Certainly, primitive societies had some elementary understanding of nature, . The relationship between science and technology in these formative years is. This is a common view of science and technology in the so-called a paper in Nature recently in which they announce the “dethroning of GDP”. Due to the nature of contemporary society, the relationship between the domains of science and technology has never been stronger. Science and technology.
Nature of Science A great deal of thought and research has gone into determining 'NoS'; that is, characteristics of practices and products of science. Despite this, consensus is lacking about the NoS. There are, instead, competing 'camps'; i. Although the definitions on Cathleen Loving's Scientific Theory Profile at right are not, necessarily, widely-accepted and individuals' positions on it are not, necessarily, consistent or clear, her grid can be used as a basis for fruitful discussions about the nature of science.
The horizontal axis represents a continuum of positions about the nature of processes of theory development. Rationalists on the left claim that reason, combined with 'facts,' is essential in science. Naturalists, meanwhile, also recognize such influences as human psychology, sociology, gender, etc. Combining the two axes, we can imagine people holding different positions within the grid; such as Rational-Realists, for example — who would assert that methods of science are highly logical and systematic and lead to claims that match reality.
The opposite view is that of Natural-Antirealists, who would insist that methods of science are highly idiosyncratic and situated including through influences by cultural, economic and psychological factors, for example and lead to claims that don't necessarily match reality but may be accepted by most scientists.
A set of claims about science that is congruent with this position has been assembled by Osborne and co-workers — and is referred to as 'Ideas-about-science,' below.
The idea that any experiment requires the identification and control of variables.
That explanations require the use of creative thought and invention to identify what are underlying causal relationships between variables. Such explanations are often based on models that cannot be observed. That the goal of science is the elimination of alternative explanations to achieve a single, consensually agreed account.
However, data shows only that a single explanation is false not that it is correct. Nevertheless, our confidence in any explanation increases if it offers predictions which are shown to be true. All new explanations must undergo a process of critical scrutiny and peer review before gaining wider acceptance.
Nature of Science & Technology Education
Recognise that the focus of much research is influenced by the concerns and interests of society and the availability of funding. That the personal status of scientists and their standing in the field is a factor which, wisely or not, is often used in the judgement of their views and ideas.
To recognise that many questions of interest do not have simple or evident causal explanations. Rather, that much valuable scientific work is based on looking for correlations and that such a relationship does not imply a causal link.Introduction : Science, Technology and Society
To recognise that confidence in correlational links is dependent on the size of the sample and its selection. Events with very low frequency are particularly difficult to explain causally. To recognise that eliminating causal factors for a correlational link is highly problematic.
Rather that much scientific work relies on the identification of plausible mechanism between factors which are correlated. To have a knowledge of different ways of expressing risk and an awareness of the uncertainties associated with risk measurement.
That risk assessment is central to many of the decisions raised by science in contemporary society. To recognise that whilst the application of science and technology has made substantial contributions to the quality of life of many people, there has been a set of unintended outcomes as well.
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That technology draws on science in seeking solutions to human problems. However, a distinction should be drawn between what can be done and what should be done. Decisions about technical applications are subject, therefore, to a host of considerations such as technical feasibility, economic cost, environmental impact and ethical considerations.
That certain groups or individuals may hold views based on deeply held religious or political commitments and that the tensions between conflicting views must be recognised and addressed in considering any issue.
Nature of Technology Humans likely have been carrying out technological problem solving at least as long as they have been developing science ideas about nature. Early humans had to develop ways to protect themselves from the elements and from other living things, for example, likely before they thought about how phenomena — such as fire — worked.
Indeed, in the history of technology, many inventions — such as those based on steam power e.
Despite the longer history of technology design, however, considerably more research has been conducted into the nature of science than on the nature of technology NoT. Nevertheless, some perspectives about NoT that seem reasonable include: Some of these are provided through the links at: This makes the study of NoT a complex, often changing and situational phenomenon. Given associations among NoST, STSE and Skills Education, there are aspects of technology that should be considered in terms of its relationship to science and science inquiry, on the one hand, and to societies and environments, on the other hand.
Considerations about relationships between fields of science and technology are discussed below, while the role of technology in STSE and Skills Education are discussed elsewhere; i. In popular culture, science often gets credit for various inventions — which suggests that science often is mistaken for technology.
People talk about 'computer science,' for example, when they really are referring to its hardware and software. Also, science often is portrayed in schools as a necessary precursor for technological innovation — by sequencing units in science courses from abstract e. Such a portrayal does not always reflect the history of science and technology. Technology often operates independently from science and is not, therefore, always an 'applied science.
This, in turn, tends to favour socio-culturally advantaged students, compromising the scientific literacy of most other students Bencze, b. For these and other reasons, many educators are recommending that science and technology be integrated or, at least, interrelated in schools e. Rarely are technology-related issues simple and one-sided.
Relevant technical facts alone, even when known and available which often they are notusually do not settle matters entirely in favor of one side or the other. The chances of reaching good personal or collective decisions about technology depend on having information that neither enthusiasts nor skeptics are always ready to volunteer. The long-term interests of society are best served, therefore, by having processes for ensuring that key questions concerning proposals to curtail or introduce technology are raised and that as much relevant knowledge as possible is brought to bear on them.
Considering these questions does not ensure that the best decision will always be made, but the failure to raise key questions will almost certainly result in poor decisions. The key questions concerning any proposed new technology should include the following: What are alternative ways to accomplish the same ends? What advantages and disadvantages are there to the alternatives?
What trade-offs would be necessary between positive and negative side effects of each? Who are the main beneficiaries? Who will receive few or no benefits? Who will suffer as a result of the proposed new technology? How long will the benefits last?
Will the technology have other applications? Whom will they benefit? What will the proposed new technology cost to build and operate? How does that compare to the cost of alternatives? Will people other than the beneficiaries have to bear the costs? Who should underwrite the development costs of a proposed new technology? How will the costs change over time?
What will the social costs be? What risks are associated with the proposed new technology? What risks are associated with not using it? Who will be in greatest danger?
Chapter 3: The Nature of Technology
What risk will the technology present to other species of life and to the environment? In the worst possible case, what trouble could it cause? Who would be held responsible?
How could the trouble be undone or limited? What people, materials, tools, knowledge, and know-how will be needed to build, install, and operate the proposed new technology? If not, how will they be obtained, and from where? What energy sources will be needed for construction or manufacture, and also for operation?
What resources will be needed to maintain, update, and repair the new technology? What will be done to dispose safely of the new technology's waste materials? As it becomes obsolete or worn out, how will it be replaced?
And finally, what will become of the material of which it was made and the people whose jobs depended on it? Individual citizens may seldom be in a position to ask or demand answers for these questions on a public level, but their knowledge of the relevance and importance of answers increases the attention given to the questions by private enterprise, interest groups, and public officials.
The cumulative effect of individual decisions can have as great an impact on the large-scale use of technology as pressure on public decisions can.
Not all such questions can be answered readily. Most technological decisions have to be made on the basis of incomplete information, and political factors are likely to have as much influence as technical ones, and sometimes more.