Technology - human innovation in action

Compared with Science and Engineering, the term Technology is probably the most recent, dating from slightly earlier than the start of the Second Industrial Revolution in 1870. The “Massachusetts Institute of Technology” was incorporated in 1861. The term technology can be described as the application of scientific knowledge for practical purposes to further the aims of human life, especially in industry. Some consider that technology is simply “applied science”.

The word technology comes from the Greek work “teknologia”, which means “systematic treatment”. Teknologia is derived from two Greek words “technÄ“”, meaning “art craft” and “-logiÄ” meaning “word, speech”.

The differences between Science, Engineering and Technology are often very binside an electricity pylonlurred. While science can be described as an “intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment” and engineering is more concerned with designing and making tools or structures to achieve a goal using the results of scientific research and natural processes, or the “innate quality, especially mental power, hence a clever invention”, technology is often the combination of both science and engineering.  While science could be described as observation and experiment and engineering as designing and constructing tools and structures, technology might be explained as the results of science and engineering, for example, transportation, communications equipment,  information technology, the internet and energy production could all be described as different forms of technology.  However, I will leave the scientists, historians and policymakers to debate the subtle distinctions of the three disciplines.    

This website will concentrate on the technology that I have been specifically involved with. This is therefore limited to the development and use of computer and information technology. My career in engineering has been closely linked to the transition from a drawing office drawing board, drawings on plastic film, not paper, and the slide rule at the beginning of my career to my laptop computer, Cloud based storage of digital files and mathematical software programmes by the end of my career. So, I am in a very good position to describe 50 years of this type of technological development.   

business computer hard drive

Sources used and further reading

Wikipedia - Technology

The Oxford Dictonary - Technology

Encyclopædia Britannica - Technology - technological

Massachusetts Institute of Technology



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Web page last updated  28 December 2018

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