Last month, I could watch at the TV News the comment of a visionary about the future of the society. He thought that technology will drive our lives and technologists will be the future governors of the world.
This point is shared by a lot of movie script writers. The governments of a group of scientists and the insanity of world dominating scientist are common plots in many fiction movies.
This vision has been shared by important philosophers. Bertrand Russell in his book “The Scientific Outlook” advanced a Scientific Government, but it is important to point out that Russell defined a government as Scientific from its capability to transform its vision in reality, and this do not imply that there must be a lot of scientists in the Government.
I am a technologist and I have met a lot of scientists. Sincerely, I thought that scientists are common people; they like to have a drink and have a talk with a woman (or man). They are very far from the mad scientist profile.
I suppose that it is funnier (and politically correct) a disguise of mad scientist than a disguise of totalitarian politician in Halloween, but I do not know if a scientist in the government can be more frightening than a script writer in the government.
Going back to the initial discussion, I do not share the future vision of a world in the hands of the scientist or technologist. I have two main thoughts about it:
First of all, scientific people have the contrary profile to a governing leader. Ramon y Cajal, a Spanish Nobel award Scientist, wrote a good description of the scientific profile: tireless worker, methodological and focused in his researching task. Do you think that this profile can win an election process? I think that communication capabilities, management of difficult situations, and capabilities to agree with other thoughts would be more valued by the electors. A scientist could have these capabilities as any other people, but not as scientist.
The second argument is based on History. It is true that a more evolved society relies on better technology. Technology can change the distribution of political authority in the world. An example can be the change from Bronze Age to Iron Age. A society with iron weapons is superior to a people with bronze weapons but the government continued in military hands. Power of technology depends on the technology use, not on the technology itself. A blacksmith can make a better sword but a good lonely sword is not an advantage against a big army.
I am convinced that a lot of scientists would be excellent leaders, but I am afraid that the world will continue in the hands of not scientific politicians in the future.