What is technology? It is a set of practices, systems, and technologies utilised in the development of new products or services or for the successful accomplishment of goals, including scientific research. Some areas of technology are more important to society than others. One area that has become a prominent force in society is the business realm. In fact, technology is so important in business that many people often refer to business technology as just another word for science.
The reason that business is able to capitalise on technology is because it allows businesses to use the word technology to describe anything from new technologies used to improve manufacturing methods to new technologies used to create new products. New technologies are developed every day, whether they come from new applications in science or from technological breakthroughs. Because of this, many individuals are unfamiliar with the word technology. In fact, when most people hear the word technology, they think of scientific knowledge or of the scientific and technological innovations that have taken place through the ages, whether in terms of new knowledge about the universe, technology itself, or human knowledge in general. While these inventions and innovations to make the world a better place, many people fail to recognize that much of what technology does is simply the application of scientific knowledge in other fields.
To illustrate the point, consider the fact that new technologies such as cars and airplanes do not give their users any more practical purposes. Cars can carry one person only; planes can carry two people; and airplanes can carry a number of people. Therefore, in terms of practical purposes, what is technology is essentially the same thing as what would be the scientific knowledge application. While the car might indeed save people time, in practical purposes it is basically meaningless, as it cannot provide people with any better means of transportation.
In contrast, what is science is essentially the application of what would already be known as scientific principles in other fields for practical application. For instance, in physics, we know that the basic properties of matter are atomic and that matter cannot be broken down further; that matter exists in three dimensions as a wave function that we can actually measure with equipment; and that the entire universe consists of nothing more than elementary entities that can be studied using the most sophisticated tools. We know that these are true, and these truths can be tested, observed, and tested again. Science, in this sense, is not simply an abstract theoretical discipline but a way of knowing the physical world. This is why so many people feel that science and technology are important. If the world was not full of particles with definite sizes, shapes, and speeds, then we would not be able to map out the structure of the universe, the nature of its gravity, the laws of its construction, etcetera.
This is not to say, however, that the more mundane technological applications are unimportant. Science and technology are invaluable in providing the means through which humans can learn to explore space, use satellites to go searching for things not on Earth, send and receive radio signals across space, and learn about the very composition of space-based and terrestrial matter for example. To learn practical ends, too, it is important to have a broad understanding of how these technological advances help us understand the physical world. In other words, we must learn not only the theoretical knowledge that underlies the more complicated techniques but also the practical ends that result from those advances. Thus, while it is important to learn the theoretical side of science and technology, it is equally important to learn the practical ends and how they tie in to the greater good.
The bottom line, then, is that when people ask what is science today, they are really asking what is science tomorrow. The best way to learn the answers to those questions is to get some solid science education and to learn as much as possible about the different types of technological advances that have taken place. Those of us who choose to follow this path are guaranteed to benefit from having an overall understanding of the history and theories of science and technology. It is through this understanding that we will be able to build on the advances made and use them to better our current strategies and to protect our future from harmful technological trends.