Both science and technology are crucial for everyday life and their importance cannot be overemphasized or underemphasized. Science is a systematic way of gaining knowledge by observing and experimenting with every natural element seen around us. On the other hand, technology is the practical application of the knowledge gained through science. Simply put, science is how the society gets to understand the natural world while technology basically helps us to design tools, products and processes that can be applied in everyday life based on the knowledge of the natural world. The most important thing about science and technology is that it must be useful to the society. If it is not, then the whole point of study is defeated. For instance, in the 15th Century, Leonardo da Vinci studied the movement of birds in detail and used this knowledge to buildflying machines. Further study would later give us various kinds of airplane designs. This has become an alternative form of transportation for the society.Scientific history can be traced back to ancient times when certain philosophers, including Thales of Miletus and Democritus studied the natural occurrences in order to come up with different theories.
Science first started to emerge in certain Islamic societies but it started to gain more popularity in Europe during the Protestant Reformation. This period allowed for individuals to study and create theories about different natural elements and occurrences. What is seen as science today was based on the events of the Scientific Revolution, which occurred 3 Centuries ago. According to the book ‘The Story of Science’ written by Michael Mosley, 2 major factors contributed to the Scientific Revolution. These are ‘the Renaissance’ and ‘the Reformation’. The Renaissance gave room for new scientific discoveries while the Reformation opened the minds of many Europeans to individual scientific research. The scientific revolution actually started in Prague where 2 astrologers namely, Tycho Brahe and Johannes Kepler started doing research on astronomy and the whole planet.Their discovery eventually discredited the theory that earth was geocentric and that it was actually heliocentric. Geocentrism claimed that the earth was at the centre of the universe while heliocentrism showed that the earth and other planets actually revolved round the sun, which was actually at the centre. Eventually, it was Isaac Newton and GalileoGalilei that
that pushed the Scientific Revolution to its peak. In order to really understand what knowledge is, it must be properly defined and capture every relevant aspect of it. So we can say knowledge is fact, information or skills about anything that is acquired by human beings their experiences, education, research and observation. This knowledge must be something that the senses can process; they must be verifiable by other people and there must be adequate evidence to back it up.According to JurgenHabermas, knowledge can be readily classified into 3 categories, namely historical knowledge, empirical knowledge and critical knowledge. Historical knowledge deals with knowledge that is based on historical events and occurrences. Empirical knowledge is knowledge that is based on facts that is seen firsthand. Critical knowledge is based on uncovering different or specific sources. One can readily say that scientific knowledge tends more towards empirical knowledge because it is based on facts that are seen firsthand in the natural world.
This also proves that science is not the only means through which knowledge can be acquired. Knowledge can also be gained through Literature. C. Day Lewis said in ‘The Poet’s way of Knowledge’ that Poetry is a form of Literature that gives knowledge and it tends towards science. For instance, there are certain things that science cannot describe in specific details. Literature, specifically Poetry, can bring imageries that give us fuller pictures about what science is describing to us. By so doing, Literature actually complements science instead of being totally different from it. It’s not just enough to know what knowledge is, we must also seek to understand how new knowledge is found. For instance, by employing science as a mode of enquiry, we are able to see how new knowledge is found.
The simplest method used by scientific researchers to gain knowledge is by using all the 5 senses to gather information about our natural environment. Science majorly identifies and observes things in the environment; defines problems; then formulates and tests hypotheses. By breaking down the process, it becomes easier to understand the principles behind everything seen. It’s true that science offers a way to understand how new knowledge is formed but it also has its setbacks.
For instance, it can be difficult to be accurate if certain things are taken out of their natural habitat because replicating the exact environment is not always easy to achieve. There is also the fact that you can’t possibly subject everything to experiments. Sometimes, the resources needed for the research might not be
available and sometimes, the environment is just not conducive enough for the kind of research or experiment a scientist has in mind.
In conclusion, science and technology help us to gain a better understanding of our natural environment. It is what we need to live our daily lives. They are indispensible to us. All that we have come to know as modern civilization is based on what was discovered through science and technology. More improvements are being made on daily basis. Technology is advancing in various ways and we must keep up with it.