A review of a sci-fi novel uses a joke to help make the argument that sociological issues underlying scientific and technological issues:
There’s an old joke in science: Applied physics is called chemistry, applied chemistry is called biology, and applied biology is called sociology.
The purpose of the joke?
Each is more complex, vague, and unpredictable than the last. The problems Robinson lays out proceed neatly along that ladder of intricacy.
Scientific knowledge and technological breakthroughs may not matter much if social groups don’t know what to do with them or use them well to help benefit society.