It’s common to confuse the terms science and technology, but they’re not actually interchangeable. While science and technology are closely related, they aren’t one and the same thing, as people often believe them to be. This article will explain what the differences are between science and technology and how they interact with each other in real life.
The meaning of science
Science and technology are related, but they’re not quite the same thing. Science encompasses a broad scope of disciplines that attempt to understand how the natural world works. Technologies are inventions created because of scientific research, such as antibiotics or DNA sequencing technologies.
Nicholas C Nelson explains that the line separating science from technology can sometimes be blurred, but it’s typically easiest to think of science as discovering principles behind why things happen in nature, while technology is trying to harness those principles for practical use.
So, for example, engineers might come up with a new way to extract oil by leveraging modern techniques in physics and chemistry; scientists who figured out how these techniques work would be considered doing science. Likewise, medical researchers might find evidence that smoking cigarettes causes cancer—that’s science too!
The meaning of technology
Science has to do with making sense of natural phenomena, such as physics. Technology has to do with what we can make from science. It usually refers to things we buy that are created by people. It might be a new way of solving an old problem, or it might be a better way of doing something faster, or a more entertaining way of doing something– anything that’s new in the world. You could say science and technology work together like yin and yang: for every innovation there’s always an older solution it replaces, which was always inspired by something else before it.
So why the different meanings?
Science means something different than technology. Science deals with understanding how things work, while technology has to do with making or developing something based on this understanding. If you take a broad approach to both, science can be seen as more of a general term that encompasses technology but that’s not always how they are used in practice.
For example, many people think about science when considering phenomena like gravity or natural selection, but those examples of science have led to the development of many technologies from telephone poles to evolution-inspired malaria vaccines. In contrast, most people will use the word technology when talking about cell phones or computers which are considered by most people to be inventions rather than scientific discoveries.
So why do we have these two different meanings for science and technology?
Why does it matter if they are different or not?
Science vs. Technology What does it mean to be a scientist? A scientist studies natural systems with a desire to know the mechanisms behind them, as well as what changes will take place in them. Scientists traditionally have a research and study degree-level education, but it is not necessary for all sciences.
How does one become a technologist? A technologist applies knowledge of science and technology to solve problems or make an aspect of society more advanced or easier. Technologists often come from a degree in engineering or physical sciences with some additional training in technology-related fields.
Both Science and Technology are related, with Technology being based on sciences. However, Science is an area of study that includes exploring questions about life, nature, society, and our world. These include science-related things such as natural sciences (e.g., chemistry), social sciences (e.g., economics) and hard sciences (e.g., physics).
On the other hand, Technology has been defined as the application of scientific knowledge for practical purposes. The distinction can be made that when exploring the problem in science you might use a hypothetical situation whereas in technology you would apply a solution to a problem or use knowledge to design a product.