Most people in Daventry are leary of science and its machines. Specifically they are more concerned about technology. In fact often see technology as a form of the darkest of magic. Any technology, sufficiently advanced, is indistinguishable from magic-Arthur C. Clarke.
Still not all are against science, and it is taught at the Magicians' Academy to round out the students' knowledge. It is not entirely uncommon for magicians to study or use the sciences in their magic.
Farquhar was much learned in the sciences.