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How Do Science and Technology Affect Each Other?

While many people are skeptical about the potential uses of cutting-edge biomedical breakthroughs, large shares of the American public see science and technology as largely positive forces in society. Two-thirds of U.S. adults say science and technology have mostly positive effects on society, while a third say there are roughly equal amounts of positive and negative effects. This survey demonstrates the benefits of science and technology on society.

Scientists have used the development of new technologies to solve problems and discover new ones. Examples of new technologies include the Hubble telescope, which was launched into space in 1990. For hundreds of years, scientists have used telescopes to study the night sky and make discoveries. Hans Lippershey invented the first telescope in the early 1600s, using scientific knowledge about lenses and light. In the 16th century, Galileo used the telescope to make remarkable discoveries. Scientific discoveries later led to the development of spectrometers and seismometers.

Engineering is a systematic application of scientific knowledge to create useful objects, processes, and systems. It has evolved from a craft to a science as science provides a way to predict the behavior of things before they are observed. Engineering also creates new technologies by suggesting new kinds of behavior. The goal of engineers is to solve practical problems using scientific knowledge and design strategies. When combined with engineering, science and technology can be used to create new and better products and services.

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