MIT Technology Review - Questions
The usage of the term "innovation" has actually altered substantially over the last 200 years. Before the 20th century, the term was unusual in English, and it was used either to refer to the description or study of the useful arts or to mention technical education, as in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (chartered in 1861). The term "innovation" increased to prominence in the 20th century in connection with the 2nd Industrial Transformation. The term's significances altered in the early 20th century when American social researchers, beginning with Thorstein Veblen, equated ideas from the German concept of into "innovation." In German and other European languages, a distinction exists in between technik and technologie that is missing in English, which generally equates both terms as "innovation." By the 1930s, "technology" referred not only to the study of the industrial arts however to the industrial arts themselves.
Scientists and engineers usually choose to specify technology as used science, instead of as the important things that people make and utilize. More recently, scholars have obtained from European theorists of "strategy" to extend the meaning of innovation to various types of instrumental reason, as in Foucault's deal with innovations of the self (strategies de soi). Dictionaries and scholars have used a range of definitions. The deals a definition of the term: "using science in industry, engineering, etc., to develop useful things or to resolve issues" and "a maker, piece of equipment, technique, and so on, that is created by innovation." Ursula Franklin, in her 1989 "Genuine World of Innovation" lecture, offered another meaning of the principle; it is "practice, the way we do things around here." The term is often used to indicate a specific field of technology, or to refer to high innovation or just consumer electronic devices, instead of innovation as a whole.