# Who is better, the scientist or the engineer?

#### PeteHL

Joined Dec 17, 2014
378
"Science can amuse and fascinate us all, but it is engineering that changes the world." -Isaac Asimov

"Without science engineering is impossible." -Pete

#### Papabravo

Joined Feb 24, 2006
17,624
"Science can amuse and fascinate us all, but it is engineering that changes the world." -Isaac Asimov

"Without science engineering is impossible." -Pete
yin..yang

#### ronsimpson

Joined Oct 7, 2019
1,758
With out an engineer science is just a theory.

#### atferrari

Joined Jan 6, 2004
4,516
It all depends, gentlemen. In vessels, the sole person who cannot fail is the cook and the sole person you like to know has nothing to do is the nurse.

#### Papabravo

Joined Feb 24, 2006
17,624
It all depends, gentlemen. In vessels, the sole person who cannot fail is the cook and the sole person you like to know has nothing to do is the nurse.
It should be a corollary that the captain is probably redundant.

#### atferrari

Joined Jan 6, 2004
4,516
It should be a corollary that the captain is probably redundant.
No, he is simply, out of question. For a reason his rank is Master.

#### Papabravo

Joined Feb 24, 2006
17,624
The captain is redundant because he has crew that are well trained and know their jobs.

#### schmitt trigger

Joined Jul 12, 2010
482
I once heard a saying from an old salt:
“When the sea is calm, any ahole can be a captain”.

#### SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
3,853
Be, Do

#### MrChips

Joined Oct 2, 2009
25,053
I have a degree in Engineering Physics. That makes be both a scientist and an engineer. We have yet to decide who is better. We get the best of both worlds.

My motto is - "An Engineering Physics graduate is someone with a solution looking for a problem."

#### nsaspook

Joined Aug 27, 2009
9,098
The captain is redundant because he has crew that are well trained and know their jobs.
Great leadership is never redundant. Someone has to make the slice the baby in half decisions when life and limb is on the line. I've had good Captains and great Captains. For the great one we all would have willingly endured the flames of hell knowing he would be there with us.

#### nsaspook

Joined Aug 27, 2009
9,098
With out an engineer science is just a theory.
Science is much more than theory of course. The real value of science and scientists in engineering is the ability to tell the future within the confines of what should be possible at the next level. The scientific power of prediction allows engineers to design things that have never existed and would have likely never come to physical existence without a body of work that engineers could use and bean counters could bank on. The billions and many lifetimes of effort we see in the different types of possible fusion reactors is a good example. On the flip side I hate working on equipment/systems designed by scientists because they have a bad habit of thinking their crap doesn't smell.

#### ronsimpson

Joined Oct 7, 2019
1,758
Science is much more than theory of course............ their crap doesn't smell.
Then you have seen many time when the "Scientist" enters the room and "I have a idea". It takes you and me to make the thing that does not work. Then change it until it does work. The "Scientist" gets in the news. He makes a speech about how it works and the long hours he worked. We just sit and watch and say to our selves "that is not how it works" and you were not here at midnight with us.

#### SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
3,853
I've known a few engineers like that. Incapable of internally visualizing, incapable of giving a drafter a sketch, and having them draw and redraw a design and eventually having to be told just exactly what it is that he needs to do to implement what they could not express in words. They didn't last very long.

#### ronsimpson

Joined Oct 7, 2019
1,758
Who is better, the scientist or the engineer?
This is like "which is better, a hammer or a screw driver?"

#### MrChips

Joined Oct 2, 2009
25,053
Not quite. Science comes before the engineering can begin. Why comes before how.

#### nsaspook

Joined Aug 27, 2009
9,098
Then you have seen many time when the "Scientist" enters the room and "I have a idea". It takes you and me to make the thing that does not work. Then change it until it does work. The "Scientist" gets in the news. He makes a speech about how it works and the long hours he worked. We just sit and watch and say to our selves "that is not how it works" and you were not here at midnight with us.
More common in my experience is that things are designed without thinking about the consequences of errors or failures by a "Scientist". Obviously belief in 'Murphy's Law' is not on the graduation prerequisites for a PHD. In mechanical systems, things like pneumatic valves are just assumed to really open and close when the computer sends a signal because positive feedback from switches that sense actual positions are not used. Pump sequences rely on timing with a instead of actual flow or level feedback, etc ... In software systems, well, I could go on forever...

https://www.scientificamerican.com/index.cfm/_api/render/file/?method=inline&amp;fileID=925DD53C-CD04-44C6-A51E64D35BB9432F
But though most nonscientists have never doubted the validity of Murphy’s Law, scientists typically dismiss it as nothing more than a product of our selective memory for those times when things don’t go well. In this case, however, the scientists appear to have dismissed popular wisdom too hastily. Using a wide range of mathematics and science, from probability theory to rigid-body dynamics, I have been investigating Murphy’s Law.
...
It seems that toast tends to land butter-side down because the universe is designed that way.
...
That many of the manifestations of Murphy’s Law do have some basis in fact suggests that perhaps scientists should not be so hasty to explain away the experience of millions as mere delusion. And with many of the explanations based on disciplines ranging from rigid body dynamics to probability theory, analysis of various manifestations of Murphy’s Law may also help motivate students to study otherwise dry topics.
Long ago scientists were rare because most were eaten by crocodiles crossing the river because they assumed it was safe after watching the first few experienced creatures cross without being eaten.

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#### SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
3,853
Science is based on math described operations proven by experimentation. The experimentation often requires an engineer to design and build it. Ala Ouroboros!

#### ElectricSpidey

Joined Dec 2, 2017
2,032
That's a tough question.