Rethinking Teaching in the Sciences: April 7-27, 2008

What *is* science, anyway?

What *is* science, anyway?

by Gina Bennett -
Number of replies: 9
Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Science] states that science "refers to any systematic knowledge or practice. In its more usual restricted sense, science refers to a system of acquiring knowledge based on the scientific method, as well as to the organized body of knowledge gained through such research."

Wikipedia makes it sound like there are 2 parts to science: the acquisition of knowledge (experimental practice) as well as the body of knowledge itself (theory). What do you think? Is it possible to "learn science" without both involving both types of learning?

In reply to Gina Bennett

Re: What *is* science, anyway?

by Christine Horgan -

Hello:

If one accepts the Wikipedia definition (and as a non-science person it does not sound unreasonable), one has to ask if the same definition can be applied to humanities as well.

Chris Horgan

In reply to Gina Bennett

Re: What *is* science, anyway?

by Estrella gancedo -
I think you learn science facts if you only study the theory but if you want to get to real comprehension you need to "do science", that means experimental practice.

Estrella
In reply to Estrella gancedo

Re: What *is* science, anyway?

by Dominic Bergeron -
I agree with you Estrella. Science is based on the scientific method. The scientific method involves a thought process and it also involves DOING. Science can be taught with a book but students get the real appreciation of what science is by experimenting.
In reply to Dominic Bergeron

Re: What *is* science, anyway?

by Gina Bennett -
Estrella & Dominic, I agree with you both. But it's the nature of that "science by DOING" that is the most interesting. How do you DO science, exactly? To put it another way: is it possible for a person with no hands to 'do' science?
In reply to Gina Bennett

Re: What *is* science, anyway?

by Dominic Bergeron -
Science with no hands....ABSOLUTELY! The thought process is really important. Theoretical physics has to be done with computers, experiments (if at all possible) can be virtual. The scientific method STILL APPLIES and hypothesis can be laid out. Some sciences need to be hands on, like microbiology, BUT a scientist that lost his or her hands can still be a scientist and DO science. Experiments will have to be done by others. Application of the scientific method is necessary in all aspects of science. To teach science we need to teach students to learn about that method!
In reply to Gina Bennett

Re: What *is* science, anyway?

by Deleted user -
My apologies, but just my two cents ..Better late than never! smile
Yes, one can DO science without hands... without body, even! well, almost . On reading this point, I immediately thought of Stephen Hawking .
I would put it this way: science needs "brains" perhaps more than hands.
Also, more relevant to this discussion, Stephen Hawking's experience and work could also be as a good case-in-point of extreme how technology may drive us to re-think science.

In reply to Gina Bennett

Re: What *is* science, anyway?

by Nalin Abeysekera -

Hello,

According to the   Academic Press Dictionary of Science & Technology science defined as "1. the systematic observation of natural events and conditions in order to discover facts about them and to formulate laws and principles based on these facts. 2. the organized body of knowledge that is derived from such observations and that can be verified or tested by further investigation. 3. any specific branch of this general body of knowledge, such as biology, physics, geology, or astronomy"

it seems to be like investigation ,discovering and known to unknown (research) always play a important part of science.

In reply to Nalin Abeysekera

Re: What *is* science, anyway?

by Dominic Bergeron -
Application of the scientific method
In reply to Dominic Bergeron

Re: What *is* science, anyway?

by Rob Johnson -
Hello again to everyone,
I am in too many dialogs this week but I ran across a couple of item that I think may be of interest to the discussion on what is science and what can the new technologies do to help educators present their lessons and materials. Yes experiments, scientific method (notice I did not say THE), lectures, collaborative projects are all potential tools but here are a couple of things that I think are pretty unique to being able to access Technology of the internet.

This could be used as an introduction to a project lesson, group discussion, or whatever you would like to do to enhance the topic after getting the students interest.
Newton's Laws of Motion

Same thing but another topic.
An incredible five minute tour of underwater creatures

Enjoy,
rob