In the contemporary world, it is common to refer to science and technology as almost synonymous, given that the relationship between the two is extremely close and that their combined effect has allowed us to modify the world at our whim, especially after the so-called Technological Revolution from the end of the 20th century.
The science, on its own, is an orderly system of skills and knowledge that uses the method of observation, experimentation and controlled reproduction to understand the laws that govern the surrounding reality. Although science dates back to ancient times, it began to name itself as such and to have a central place in the thought of humanity at the end of the European Middle Ages, when the religious and theological order, whose maximum expression was faith, gave way to the order of the rational and the doubt.
The technology, however, is a set of technical, ie procedures or protocols that allow obtaining a certain result from a set of assumptions and experiences. This technical knowledge is scientifically ordered in order to create and design objects, tools, and services that make life easier for man.
“Technology” is a recent term, which comes from the union of technique ( téchnë: art, procedure, trade) and know ( logía: study, know) since it arises from the scientific thinking of man, applied to the resolution of concrete problems or the satisfaction of specific desires.
Differences between science and technology
- They differ in their fundamental objective. Although both collaborate closely, science pursues the objective of enlarging or expanding man’s knowledge, without attending to the applications or the links of said knowledge with immediate reality or the problems that can be solved with it. Instead, all this is the direct objective of technology: how to use organized scientific knowledge to face concrete human needs.
- They differ in their fundamental question. While science wonders about the why of things, technology is more concerned with how. For example, if science asks why the sun shines and emits heat, technology is concerned with how we could take advantage of these properties.
- They differ in their level of autonomy. As disciplines, science is autonomous, pursues its own paths, and does not require technology in principle to continue its path. Technology, on the other hand, is dependent on science to obtain
- They differ in their age. Science as a method of observing the world is traceable to ancient times when under the name of Philosophy it offered humanity more or less objective explanations and reasoning about the character of the real. Technology, on the other hand, has its origin from the development of the techniques and scientific knowledge of man, being therefore subsequent to its appearance.
- They differ in their methodology. Science is normally handled on a lucubrative level, that is, theoretical, hypothetical, of analysis and deduction. Technology, on the other hand, is much more practical: it uses what is necessary in order to achieve specific objectives linked to the world of the factual.
- They differ in their academic organization. While the sciences are usually considered autonomous fields of knowledge, more or less applied to everyday life ( applied sciences ), the technologies are interdisciplinary and multiple approaches to the problems to be solved, so they use more than one scientific field for it. .
It should be clarified, once the differences between science and technology are understood, that both approaches tend to collaborate and feed each other, that is, that science serves to create new technology and this serves to better study the different fields of scientific interest.
For example, observing the stars gave us astronomy, which together with optics inspired the development of telescopes, which in turn allowed for a more complete study of astrological phenomena.