The Interplay Between Technique and Science: A Symbiotic Relationship

Lucas Charbonnier

Hatched by Lucas Charbonnier

May 01, 2024

3 min read


The Interplay Between Technique and Science: A Symbiotic Relationship


In the quest for knowledge and progress, the realms of technique and science have long been intertwined. While technique, the practical application of skills and knowledge, predates the formalization of scientific understanding, it is through the marriage of these two domains that humanity has achieved remarkable advancements. This article explores the dynamic relationship between technique and science, highlighting their interdependence and the ways in which they contribute to each other's growth.

The Primacy of Technique:

Throughout history, technique has emerged as a vital component of human survival and progress. Prioritizing immediate needs, humans developed various tools and practices without necessarily comprehending the underlying scientific principles. This chronological precedence of technique over science is evident in the observations of philosopher Henri Bergson, who noted that Homo sapiens first became Homo faber, a tool-making individual, before evolving into a seeker of knowledge. For instance, in the field of medicine, procedures like trepanation were performed in ancient times without a scientific understanding of cranial anatomy or brain mechanisms.

The Advent of Science:

The limitations and failures encountered in the realm of technique necessitated a deeper understanding of the underlying principles. This realization gave birth to scientific inquiry, as individuals sought to unravel the reasons behind the shortcomings of their techniques. Thus, science emerged as a solution to the challenges faced by technique. By systematically examining phenomena, conducting experiments, and formulating theories, science aimed to provide a comprehensive explanation for observed phenomena and enhance the effectiveness of technique.

Mutual Enrichment:

The relationship between technique and science is not one-sided; rather, they mutually enrich and support each other. Science, with its systematic approach, has played a crucial role in enhancing the efficacy of technique. One notable example is the development of the laser. Initially an engineering marvel, the laser's full potential was realized through scientific research and understanding of quantum physics. By harnessing scientific principles, the laser has revolutionized various fields, including medicine, telecommunications, and manufacturing.

Conversely, technique remains indispensable to scientific progress. The very essence of scientific inquiry relies on the use of instruments and techniques to test hypotheses and gather empirical evidence. Even in the pursuit of pure scientific knowledge, the success of experiments and the validation of theories often hinge on the availability and mastery of specialized techniques. This symbiotic relationship is evident in breakthroughs like the discovery of the Higgs boson, where both scientific expertise and advanced experimental techniques were crucial to its identification.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Foster Collaboration: Encourage interdisciplinary collaboration between scientists and practitioners of various techniques. By bridging the gap between theory and practice, innovative solutions can be developed, leading to accelerated progress in both domains.
  • 2. Prioritize Applied Research: Invest in research that focuses on the practical application of scientific knowledge. By addressing real-world challenges, this approach ensures that scientific advancements have tangible benefits for society, further enhancing the value of technique.
  • 3. Embrace Lifelong Learning: Recognize that both technique and science are ever-evolving. Continuously update and expand your knowledge and skills to stay abreast of the latest developments in both domains. By embracing a growth mindset and seeking opportunities for learning, you can contribute to the symbiotic relationship between technique and science.


The interplay between technique and science is a testament to the innate human curiosity and drive for progress. While technique serves as the foundation for human survival and progress, science provides the means to enhance its effectiveness and overcome its limitations. This symbiotic relationship has propelled humanity forward, resulting in groundbreaking discoveries and advancements that shape our world. By recognizing the interdependence of technique and science, fostering collaboration, prioritizing applied research, and embracing lifelong learning, we can contribute to this dynamic relationship and harness its full potential for the betterment of society.

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