Thinking Again about Science in Technology

Isis 103:518-526 (2012)

How to characterize the relationship between science and technology has been a sensitive issue for historians of technology. This essay uses a recent and controversial piece by Paul Forman as a springboard for reexamining the concept of applied science and asks whether “applied science” remains a useful term. Scholars have often taken “applied science” to mean the subordination of technological knowledge to scientific knowledge—and thus the subordination of history of technology to history of science. This essay argues that the historical moment for sensitivity on the subject of applied science has passed, that even in instances where technology can accurately be described as subordinate to science it need not follow that its history is subordinate, and that the concept can be useful in addressing issues in the history and contemporary practice of engineering education
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DOI 10.1086/667975
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