Via Tech Nation comes a nice audio interview with engineer, professor and author Henry Petroski. On the heels of his latest book The Essential Engineer: Why Science Alone Will Not Solve Our Global Problems he discusses the differences between Science and Engineering with Dr. Moira Gunn, how they work together, are viewed differently by the media and the public and how they’re funded differently. The 40 minute conversation ends with a discussion about engineering’s role in our world’s infrastructure and in solving problems from energy to agriculture.
The Duke University professor has written many books on engineering and design including two of my favorites that I routinely suggest and lend to others — The Evolution of Useful Things: How Everyday Artifacts-From Forks and Pins to Paper Clips and Zippers-Came to be as They are and To Engineer Is Human: The Role of Failure in Successful Design.
I haven’t read his latest work yet, but can’t wait. Petroski has a way of presenting, both in this interview and in his books, these sometimes intimidating or seemingly unapproachable technological issues in a very accessible way.