Words that are frequently used together and which are relative in so many ways, both are two distinct and individual subjects. While science is the process of accumulating knowledge in a structured manner, the application of that knowledge to cater to practical needs is technology. Science helps in understanding how a man can survive in space, technology designs and builds the tools to meet those requirements and thus enabling man to survive in space. To put it simply, science helps understands the problems that we face, technology develops the tools to overcome those problems.
What is science?
Science is defined as a systematic procedure that develops and organises knowledge in the form of logical explanations and predictions about the world around us.
In ancient times, science was more closely connected with philosophy. Early scriptures and documents regarding the earth and its various elements were regarded more philosophical. Only later after experiments proved those theories and the education level amongst general people also increased, did those theories started to be accepted as scientific in nature. Only post the 17th century, rapid advances in science were made and various sub branches were introduced to the world.
Women in Science
Historically, science was a male dominated domain and women often faced discrimination, quite like what was happening in most male dominated occupations. They were often ignored for jobs and credit for their work was awarded to their male counterparts. It wasn’t until in the late 20th century, that women were recruited and gender based discrimination started its decline. Only after this period were women scientists recognized and their work and contribution appreciated.
Practical uses of science
All modern gadgets and appliances that we use today are a result of scientific explorations and explanations. Science has also helped in educating people about the nature’s laws and this has significantly reduced the number of people blindly believing in superstitions.
What is Technology?
Derived from the Greek words that mean “science of craft” and “skill of hand”, technology refers to the skills and methods used to produce goods that accomplish a certain objective.
Technology existed even in pre-historic times. The shaping of stones to be used as tools can be said to be the earliest form of technology. The use of fire and the invention of the wheel are also prime examples of discoveries that were then used to perform everyday tasks. The word “technology” only gained its true recognition post the second industrial revolution in the 20th century. Technology is also largely responsible for the way humans have evolved.
Timelines in technology
Advancement of technology can be judged by the developments and inventions made during different time’s in human history.
- Paleolithic Age: The invention of stone tools, learning to control fire and availability of shelter and clothing were the highlights of technology in this period.
- Neolithic Age to Classical Antiquity: The invention of metal tools, invention of the wheel, using wind energy for boats using sails and learning to channelise flowing water were the significant steps taken by technology in this period.
- Medieval to Modern Times: Transportation from horse drawn carts to ocean liners and aircrafts, usage of simple tools to advanced machinery. Everything that we use today has been developed and bettered in this period. Mass transportation like railways enable food and other commodities to be made available in places other than its place of origin. Large ships and ocean liners ensured the first steps towards globalisation were taken.
Rapid advancement in science helped technology to improve alongside as well.
Confluence of Science & Technology
The real confluence took place during and after the 20th century. In many ways, one helped the other and inter-dependency was the key to such rapid advancements worldwide. Identification of needs was soon backed with the creation of the instruments to meet those needs. As more and more people became more educated and aware, it bolstered the growth and development in science and technology as well because of the rapid growth of human requirements.
Science and technology also provided the impetus for rapid globalisation and the needs of globalisation helped develop science and technology worldwide as more platforms were available for scientists to share their thoughts and compliment each others efforts..
Science & Technology in the wrong hands
It is said that there is nothing more dangerous as scientists gone wrong. While scientific studies and technological developments were for the development of human society, a few individuals and groups with vested interests have misused and abused the gifts of science and technology. The guns and other weapons meant for soldiers to protect the people in the wrong hands of terrorists and other criminal classes lead to disastrous results.
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It is safe to say that without science and technology working in tandem, we would not have had half the luxuries that we enjoy today. So many devices designed and developed so that even with little or no training, anybody can use it for productive purposes. However, people should educate their children adequately so that they don’t venture out on the wrong path just because they have the means to do so.