Terms science and technology have been closely connected for decades, and are even used as synonyms sometimes. Although they have similarities, there are also some traits that allow laymen and professionals alike to distinguish the two, which is what we intend to delve in. For starters, you need to know that for quite a while, technology was known as a branch of science known as applied science. Over time, it started to grow into its own thing. Let’s get into it, here are the answers to your question – what is the difference between science and technology?
What is science?
There are many accepted definitions of science. One of them states that science is a methodical way to gain knowledge on a certain subject, through experiments and observation. Furthermore, it is most commonly split into two types. The first type of science is a natural science, which observes natural phenomena and seeks to explain it. The second type is social sciences, which deals with gaining knowledge by observing society and human behavior.
What is technology?
The reason technology was known as an applied science is simple. Technology is science put into practice with a specific goal. An extended definition can be that technology uses scientific findings to create techniques, processes, designs, and products that have a practical use, personally or commercially. The main goal of technology is to make our lives easier by solving problems and fulfilling needs.
Origin of the words
The word science comes from Old French. Furthermore, it is derived from the word scientia, which translates to knowledge in Latin. Going a step back, scientia is derived from scio, meaning I know in Latin. Starting with the Middle Ages, the word science defined any recorded systematic knowledge. In the modern world, the word science exists in French, Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese.
Technology has its root from the Greek word τεχνολογία or technologia. That word is further comprised of two Greek words, τέχνη (techne) meaning craft, and λογία (logia) meaning saying.
What are the differences between technology and science?
The shortest answer – science focused on knowing, while technology focuses on doing. The two are intricately intertwined, although technology depends on science more. Here are a few more key differences that help us distinguish whether something is science or technology.
- Science is the pursuit of knowledge for the sake of learning, explaining, or proving. Technology is focused on using science to find a use for something, or meet a need.
- Science focuses on observing, analyzing, deducting, theorizing, experimenting, and using logic. The focus of technology is on analysis, improvement, synthesis, and production.
- The laws of science never change, although new additions are made as knowledge increases. On the other hand, technology changes at a rapid pace. Old technology is either discarded completely or improved upon.
- Science focuses on the discovery. That means something existed but was not perceived, explored, or found. The technology focuses on inventions. That means using ideas and knowledge to plan, design, and create something that has never existed.
- Science is based on the question about the natural world. Technology deals with the problems of human adaptations to the environment.
- The goal of science is the ability to predict an outcome. This is done by making correct conclusions based on observed accurate data and theories based on facts. The goal of technology is to use those predictions to simplify and improve human life or meet the needs of humans. It uses incomplete or unconfirmed data, hypotheses, models, and prototypes to make decisions.
- Science is always useful. Technology is useful, but can also be harmful or even lethal to the entire society.
Benefits of science
What is required to work in science?
To excel in science, you need dedication, a certain level of intelligence, and logical, deduction, and experimental skills. You also need to be able to work in small and large teams and brush up on your communicational skills.
Advancements in science
Let’s not forget electricity, penicillin, painkillers and anesthetics, vaccines, and going to space from the past. We would also point out discovering the molecular structure of DNA as one of the most important scientific discoveries. It updated our knowledge about biology, genetics, and allowed us to more precisely predict our ancestry and try and discover our origins. And the more people voluntarily partake, the more the knowledge base is expanded.
Another great thing is RNA-sequencing, which can sequence a part of cells in various physiological conditions. This can identify molecular markers and can predict, help treat, and possibly cure incurable or terminal diseases.
Benefits of technology
What is required to work with technology?
Based on a technological field, you need some of the following skills in order to excel: testing, planning, design, construction, quality assurance, decision making, and problem-solving. Additionally, in most cases, a high level of communication and interpersonal skills are required to bring technology to fruition.
When it comes to technological advancements, they’re all obviously based on the latest scientific research and conclusion. Some of the things we expect technology will make possible are space travel, autonomous vehicles, and even computers becoming smarter than us, humans. This is also tied in with things such as a machine-brain interface. This will allow people without limbs to control their prostheses with just a thought and a flex of a muscle.
Going back to DNA, it is likely that we’ll master genetic engineering and genome editing. Technology can help us produce microorganisms and drugs for diseases that plague the world, such as malaria. Additionally, it is highly likely that we’ll be able to revive extinct animals whose DNA was frozen and preserved, such as mammoths. And who knows, maybe fusion reactors become a thing in the next decade or two – scientists are working hard on that one!
Although different, it is evident that technology and science go hand in hand, and depend on each other. Both technological inventions and scientific discoveries have changed the world as we know it and will continue to do so. Splitting them is almost impossible – after all, an invention can be helpful or key to discovering things that went unobserved. Likewise, a discovery or a combination of two or more discoveries can lead to an invention.