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The exact relations between science and technology in particular have been debated by scientists, historians, and policymakers in the late 20th century, in part because the debate can inform the funding of basic and applied science.

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Tools and machines need not be material; The word "technology" can also be used to refer to a collection of techniques.In this context, it is the current state of humanity's knowledge of how to combine resources to produce desired products, to solve problems, fulfill needs, or satisfy wants; it includes technical methods, skills, processes, techniques, tools and raw materials.Developments in historic times, including the printing press, the telephone, and the Internet, have lessened physical barriers to communication and allowed humans to interact freely on a global scale.The steady progress of military technology has brought weapons of ever-increasing destructive power, from clubs to nuclear weapons. It has helped develop more advanced economies (including today's global economy) and has allowed the rise of a leisure class.Engineering is the goal-oriented process of designing and making tools and systems to exploit natural phenomena for practical human means, often (but not always) using results and techniques from science.

The development of technology may draw upon many fields of knowledge, including scientific, engineering, mathematical, linguistic, and historical knowledge, to achieve some practical result.The use of the term "technology" has changed significantly over the last 200 years.Before the 20th century, the term was uncommon in English, and it was used either to refer to the description or study of the useful arts The term "technology" rose to prominence in the 20th century in connection with the Second Industrial Revolution.Examples include the rise of the notion of efficiency in terms of human productivity, and the challenges of bioethics.Philosophical debates have arisen over the use of technology, with disagreements over whether technology improves the human condition or worsens it.Technology is often a consequence of science and engineering, although technology as a human activity precedes the two fields.