Science and Technology

Problems

There are many problems today with our understanding and expectations of science and its offspring, technology:

What is science and what is it all about?

The goal of science is to expand knowledge while the goal of technology is to apply that knowledge:

We will talk more about technology later, but let's focus on science right now. Science focuses more on the first four of the five components listed above and technology on the last one, but both have aspects of and rely on all of them.

Science is a Process

People often think that science is using the scientific method. They are right in that science is a process of doing something, but wrong in focusing on a single method or thought process.


INSERT DIAGRAM HERE

This diagram shows how understanding is the basis for discovery:

The key thing about doing the experiment is that you are hoping to make a discovery. That is, come up with something that was new or different than what you expected. Of course, when you design the experiment, you are attempting to address and answer specific questions. This means that you have some idea about what the answer will be. But real discoveries in science almost always result from seeing something that was not expected, something different that changes our thinking and understanding.

The synergism between understanding and discovery works both ways.

These are the kinds of questions that must be answered before any discovery results in a true extension of our understanding.

Technology: Not Just a Step-child of Science

Technology results from the process of doing science through application of knowledge.

To recap, then, it is important to understand what science is about: expanding knowledge through asking questions. That process encompasses understanding and discovery that can lead to technological applications.