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Scientists and engineers usually prefer to define technology as applied science, rather than as the things that people make and use.More recently, scholars have borrowed from European philosophers of "technique" to extend the meaning of technology to various forms of instrumental reason, as in Foucault's work on technologies of the self (techniques de soi).This new-found knowledge may then be used by engineers to create new tools and machines such as semiconductors, computers, and other forms of advanced technology.In this sense, scientists and engineers may both be considered technologists; the three fields are often considered as one for the purposes of research and reference.
Technology can be the knowledge of techniques, processes, and the like, or it can be embedded in machines to allow for operation without detailed knowledge of their workings.
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.
In the immediate wake of World War II, for example, it was widely considered in the United States that technology was simply "applied science" and that to fund basic science was to reap technological results in due time.
An articulation of this philosophy could be found explicitly in Vannevar Bush's treatise on postwar science policy, Science – The Endless Frontier: "New products, new industries, and more jobs require continuous additions to knowledge of the laws of nature ...
This essential new knowledge can be obtained only through basic scientific research." In the late-1960s, however, this view came under direct attack, leading towards initiatives to fund science for specific tasks (initiatives resisted by the scientific community).