Accommodating changes in capacity using technology
Much of what has been said about the nature of science applies to engineering as well, particularly the use of mathematics, the interplay of creativity and logic, the eagerness to be original, the variety of people involved, the professional specialties, public responsibility, and so on.Indeed, there are more people called engineers than people called scientists, and many scientists are doing work that could be described as engineering as well as science. Scientists see patterns in phenomena as making the world understandable; engineers also see them as making the world manipulable.The electronic computer, for example, has led to substantial progress in the study of weather systems, demographic patterns, gene structure, and other complex systems that would not have been possible otherwise.Technology is essential to science for purposes of measurement, data collection, treatment of samples, computation, transportation to research sites (such as Antarctica, the moon, and the ocean floor), sample collection, protection from hazardous materials, and communication.Scientific knowledge provides a means of estimating what the behavior of things will be even before we make them or observe them.Moreover, science often suggests new kinds of behavior that had not even been imagined before, and so leads to new technologies.As technologies become more sophisticated, their links to science become stronger.
Engineering, the systematic application of scientific knowledge in developing and applying technology, has grown from a craft to become a science in itself.More and more, new instruments and techniques are being developed through technology that make it possible to advance various lines of scientific research.Technology does not just provide tools for science, however; it also may provide motivation and direction for theory and research.In its broadest sense, engineering consists of construing a problem and designing a solution for it.The basic method is to first devise a general approach and then work out the technical details of the construction of requisite objects (such as an automobile engine, a computer chip, or a mechanical toy) or processes (such as irrigation, opinion polling, or product testing).
Chapter 10, Historical Perspectives, includes a discussion of the Industrial Revolution.