Articles

Technology Development

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Science  06 May 1983:
Vol. 220, Issue 4597, pp. 576-580
DOI: 10.1126/science.220.4597.576

Abstract

In technology development significant advances are as often the result of a series of evolutionary steps as they are of breakthroughs. This is illustrated by the examples of the steam engine and the computer. Breakthroughs, such as the transistor, are relatively rare, and are often the result of the introduction of new knowledge coming from a quite different area. Technology development is often difficult to predict because of its complexity; practical considerations may far outweigh apparent scientific advantages, and cultural factors enter in at many levels. In a large technological organization problems exist in bringing scientific knowledge to bear on development, but much can be done to obviate these difficulties.

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