Greater Philadelphia Thinking Society Message Board › Engineers Are Scientists
Some helpful (hopefully) insight: Engineering *is* science. For example, electrical engineering is understood to be
a specialty within physics. Engineering is the "dream" science discipline in that the engineer version of a scientist gets to practice (and have fun with) both research science and applied science. Interestingly, it seems the training and experience in both kinds of science foster a deeper expertise than that of research alone.
I offer some anecdotes:
1) It was an engineer who established the theory on critical aspects of the science of the physiology of the
human ear.The mass of physiologists and medical doctors combined couldn't come up with a theory and they
originally rejected the engineer's, which has been proven correct.
2) The record shows that even the most respected science television programs regularly present research
scientists who make erroneous statements about even basic scientific principles.
(Regarding 2 above, it is my current labor of science love, to compile these errors and to make available to the
public, corrections and proper explanations.)
A multi-award winning engineer, I, throughout my career, have practiced research science, working on cutting-edge projects. On one project, I was brought in when a research scientist, a specialist in the field, didn't have the expertise to carry out the research. For that project and others, I devised scientific theories, devised the
research plan, and designed, built and wrote the software for, the computer used to conduct the research and
prove the theories. I then designed the devices and systems whose existence was made possible by the science established by my research, and which were to be offered to the public.
Throughout history, science established by engineers, has become part of the standard science that makes it way to the universities to be taught to, and utilized by, research scientists.
Thank you for this opportunity to share my insight. I enjoyed doing so and I hope it helps to clarify that the engineer is in fact a scientist.
I'd be happy to provide additional information and share my love of science with anyone interested.
I can be contacted through my profile's email function.
Upper Darby, PA
JT, Henry Petroski's point in the book "The Essential Engineer: Why Science Alone Will Not Solve Our Global Problems", which was discussed in yesterday's meetup (The Essential Engineer (Book Discussion)), is that "science and engineering" and "science and technology" are singular nouns that describe one more or less unitary subject. On the meetup page (link above), I posted links to videos, interviews, reviews, and related materials that reinforce the view not just that engineering is science (as you say) but also that science depends upon (and effectively is) engineering. Petroski's approach is polemical. Which made for a great discussion. But my reading suggests that he really thinks science and engineering are so intricately interconnected that it is more trouble to separate them than its worth.