How Are Science and Technology Related?

Let me share a little secret with you. When I was a kid, I used to believe science and technology were essentially the same things!

However, I don’t blame my 11-year-old self as the relationship between science and technology is so intimate that whenever someone talks about science, the topic of technology just comes inevitably. But how are science and technology related to each other?

Everything is a product of the excellent fusion of scientific knowledge and technological devices, from your smartphone to the artificial satellites in space. Let’s take a moment and discover how science and technology are two sides of a coin to fully appreciate how important science and technology are in our lives.

What Is Science?

The term science can be simply described as a method of understanding the natural world around us through a systematic process. The scientific method’s objective is to eventually find the ‘truth’ about natural phenomena and create a knowledge base to solve problems and develop human skills and new technological possibilities.

A scientist performs in-depth scientific research for collecting data and building a theory on a particular natural world incidence. The scientific method then requires experimenting on the theory and proving it as a ‘fact.’

This way, scientific questions like ‘why cancer cells grow in our body’ or ‘how can we reach the moon’ can be answered accurately.

What Is Technology?

Technology is the systemic approach of using scientific discovery to create products and machinery for practical uses. Technology sums up the tools, systems, and techniques needed to make our everyday life easier.

An engineer uses scientific knowledge as a direct source to create devices and formulate more efficient strategies to boost medical, social, and industrial practices. While science answers the questions about reaching the moon, technology has made it possible to land humans on the moon’s surface physically.

How Are Science and Technology Different?

The relation between science and technology is undoubtedly very close. But they are two different things, and it’s essential to differentiate science from technology accurately. Here are four fundamental ways in which the two terms can be distinguished.

Objective

The objective of science is to explain how the world works. On the other hand, the goal of technology is to use science for designing and creating objects that meet our everyday needs.

Method

The scientific method refers to the process of making observations, raising a question, forming a hypothesis about why something occurs, and conducting experiments to assess the predictions. If the experiments don’t prove the hypothesis, you must repeat the same process following the same steps.

As for technology, there is no place for hypotheses or unproven theories. Designers and engineers rely on scientifically proven facts to create a tool. They have to make sure the newly engineered tool works perfectly before making them public.

End Results

The result of a scientific method is the publication of the established law explaining a natural phenomenon that no one knew earlier. This law or theory can be later used for technological inventions.

The result of a technological process is an object that serves for the advancement of human life. A simple pen and a space station are both the end products of the technological process.

Impact

The key difference between science and technology lies in their respective impacts. As the motive of science is to find ‘truth,’ the social and environmental impacts of science are always positive.

In contrast, the impacts of technology can both be positive and negative depending on how we use them. The wider social impacts of technology have turned out to be more malicious in the 21st century. Moreover, technology-based industries have a deeply negative impact on our environment.

From the very definition, you can easily make up the relationship between science and technology. Here’s an in-depth discussion on how intricately science, technology, and our lives are connected.

How Science Contributes To Technology

As we mentioned earlier, science is the direct source of technology. The resources needed for branches like chemical and medical technology, nuclear technology, biotechnology come from scientific analytical methods. Let’s explore how science contributes as a fertile source for the development of new technologies.

As A Source Of Medical Technology

When it comes to the medical sector, scientific knowledge and technology are highly interdependent. Scientists have created a huge knowledge base that directly leads to the innovation of new technologies.

For example, the scientific discovery of X-Ray and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, a.k.a. NMR, has assisted in creating devices like medical scanners. These machines provide a clear image of the patient’s body which easily solves diagnosing tumor cells.

Scientists have developed more efficient strategies for applied research on biomedical and chemical analysis to find cures for fatal diseases eventually.

Talking of fatal diseases, did you know researchers of Harvard have shown that we will probably be able to develop cancer vaccines? The invention of immunotherapy has set its way to change the medical world forever.

Scientists have found the answers to difficult scientific questions like how to alter human DNA. Using this knowledge base, technology has been used to find ways of producing engineered T-cells.

We are slowly transitioning into a new curable world rapidly, and this goes beyond saying that science, technology, and medical researchers hold equal importance in this development of our medical sectors.

As The Source Of Techniques And Devices For Engineering Design

Engineering design technology is one branch where you might think the contribution of science isn’t much needed. I mean, where is the connection between the study of natural phenomena and machine designing, right?

You’ll be amazed to discover how the whole designing process is becoming more and more reliant on science.

As we all know, testing and evaluating a complex prototype requires a sky-high budget. Engineers have shifted to a theoretical approach for more efficient engineering design. Instead of complete empirical testing of a large system, they opted for hypothetical prediction, designing, and simulation.

As the engineers had to apply science to establish techniques and design tools, phenomenological understanding, systematic process, and scientific methodology have become increasingly important.

