Why Science and Technology Are Not One and the Same
Technology is one of those words that everyone knows but can never define. What exactly is technology? How is it different from human technologies? Unfortunately, technology has not always been easily defined. Just like all other theories, “what is technology?” remains a subject that defies easy definition.
The entire subject of technology is vast, but within the topic are three main theories: scientific theory, engineering theory, and technological theory. The first two overlap with each other. Science attempts to describe reality, and while this is true with technological systems as well, the two theories do not always overlap. Therefore, science cannot be considered a completely separate theory.
On the other hand, engineering strives to build technological systems that achieve the same end result as scientifically known methods. Therefore, when you learn engineering, you learn how to build scientific knowledge, whereas when you learn science you learn how to build technological knowledge. Therefore, engineering plays a crucial role in society as a whole, but it is not science. Both science and engineering are important for the purposes of society, but they are not one and the same.
Technology then is a set of learning practices that help people achieve their ends (scientific method). Scientific method is divided into three parts: observation, measurement, and experimentation. Observation refers to what a person does in order to learn scientific truth. Measurement refers to things like temperature or barometric pressure. Experimentation is when a person performs scientific experiments to test theories. The three parts of the scientific method are not exclusive to technology but can be applied to it as well.
Theories are used to describe how technological systems work. The more knowledge that is gained, the more likely a technological system will work. There are many different types of theories out there that are used in technology. Examples include technological systems, economic theory, power theory, information theory, and many more. A popular theory in technology is engineering knowledge, which is used to design new technologies.
The final part of the scientific method involves explanation, or how knowledge is made known. This part explains why certain things happen the way they do, where they occur, how things were designed to fit together, and why we need them to solve problems. The process of getting knowledge from observations, measurements, and experiments is called science. When a technology solves a problem or creates a new way to solve a problem, this is how the knowledge becomes known.