In the development of any civilization, science and technology are present. But do you know what the difference is between science and technology? Although we tend to confuse and treat them equally, the truth is that both the methodology and the objective pursued by both areas are different.

In the following one HOW TO article we talk about the differences and similarities between science and technology, as well as the close relationship they have between them. This article will not only help you to clarify both concepts but also to know how these two branches have changed our lives.

What are science and technology?

Science and technology are two fundamental instruments in the transformation and development of any society. To differentiate them, it is important to know the definition of both disciplines, their objectives, and the fields of action of each of these areas, since we tend to confuse them.

What is science

Science is in charge of rigorously studying all those natural, social, or artificial phenomena that happen in our day-to-day life, basing its analysis on observation, experimentation, and measurement.

Its main objective is to respond to the unknown, understand how the universe works, and clarify, explain and establish processes, rules, and systems. Science is a descriptive area because it aims to help improve our understanding, betting on theories that allow us to improve and increase our knowledge in any subject.

What is technology

Technology is a set of knowledge and techniques that, if applied with order and logic, allow us to modify our environment, either physically or virtually, to satisfy our needs. The purpose of technology is to generate useful and practical solutions to improve our day today.

Through technology, it is not intended to know the world, but to modify and adapt it to satisfy human needs. That is, its objective is not knowledge but application, therefore we consider that technology always serves “for” some specific thing: from any manufacture of objects to the cure of diseases, commercial or financial utility, or our communication, between many other areas of application.

How science and technology are related

Therefore, the main difference between science and technology is its objective: while science helps us to know the world, to describe it, and to improve our knowledge, technology has the objective of modifying it and adapting it to our needs. However, the relationship between both disciplines is close and intimate, so much so that we tend to confuse them.

But what is the relationship between science and technology? It’s simple: they both use each other’s progress to reach their goal. The technology uses the knowledge generated by science to improve its technique. For its part, science uses advanced technology to carry out more precise, concrete, and effective research.

In addition, on many occasions, scientific research itself is addressed in a specific direction or a specific field aimed at solving technological questions, as can happen with cell biology. On the other hand, other times new technologies appear after scientific advances, sometimes even unexpected, such as genetic engineering.

For all these reasons, the relationship between science and technology is such that, as we have mentioned, they tend to be confused to the point of using expressions such as ” applied science ” which is nothing more than an activity that mixes both activities and is halfway between the two. two disciplines.

Types and examples of science

Now that we know what the difference is between science and technology, we are going to look at different types and examples from both disciplines to help you differentiate them better. Let’s start with science. Since there is no single type of science, the discipline has been diversified into three types according to the ability to obtain knowledge:

Formal sciences

They are those that do not need concrete or tangible content. Through the analysis, ideal structures are observed that go beyond the power of intervention. This branch usually studies formal systems and its theories are validated based on propositions, axioms, definitions, and inference rules.

Some examples of formal science are mathematics, geometry, statistics, arithmetic, logic, or computer science.

Natural Sciences

It is about those sciences that try to analyze the world and what inhabits it, from a physical point of view. Its conclusions are acquired thanks to the objective method, but the instruments of experimentation or even the context are also present, which allows refuting some apparent truths of later times.

The natural sciences include physics, chemistry, biology, geology, astronomy, medicine, and other health sciences.

Social Sciences

They are those that deal with studying human activity, in particular social relations, putting the human being as a social subject at the center. These sciences do not pretend to achieve objective results, since, since it is the human who studies the subject, it is considered that there is always a certain subjectivity.

Among the social sciences are psychology, sociology, anthropology, law, economics, history, communication, politics, or geography.

Science examples

Now we are going to see examples to better understand the difference between science and technology. These are examples from science:

  1. Chemistry: science that concentrates on the organization, construction, and properties of an issue and the progressions it goes through despite synthetic responses.
  2. Astronomy: a study of the celestial bodies of the universe (stars, planets, satellites, comets, asteroids, interstellar matter, nebula).
  3. Political science: studies the theory and practice of politics, systems, and political behavior in society.
  4. Biology: science that studies the structure of living things and their vital processes. In this other article, we will tell you which are the main branches of biology.
  5. Social Science/Sociology: its goal is to examine human culture, its conduct, and aggregate peculiarities.
  6. Medicine: is the science focused on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases and health problems.
  7. Geometry: branch of mathematics that studies the properties of figures in-plane or space.
  8. Logic: science that studies the ways of thinking of the human being, allowing us to establish valid laws or principles to obtain criteria that bring us closer to the truth.
  9. Physics: science that studies energy, matter, time, and space.
  10. Psychology: studies and analyzes the mind of human beings and their behaviors.

Technology types and examples

Technology is the product of science. Through the innovation of techniques, procedures, instruments, or tools, seeks to improve our day-to-day life and satisfy our needs. For this, the application of scientific knowledge is essential to diversify technologies, according to their purposes. Thus we can distinguish technology according to the type of product, according to the level of innovation, and according to its application.

Technology by product

Within this category it is necessary to differentiate between:

  1. Hard technologies: they use knowledge of hard sciences such as physics, chemistry, or mathematics. In this way, tangible and visible products are obtained.
  2. Soft technologies: they are based on humanistic sciences such as psychology, sociology, or economics. This type of technology is used to achieve greater efficiency and improve processes in companies and institutions. Therefore, the products they obtain are neither material nor tangible, but rather try to develop services, strategies, and theories.

Technologies according to innovation

Depending on the degree of innovation of the technology, we can discern between:

  1. State-of-the-art technology: high technology, the latest technology, or cutting edge technology is that which encompasses the most advanced technologies, available at a certain time and place. They are state-of-the-art technologies.
  2. Appropriate technologies: are those that are designed taking into account the social, economic, and environmental impact that they can represent in a given society.

Technology according to your application

Within this category we find:

  1. Operation technologies: are those that are obtained after a long time of study, observation, and experience.
  2. Equipment technologies: are those that are developed by manufacturers of a specific and determined product.
  3. Product technologies: are those that combine tools and knowledge to generate a specific product.

Technology examples

We have put together some examples to better understand the difference between science and technology. These are examples of technology:

  1. Robotics: use tools and knowledge from disciplines such as computer science, electrical engineering, or electronic engineering to make robots.
  2. 3D printing: it is a three-dimensional printing of unique pieces and complex geometries through a wide variety of materials.
  3. Artificial intelligence: it is the creation of machines that mimic the cognitive function of the human being.
  4. Biotechnology: creates products from biological systems and living organisms.
  5. Cryptocurrencies: They are digital currency that uses distributed ledger technology.
  6. Genetic technology: allows you to expand the world of medicine through big data calculations or the manipulation of genes to cure diseases.
  7. Internet: interconnected communication networks.
  8. Nanotechnology: allows manipulating matter at the atomic and molecular scale.
  9. Atomic energy: obtaining electrical, thermal, and mechanical energy from atomic reactions.
  10. Smart Cars: technology is used to create vehicles programmed to operate without a driver.

You already know what the difference is between science and technology, but we recommend you read this other post about What technology will be like in 10 years.


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