A Combination of Technology and Applied Science?
Technology is the entire sum of any human systems, practices, and methods utilized in the creation of goods or services and in their successful accomplishment of specific goals, including scientific development. The study of technology traces its history to the Ancient Greek civilization that developed a number of different technologies, including the ability to sail to Asia and Europe. During the industrial revolution in Europe, mechanical engineers were responsible for building steam engines that were used to power large steam engines that could compete with the more costly and energy-inefficient coal-powered engines. Throughout the late medieval and early renaissance period, new technologies continued to be developed by the peoples of Europe, including the concept of utilizing local plant life to create medicines and other useful products. While most developed countries have continued to utilize these new and valuable resources to this day, others such as China and India have sought to use these same resources to produce a higher standard of living and economic growth.
Analysis of the wide variety of technological innovations that have taken place over the course of history has revealed that there are four main categories of technological innovation. These include technological change, which can take the form of technical, social, biological, or economic changes; first generation innovations; and last generation innovations. All of these categories have been categorized into three main subtopics: technological change, which encompasses major transformations such as those that took place during the development of modern technology; first generation innovations, which can be attributed to earlier forms of technology such as wheeled vehicles and farming equipment; and last generation innovations, which are generally considered to stem from new information technologies such as the Internet and cellular telephony. By examining the types of innovations that have taken place throughout the history of mankind, it becomes clear that some forms of technological change have been more significant than others.
The term technology pertains to the application of scientific knowledge in order to develop and make useful items or services that are capable of enhancing individual or group performance. Technological change can take the form of computer technology, information technology, digital technology, or a combination of these. Information technology refers to the application of scientific knowledge in order to produce and provide information or support for communication, management, and other activities involving the utilization of information. Computer technology is used to advance the operation of computers and other devices, creating an environment that facilitates the application of scientific knowledge.
One of the most important forms of innovation examined by the Center for Technology and Society at the University of California, Los Angeles is the use of digital technologies to improve and enrich human interaction. There are a number of positive ways in which individuals and groups can utilize the knowledge of science and technology to enhance their lives. One category of technologists is environmental technologists, who work to advance technology to improve the quality of life for both current and future generations. A number of environmental technologists focus on issues such as energy conservation, efficient public transportation, the protection of ecosystems, and improved landscapes.
Cultural analysis is a broad area of study that compares and contrasts cultures around the world. The scope of this field extends far beyond the traditional scientific categories of plant and animal life. Cultural technologists examine different types of art and literature, ancient artifacts, spiritual belief systems, family systems, gender roles, food rituals and practices, and other forms of culture. Cultural analysis covers many areas of human life, and is used to explain the heritage and identity of a culture. The goal of this study is to provide scientific information about cultural practices and beliefs, but it also helps to illuminate the unique history and heritage of each cultural tradition.
Applied science and technology is a much broader term than is arts and humanities. Applied science refers to the application of scientific knowledge to solve practical problems. In contrast, humanities refers to the study of culture, society, and history in general. As applied science and technology become more intertwined in 21st century society, the term combination is likely to play an increasing role.