The Difference Between Science, Engineering, and Technology


Science, Engineering, and Technology are often confused with each other. All three are closely related but mean different things. In this post, we have tried to bring out the differences between science, engineering, and technology. Let’s start with a quote that brings out the difference between Science & Engineering:

“Scientists study the world as it is; engineers create the world that has never been.”

—Theodore von Kármán

As per the quote, we can observe that science is a study of the natural world while Engineering is creating new things based on that study. However, I would like to modify the quote in order to bring out a comparison between science, engineering and technology:

“Science is the study of the natural world as it is; engineering is creating new tools, devices, and processes based on scientific knowledge; technology is the sum total of all the engineered tools, devices and processes available.”

—Me ;)

In the above quote, we can clearly see the difference as well as the interconnection between science, engineering, and technology. This can be explained using the image that follows:

Now that we know the basic definitions and the overall comparison between the three, let’s move to a set of alternate differences between them. The differences below may seem redundant, and that’s because they are. They are all different ways of saying the same thing. Choose whichever appeals you the most:

1. Science is knowledge of the natural world put together, Engineering is creation based on the scientific knowledge put together, and Technology is the set of engineered creations put together.

2. Science comes from observation of the world, Engineering comes from aquiring and applying knowledge, and Technology comes from repeated application and approval of the engineered tools.

3. Science is about creating meaning of natural phenomenon, Engineering is about creating new devices, tools and processes, and Technology is about creating a collection of engineered and tested tools for the mankind.

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