Accommodating changes in capacity using technology

The mapping of the locations of the entire set of genes in human DNA has been motivated by the technology of genetic engineering, which both makes such mapping possible and provides a reason for doing so.As technologies become more sophisticated, their links to science become stronger.Technology does not just provide tools for science, however; it also may provide motivation and direction for theory and research.The theory of the conservation of energy, for example, was developed in large part because of the technological problem of increasing the efficiency of commercial steam engines.Technology—like language, ritual, values, commerce, and the arts—is an intrinsic part of a cultural system and it both shapes and reflects the system's values.

But just as important as accumulated practical knowledge is the contribution to technology that comes from understanding the principles that underlie how things behave—that is, from scientific understanding.In return, technology provides the eyes and ears of science—and some of the muscle, too.The electronic computer, for example, has led to substantial progress in the study of weather systems, demographic patterns, gene structure, and other complex systems that would not have been possible otherwise.Moreover, science often suggests new kinds of behavior that had not even been imagined before, and so leads to new technologies.Engineers use knowledge of science and technology, together with strategies of design, to solve practical problems.

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