IMPORTANCE OF HUMANITIES TO TECHNOLOGY Science and Technology in Society Science deals with the natural world. Science tells us that objects will fall to earth (Law of Gravity). Science tells us that steel exposed to oxygen to rust. Technology deals with the human- made world. It is study of ways people develop and use technical means tools and machines. It tells us how to control the natural and human made world. It is the study of the ways people use these technical means to transport, manufacture, construct and communicate. Science deals with ‘understanding’ and technology deals with ‘doing’. Science helps us to know how to do something efficiently. Science and technology are very much dependent on each other. If science has to develop, there should be rapid technical advance. Technology refers to all the ways people use their inventions and discoveries to satisfy their needs and desires. Science influences society through its knowledge and world-view. Scientific knowledge and the procedures used by the scientists influence the way many individuals think about themselves, others, and the environment. The effect of science on society is neither entirely beneficial nor entirely detrimental. Societal challenges often inspire questions for scientific research, and social priorities often influence research priorities through the availability of funding for the research. Technology influences the society through its product and processes. Technology influences the quality of life and the way people acts and interacts. Technological changes are accompanied by social, political, and economic changes that can be beneficial or detrimental to individuals and to society. Social needs, attitudes, and values influence the direction of technological development. Science and Technology have contributed enormously to economic growth and productivity among societies and groups within society. Science cannot all questions and technology cannot solve all human problems or meet all human needs. Thinking about technology and the humanities leads to replacing the conjunction in favor of a preposition: technology in the humanities, technology of the humanities, and even technology by the humanities, which is just to say that the issues are multiple and densely interwoven. In beginning to unravel these relations a bit, it is possible to draw provisionally two different areas of inquiry: the idea of technology as an object of humanistic inquiry, and the role of technology in the practice of the humanities. The term technology in its current usage is of recent vintage. In centuries past other words such as ‘applied science’, ’craftsmanship’, or, much earlier, ‘techne’ and ‘mechanic(k)s’ stood in (partially) for what has come to be regarded today as ‘the scientific study of the practical or industrial arts’. Technology began to be conceptualized in its present form almost as a mirror of what is currently called the humanities. They both have their source in the reorganization of the European university in the nineteenth century, with its strong division between the traditional university and the polytechnic schools. Such academic distinctions produced the ‘and’ in ‘technology and
the humanities’: a seemingly impenetrable barrier where study in the humanities meant ignoring technology. Technological objects were precisely that: mere things, not worthy of study alongside the philosophically rigorous and socially fundamental concerns of humanistic inquiry. Conversely, a student in a polytechnic school might spend part of his or her day reading the classics, or at least practicing written communication, but the major portion of that student's time would be spent manipulating devices and testing objects. Beginning of Science Science is of relatively modern origin, but the tradition out of which it has emerged reach back beyond recorded history. The roots of science lie in the technology of early tool making and other crafts, while scientific theory was once a part of philosophy and religion. Thus, the history of science is essentially intertwined with that of technology. Practical Applications in the Ancient Middle East The early civilizations of the Tigris-Euphrates valley and the Nile valley made advances in both technology and theory, but separate groups within each culture were responsible for progress. Practical advances in metallurgy, agriculture, transportation and navigation were made by the artisan class, such as the wheelwrights and ship builders. The priests and scribes were responsible for record keeping, land division and calendar determination and they developed written language and early mathematics for purpose. Early Greek Contributions to Science The early Greek or Helienic, culture marked a different approach to science. Thales of Miletus was one of the earliest of these and contributed to astronomy, geometry and cosmology. He was followed by Anaximander, who extended Thales ideas and proposed that the universe is composed of four basic elements i.e earth, air and water; this theory was also taught by Empedocies in Sicily. The philosophers Leucippus and Democritus (both 5th Cent) held that everything is composed of tiny, indivisible atoms. The school founded at Croton, S Italy by the Greek philosopher Pythagoras of Samos, the principal concept was that of number. The most important developments in medicine were made by Hippocrates of Cos known as the Father of Medicine, who formulated the Science of diagnosis based on accurate descriptions of the symptoms of various diseases. Influence of the Alexandrian Schools The later Greek or Hellenistic culture was centered not in Greece itself but in Greece cities elsewhere, particularly Alexandria, Egypt which was founded in 332 B.C. by Alexander the great. The so-called first Alexandrian school included Euclid who organized the axiomatic system of geometry that served as the model for many other scientific presentations. Eratosthenes made an accurate estimate of the size of the earth. Aristarchus showed that sun is larger than the earth and suggested heliocentric model for the solar system.