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Science involves a question. Technology involves a problem.

Science involves a question. Technology involves a problem.

Originally shared by Rajini Rao

Science vs. Technology: What’s the Difference?

On a recent Science on Google+ post that highlighted advances in technology, a discussion arose on what is science and why it is different from technology. Jonah Miller emphasized that the distinction between the two was blurry, but “most scientists draw the line at falsifiability. In other words, if you are investigating an idea that you can prove false, then you might be doing science. This idea was first put forward by Karl Popper. Here’s a basic introduction for you:

Now, is falsifiability all it takes to do science? Most modern scientists would say no.  Science also involves a system of checks to make sure that you’re not fooling yourself (and you are very easy to fool). This includes things like the peer-review system, keeping careful records, and an emphasis on reproducibility. And by this heuristic, when you build something, like a phone app, with the goal of selling or giving that app away, you’re probably not doing science.”

The image makes the point: Science involves a question. Technology involves a problem. “It may sound like semantics, but projects following each method start at a different point and with different assumptions. Starting with a question suggests that a project will be constructed as a way to find an answer by performing a test or experiment. Starting with a problem, on the other hand, sets an engineering design project up to find a solution—the development of something that can address the needs of the problem.”

Image source

Science on Google+ post:


Join the Conversation


  1. Scientific facts are called theories, because it depends on observations, experiments and demonstrations. If one contradicts the other it stops being a theory. Reading the Bible, Quran and believing in traditions is not valid research to refute scientific theories.


  2. Charles van Dijk How relevant is your observation to the post here? It’s not relevant at all.

    The very nice post is about differentiating Science from Technology. I like the graph, very nice.


  3. Love this. My personal criterion would be “seeing if it works” versus “trying to make it work”. In science, I often feel like I’ve failed when I test something perfectly plausible and find it doesn’t work at all. Great science, lousy engineering.


  4. Today, often Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM); engineering still often through Schools of Engineering. Hard and soft sciences (e.g., physics, biology, chemistry, biochemistry, social sciences, biopsychology) are often in Liberal Arts education undergraduate.

    Technology has specialized Schools of Technology (RIT, MIT related to engineering approaches to education) which are high on the list of robotics applicants. Mathematics are core to any science education “other than social sciences” (e.g., interesting studies are the relationship of qualitative research studies to mathematical thought) – often statistics and advanced statistics.

    The world science museums may vary considerably on “STEM” with often popular exhibits on conservation and “clean water”, saving the ocean and the environment, space and technology, laws of motion and the pendelum, and much more (new IMAX theaters; NASA space live online)!! Our Syracuse Museum (born as the Discovery Center) is the MOST, the Museum of Science and Technology, top ten tourist destination. Ithaca, New York hosts a science museum highlighting Dr. Carl Sagan, well known world astrophysicist who popularized the study of space.

    Julie Ann Racino, Rome Science Academy, 2017-2018


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