The differences between science and technology can be confusing, even for students who are studying STEM subjects. Both science and technology have a few similarities. They are both connected with facts regarding the nature of our environment. They are both concerned with conducting research and experimentation to justify a hypothesis.
Within both science and technology, students and practitioners are required to test materials and manipulate matter to achieve desired results. However, there are a few essential differences between science and technology that you need to be aware of.
For students deciding on which career path to pursue, the awareness of the difference between science and technology is indispensable. Even for laymen who are generally curious about the world, knowing the difference between science and technology can put a lot of things into perspective.
So, take a look at a few of the primary differences between the two fields.
Science is concerned with knowledge. Science seeks to understand the physical world and nature. Technology is concerned with solving problems. Technology is the application of knowledge to design a product or a process that helps make a real-world problem easier. The branch of study that is concerned with producing technology is called engineering.
Science and Technology have different purposes. While scientists try to understand the physical world and explain how things work, engineers try to apply the knowledge generated in the world to solve physical problems to make life better for humans or animals.
Technology is only successful if it can solve problems that are faced by humankind. However, a scientific theory is considered to be successful if it provides the best-known explanation for a real-world phenomenon. Scientists are more concerned with discovery whereas engineers are more concerned with invention.
The method that is used in science is different from the method used in technology. Scientists use the scientific method to solve problems. The scientific method consists of experimentation, observation, and conclusion.
Engineers rely on the engineering design process. They define the existence of a problem. Once they identify a problem, they can identify the criteria and constraints, come up with ideas on how to solve it, create technology, and then improve upon the design of the technology.
For scientists, the end-goal is to generate knowledge. Hence, they rely on their methods and means such as experimentation and observation to further our understanding of the universe. The final result in science is usually a book or a research paper.
Engineers rely on existing knowledge to solve a problem by creating a technology.
For example, the lightbulb is technology that has been made using the existing knowledge of electricity and thermodynamics.
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