Week 1 Defining Technology

Week 1 Defining Technology - Defining Technology Three...

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Defining Technology Three Technological Revolutions | Science and Technology | A Definition of Technology | Big Ideas Three Technological Revolutions Science and Technology Manhattan Project When Nazi Germany was rumored to be developing an atomic bomb in 1939, the United States initiated its own program under the Army Corps of Engineers. Noble prize-winning physicist Enrico Fermi led a Chicago team dubbed CP-1 and achieved the first sustained nuclear reaction under the abandoned west stands of Stagg Field, at the University of Chicago, on December 2, 1942. CP-1 paved the way for scientists at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, to create the fuel (Uranium-235) for an atomic bomb. In 1945, at Los Alamos, New Mexico, an international team of scientists led by physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer produced two atomic bombs, one fueled by Uranium-235 and the other by Plutonium. In the modern world, science and technology are seen as supporting one another. But it was not always so. Up until the 17th Century, science was seen as a value-free activity whose goal was pure truth. Technology was more concerned with practical matters, such as how to create the best windmill. But all of this changed in the 17th Century, when thinkers like Francis Bacon (1561-1626) and Rene Descartes (1596-1650) began to speculate on the nature of science. Bacon is particularly important because he tried to distinguish between scientific fact and scientific method. Scientific facts are truths that are accepted or revealed about the physical universe. Scientific methods are the various steps used by scientists to come to scientific facts. Bacon takes a middle position between dogmatism (“I already have the truth, and nothing will change my mind!”) and skepticism (“I can’t know anything, so why try!”). Bacon cites the ancient Greeks' search for truth as a model for his own inquiry. In arguably his most
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Week 1 Defining Technology - Defining Technology Three...

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