Science and technology are often thought of as opposing terms. However, they are inseparable. Science attempts to answer questions through scientific research and observation. It seeks to describe a particular phenomenon by using measurable data. The objective of technology is basically to discover solutions to practical, societal problems, while also improving the society as a whole.
Science attempts to overcome or explain a range of natural phenomena. The focus is on the observed and the results obtained rather than on the cause. This methodology can be considered to be more theoretical than physical since it is concerned with how things operate at a fundamental level above the natural. For instance, while observing the existence and effects of light on solar systems, scientists have discovered the existence of general relativity. In this case, the primary goal is to explore the relationship between science and technology.
There are two schools of thought in science and technology. One school of thought is called the philosophy of science. This school of thought is grounded in the reality that science is a scientific discipline dedicated to understanding nature. Philosophy of science fundamentally believes that all of the observations and calculations that we make can be effectively understood by applying the theories of science to natural phenomena. As such, a significant amount of scientific knowledge is deductive in nature. In fact, a great deal of the scientific knowledge to which we attribute the results of particular studies, discoveries, experiments, and accomplishments, are nothing more than a series of deductive principles.
On the other hand, the scientific community who examine new technologies and their effect on the natural world typically fall into the second camp. The belief is that while science may attempt to describe specific phenomena through the use of measurements and observations, its purpose is not to claim validity for any given theory. Rather, these researchers assert that science should instead strive to provide tools and techniques that allow people to more accurately understand the natural world around them. For this reason, a great deal of modern scientific knowledge is empirical in nature, having as it does a direct impact upon the patterns of behavior exhibited by living things.
The differences between philosophy of science and the school of technology are not purely academic. In fact, they play out every day in the way that people learn and teach about science. In order to develop a meaningful scientific literacy, people must possess a fundamental understanding of both science and technology. Some students are very well-versed in both philosophies, while others barely understand one or the other. For individuals with such a duality in their knowledge base, teaching methods can serve as an effective bridge between the two.
Educators who work with science technology have a responsibility to present both science and technology in a clear and accessible manner. The first step is for teachers to ensure that their classes are appropriately attuned to the various forms of science that they teach. For instance, it would be a terrible idea for an introductory science class to begin discussing dinosaurs with a cursory reference to the fossil record. On the other hand, an introductory physics class could easily take the previous lesson and explain that solid matter cannot simply be divided up into thin layers. Regardless of whether a teacher chooses to emphasize the physical science of science and technology, or the philosophical underpinnings of this subject, there are a number of guidelines that can be followed to ensure that content is presented in a way that everyone can appreciate.
Many disciplines within science rely on scientific research in order to advance their understanding. Because science and technology are rooted in a scientific method, there is a logical progression from theories developed through scientific research to new discoveries and inventions which can then be applied to the real world. In this way, it is a basic principle of how science actually works. From the earliest days of the planet earth, people have used science to solve problems and to find out the truth about how the world works.
Because science and technology often play such a large role in the society we live in, there are also many who argue that it has taken over the lives of too many people and has rendered irrelevant the concepts of normal human life and living in a society. Without the basic principles of science, it would be difficult for scientists to even formulate theories about space travel, let alone create new technologies such as the space telescope. The argument goes on to argue that without the concepts of gravity, electronic pulses, light, and other elemental forces that make up a living planet, there would be no reason to even attempt to build space ships. To those who subscribe to this view, it would seem that all of the current technological advances and discoveries are merely man’s way of keeping up with the pace of the universe. However, proponents of the scientific view point out that it is these very forces of nature that are responsible for bringing new technology to the surface of the earth and for allowing humans to explore space in search of other planets in the universe.