Under Microscope

It's another world under the microscope.

Rocket “Engineers”

People love technology and this is a love that is justified and reasonable. Technology improves our lives in significant and observable steps. When we start using a better computer or a better cellphone, we can clearly see the difference and immediately appreciate the improvement in our lives. When telephones started becoming an increasingly common object, people used them to save lives, connect with long-distance loved ones, or share urgent information. These changes were not trivial, and no amount of money could replace these improvements. Granted, some of these changes were slow and their appreciation requires us to look back a few decades. However, when we do look back a few decades we see a real difference in our lives, obviously thanks to technological improvements.
Most people are aware of the enormous impact technology has on their lives, but when they are looking for the people who must be recognized for their contribution to technological improvements, they tend to fail to find the correct heroes. Many people think that scientists drive technological improvements. This could not be further from the truth. Scientists work hard to improve our understanding of the universe and the rules that govern it, which is arguably a more noble cause than technological endeavors. The people behind technological improvements are engineers. When talking about the bleeding edge of the scientific world people use the term “rocket scientist”. The term on its own is a misnomer. Rockets are designed, manufactured, tested, and operated by engineers and technicians. The scientific principles that govern a rocket had been around centuries before an actual rocket successfully took off the ground. Scientists never tried to build rockets because they would not improve their understanding of how the world worked.
The difference between a scientist and an engineer is analogical to the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist. A psychologist could spend their entire life figuring out the behavioral patterns of a certain mammal and for them their findings are the end product. A psychiatrist on the other hand, focuses on healing psychological diseases and disorders in patients and society in general. Their success depends on their impact on our lives. Similarly, an engineer needs to make a difference in people’s lives. If their designs are expensive, unreliable, or irrelevant, it would be challenging to argue that they are good engineers. A good engineer designs engineering solutions to change people’s lives, just like a doctor needs to be able to treat a patient to be considered a doctor. If an engineering solution is not solving a real-world problem or making a positive impact on the people’s lives, regardless of how complex and impressive it is, it could not be considered good engineering.