How does science fit into technology and the progression of ideas through innovation? Science (what and why) and engineering (how) form the knowledge part of technology, alongside the skills and experience parts. Technology, the know-how that allows others to master a technique, underpins all products and services. Ideas are just a mental image in someone’s mind. To take material form through the process of innovation, those ideas have to surmount thresholds of possibility, progress and probability before they become diffused outcomes in their respective marketplaces. These thresholds require, respectively, know-how (technology), leadership and communication. Many other issues go to rate and extent of innovation diffusion. But unless the thresholds are effectively crossed, innovation diffusion is mostly highly unlikely to happen. This new insight into the mechanism of innovation was inspired by The Principle of Hope, philosopher Ernst Bloch’s magnum opus. The experience of Innova Soil Technology Pty Ltd, an Australian soil remediation business, is used as a case study. Science is thus a demonstrably necessary, but entirely insufficient, part of technology and the progression of ideas through innovation.
The International Journal of Science in Society Vol. 1, Issue 2, p. 71-85