Johnson uses a few examples in The Invention of Air about how technologies such as air pumps and electrical machines should be feared by governments for their magnitude of power and whose hands they are in. With the invention of the air pump came entire new realms of science and technology that could be experimented with such as the field of pneumatic Chemistry. The government should fear air pumps and electrical machines because the scientists and engineers who create them have the power to shape the world and especially the future. As Johnson says, science and technology, politics and religion are not secular in their progression; science reigns more and more powerful as it is responsible for creating the world around us. Another example from Johnson is the shift from the Colonies losing the Revolutionary war to receiving more gunpowder and gaining strength in order to win; Johnson writes, “That tremendous influx of stored energy changed the balance of power” (Johnson 143). In this example, physical technological power reigns over one of the most established political powers of that time.
The first thing that comes to mind when discussing social and political implications regarding science and technology, I think to research like CRISPR technology and “designer babies”. These technologies reach far into the realms of politics and religion because of their power to shape upcoming generations and future social dynamics. The use of these technologies would undoubtedly create a further divide between those that could afford to take advantage of it and those who could not.