Science is all around us, and oftentimes we’re so accustomed to it that we don’t even notice it. The scientific method drives many advances we see in technology, medicine, and other fields, but what is it exactly?
Science is a broad term that encompasses numerous activities. Most people associate science with the scientific method, which relies on observation, experimentation, and inference to draw conclusions. Slight changes in scientific processes can lead to a completely different conclusion. For instance, Newton’s theory of gravity is usually referred to as Newtonian physics, based on Newton’s observations and experiments to determine gravity. Later, Einstein’s theory of relativity, which incorporated Newton’s theory of gravity, determined that gravity is not universal, and gravity can be altered depending on conditions.
Science is a wonderful thing, and this wonder is something understood and celebrated by all. As a discipline, science is fascinating, fun, and sometimes confusing—but always stimulating. The pursuit of scientific knowledge is as old as humanity itself, and humanity’s insatiable thirst for knowledge only continues to grow.
Science, as a discipline, has usually been the meaning of science. It refers to the systematic study of the natural world through observation, experimentation, and logical reasoning. Scholarly and scientific research is often the method by which scientists do science. In the past decade, however, science has taken on another meaning: science as in “science fiction,” or in more vernacular terms, “science fantasy.”
Study of the natural world
Science is the study of nature, the natural world, and its facts. It studies how things are; for instance, what causes storms, how animals live, or how (and why) human beings develop diseases. Science usually includes observation, experiment, and modeling. Science also involves observation, experimentation, and modeling.
Science is the study of the natural world. The scientific method is a systematic plan to investigate a natural phenomenon, design a method for testing the hypothesis, and report the results of the experiments.
Set of knowledge
Science is a set of knowledge acquired through observation and experimentation. It can be used to explain natural phenomena, predict and control our behavior, and create new technologies to satisfy material needs.
Science is the knowledge we have gained through observation. Science as a set is a form of knowledge in which there is a collection of facts that have been gathered through observation. An important feature of science as a set is a disciplined body of knowledge. Science as a Set of knowledge is not static. As new theories are discovered, new observations and facts are added to the body of knowledge. Scientists work within a body of knowledge.
Science, by its nature, is an ever-changing body of knowledge. As new evidence comes to light, scientists add new findings and theories to our understanding of the world. As a result, what we know about science is constantly evolving, taking us ever closer to comprehending everything there is to know about it.
Scientists use the scientific method to solve problems and answer questions. They can conduct observations, make predictions, test hypotheses, and record their results. Scientists use the scientific method to solve problems by asking questions, conducting experiments, and using results to make predictions that inform similar experiments.
In science, methods are the ways we test our ideas. Methods are systematic ways of checking that what we think is true is indeed true. Methods allow us to determine what is relevant and ignore what is irrelevant. These methods shape our thinking about what is true. Methods also enable us to predict what might be true, even when we cannot yet observe what is actually true. Methods link our ideas to the real world.