Unformatted text preview: mber of innovations (e.g., oral
contraceptives, videocassette recorders) depended on prior scientific research. Taking a much
longer chronological view of the interactions between science and technology, it was found that
a particular invention could be linked to scientific discoveries of long ago (60).
Science and technology are quite different in their basic natures, making translation of scientific
knowledge into technological application a difficult and complex process. Science is directed at
the discovery of knowledge for its own sake whereas technology develops and employs
knowledge in order to get something done (61).
Science — described and analyzed as a social construction; seen as a human creation, shaped
by cultural patterns, economic and political interests, and gender-0based ways of seeing the
world. For uncompromising social constructionists, successful scientific outcomes may have
more to do with negotiation, the support of designated authorities, and resonance with prevailing
attitudes than theoretical elegance of experimental evidence (61).
What separates scientific and technological inquiries may not be the motivations of individual
practitioners, but the motivations of their employers and patrons:
SCIENTISTS ENGINEERS In a position to resist overt control of their work
by their sponsors. Under control of their employers. May abandon a theory or experiment in order to
pursue a line of inquiry that unexpectedly arises
during the course of their research. Work under tight constraints. A project must be
built within a given time frame and under
definite budget constraints (62) Page 1 of 2 SOCIOLOGY 415: Technology and Society
University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa , Fall 2010 Often, scientific knowledge and discovery may be a by-p roduct of technological achievements,
as when fundamental advances in biology and chemistry were stimulated by the successful
efforts of Pasteur, Lister, and Koch to solve pr...
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