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← Why doesn’t America like science?

Pete.K's Avatar Jump to comment 8 by Pete.K

Comment 5 by stuhillman :

Innovation continues to be worshipped, particularly when it produces entrepreneurial companies and clever gadgets (think Apple’s iPad).

Sometimes the debate is confusing as "science" is compared to engineering - no matter how innovative the engineering is. The iPad is not science, it's clever, but it's still engineering.

If we are to be effective in debating the scientific issues we must make the distinction between engineering and "real" science. On the other hand, it's difficult to convince the average Joe that the Large Hadron Collider has anything to say which might benefit him. Perhaps we can stress the achievements of NASA - although based on real science from several hundred years ago - in order to impress Joe. But unless the distinction is clear in our minds we will make mistakes.

The distinction is that engineering is the outcome of scientific endeavour, it wasn't engineers that discovered LCD screens, science is the backbone of engineering. An engineer comes up with a concept, but it takes science to make it a reality.

Sat, 26 Nov 2011 10:32:13 UTC | #893251