What drove the modernization of civilization?

We hear in class, on the news, everywhere, about the Scientific Revolution, or of the Scientific Age, as the driver of modernity, as though scientists are responsible for the progress of humanity.

I think this is a provably false idea. 

Challenge: name ALL aspects of modernity that was created or proposed by a scientist first, then developed into something that helped people live better. Remember, the science has to come first, before it was exploited. And this has to be a problem solved by scientists, not by engineers. Here's my list:

  1. Synthetic dyes
  2. Kevlar

An original sample of mauvine, the first synthetic dye.

And both of those were discovered by accidents, not via the scientific method used by someone with a product to invent. Science follows invention and innovation, not the other way around. Later, science might help create efficiencies in the manufacture or marketing of products, but not in invention, not the exploitation to improve our lives. Even with things like polyurethane or synthetic ammonia or post-it glue, invented first by a chemist or chemical engineer, the engineering process is what made the product sellable. Synthetic ammonia, by the way, was not invented for farming. it was invented for war, by the Germans, because they wanted to make more bombs during World War I. Not exactly advancing civilization. Engineers later turned the process into one enhancing the farmland to increase crop yields.

If not the Scientific Age, what should we call it? The Age of Engineering. I like that word, engineering: the building and the running of an engine. An engine that does work, produces energy, transforming useless materials into a better and easier life for us all. It's a wonderful invention.

P.S. PBS Frontline is running a series trashing the oil industry for making carbon dioxide as the self-righteous commentators are sitting in plastic chairs and wearing synthetic fabrics. Laughably clueless.