On top of that, the comparative evaluation of various designs and technical knowledge of designing is recognized as engineering science.

In short, under the label of ‘engineering design technology, the primary knowledge and motivation is nothing but pure science.

The Founding Source Of Farming Technology

Let’s go back to the 18th century. This was when we humans learned to apply science for farming and discovered a deeper connection between science and technology.

Scientific techniques like Norfolk’s four-course crop rotation and two-field crop rotation boosted an agricultural revolution by aiding humans to grow crops rapidly and stock livelihood. This had wider social and environmental impacts, which eventually led to the industrial revolution in Britain.

Industrial practices became increasingly important, and humans improved their technical capabilities eventually. By applying the laws of thermodynamics, the first steam engine was engineered.

From the invention of the steam engine to the development of Agrotechnology, we have come a long way. With the sheer knowledge of science, genetically engineered crop variations have been developed for better crop yields throughout the year. There is also now new and updated farming equipment from companies like https://www.costex.com/, as well as others, that can be applied to farming techniques that can provide the best outcomes for these seasons.

Soilless farming techniques, synthetic fertilizers, agricultural plastics, improved drip irrigation, etc., are more modern farming technologies developed through scientific research.

As A Source of Laboratory Techniques and Research Instrumentation

Often many scientific research and experiments are left incomplete due to unavailable instrumentation or lack of validity. Technology paves the way for the valid parts of these researches to be used in human welfare.

Laboratory techniques and analytical instruments are used in the systematic research of complex subjects like Physics.

Technology is used to incorporate these techniques and instruments into various industrial processes directly or through other intermediate disciplines. This way, science is distributed for the betterment of the general people by using technology.

One excellent example of this practice is the development of superconducting magnets. They were originally produced for cloud chamber observation, an experiment of particle physics.

Later, they were industrialized for medical purposes leading to the mass production of MRI machines. Industrial cryogens, ion implantation, scanning electron microscope, etc., are some fantastic outcomes of this collaboration of science, technology, and industry.

With The Scientific Method and Technology in Developing Human Skills

Students who have a handful of experience performing applied research tend to develop new human skills and abilities useful for creating new technologies. This is another implication that scientific branches have at least equal importance in the field of technology.

The techniques needed for collecting data and successful scientific researches are very advantageous in technological development.

This is the reason behind the development of new human skills among research students. A study was conducted on 650 industrial research executives from 130 industries to find the relevance of scientific practices to technology.

Their skill base and research results judged participants. The researchers found out that the skill base was strikingly higher than their research results. Physics was rated high by 44 industries. The study clearly shows how scientific methods improve a skillful generation and head to technological development.

How Does Technology Contribute to Science?

Since the 19th century, the unprecedented development in the field of technology has stunned us all. At present, many technological branches like mechanical technology have expanded independently and don’t really require deep knowledge of science.

Instead, technology has a converse impact and helps answer scientific questions in a more efficient and timely manner. Here are some contributions of technology to science.

Allows The Pursuit Of Scientific Knowledge

As science and technology are highly interdependent, technology has been proved to be a potential source of scientific knowledge. The complications in an industrial process are usually picked to be solved by technology. These problems can later turn out to be a creative source of novel scientific questions.

In 1965, a group from Bell Laboratories discovered something exceptional while conducting a technology-motivated experiment. They discovered microwave background radiation, which assisted in establishing the big bang theory.

Tunneling in semiconductors is another example of a technology-motivated scientific invention.

Improvement of technology also attracts investors into research sectors by showing the practical implications. This way, technology has worked to better computer science, nuclear science, and medical science.

Is Used In Research Instrumentation And Measurement Techniques

Technology has made it possible to measure natural events which were formerly not applicable to researches. One impressive example is space technology which has made it possible to measure a broader span of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Cosmological observations were limited before as the atmosphere suffered from a lack of transparency to X-rays, Gamma rays, and ultraviolet rays.

This eventually led to revolutionary change in astrophysics and cosmology. Technology has also been a rich source of otherwise unavailable instrumentation and paved the way for data collection and mass production.

As A Part Of The Development Of Social Science

By using the basics of science, technology has taken social platforms to a whole new level. The world has become such a small place that we can communicate with anyone anytime using technological devices. As we connect with more people, our thoughts, memories, and dreams are more exposed to the world.

Social Science is the study of the non-physical characteristics of humans. The development of communication technology has made it thousand times easier to collect and evaluate the source material of social science.

Psychology and Anthropology are two branches of social science that have been mostly benefitted from communication technology.

How are science and technology related to each other? Hopefully, now you have learned!

The wonderful relationship between science and technology is nothing but a blessing for us humans. Let the era of science and technology flourish by using them productively and ethically to protect the world around us.