Scientific Knowledge & Technological Advances
|Main Idea: This
chapter demonstrates that technology is
not merely "applied science" and that the relationship between
technology and science is extremely complex.
- There has generally been an inverse relationship between science
and technology: when science has flourished, technology has not.
- Although our time is unique in that both science and
technology are flourishing at the same time, most research
demonstrates that scientific research is not directly
responsible for technological advances. We must therefore conclude
that there is not a direct, linear relationship between science and
technology. A very small percentage of major technological
advances can be directly linked to a scientific discovery or to
scientific research in general.
- The complexity of the relationship between science and technology
is based on the fact that they have different purposes and ask
different questions. Science asks "Is it true?" while
technology asks "Will it work?" The purpose of science is
the discovery of knowledge for the sake of knowledge while the
purpose of technology is to develop and employ knowledge to get
- While the common belief is that science encourages
technological advances, it is usually the case that technological
advances encourage scientific discoveries. There is often a
"back and forth" movement in which technology encourages
scientific discovery which in turn leads to new technological
- Technological development also aids in scientific discoveries
through the development of new instruments such as MRI, Hubble, etc.
In an indirect way technology has encouraged scientific discovery
by lending science a sense of practicality (and thus money through
- Although science and technology operate in different realms they
have several elements in common including:
- Reliance on rational thought process
- Use of math as analytical tool
- Sense of optimism and progress
- Science and technology depend upon individuals and organizations
that operate in both realms at the same time in order to translate
science into technology.
|Explain what is meant by the statement that there is an
inverse relationship between scientific and technological advance.
How do the purposes and goals of science and technology differ?
Give an example of how technological innovation may lead to