10. If underdeveloped countries are to move forward with becoming part of the global community, is education and sharing of knowledge vital to ensure mistakes of the past are not ...

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the level of prosperity of a given society influences the development of mathematics and scientific knowledge

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