Scientific Knowledge and Technological Advance
This chapter discusses the connection between science and technology. The chapter starts out discussing a common belief that technology is applied science. I agree with this statement. I believe that things are invented, but someone has to apply those things to something to make them work. The basic example I used in a previous chapter was the light bulb and Thomas Edison. Thomas Edison had to design (or create) the whole package in order to make it work. He couldn’t just create a light bulb.
He had to put the ‘science’ to it in order for it to become light. I think Science and Technology have to go hand in hand to make improvements in the things we have today. The book talks about how science and technology are different in their basic natures. The book states “This makes the translation of scientific knowledge into technological application a difficult and complex process. ” I had to read this sentence several times to actually comprehend it.
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Yes, transitioning knowledge into application can be complex, but that is where the Edison’s of the world come in to play. Not everyone will be an inventor and will have the insight and intelligence to take knowledge and put it in to an application, but there are a lot of people who will be able to do this. I often listen to my seven year old say he wants to be a scientist when he grows up because he wants to take one thing and make it into something else. This is really what that sentence comes down to.
Take a light bulb and turn it in to light. Take a pile of play dough and turn it in to a play house. That is combining the knowledge with the intuition to make it something else. When you look at our military, if we do not stay ahead of the game in technology, we will not survive. The book talked about the lasers that were invented during the World War II to detect enemy ships and aircraft. The laser became the start of a technology which was used in the scanners at the grocery store and in surgeries to rejoin detached retinas.
Our scientists took what they knew and built on it to use it for other applications. The book states that science and technology have a lot in common, but operate in different worlds. I don’t agree with this. I believe they go hand and hand and feed off of each other. I think both are needed in order for us to be successful. Volti talks about how Edison didn’t understand what was producing the flow of electrical current through thin air. Without combining science and technology together, we may not have lights today.