Wednesday, December 03, 2008

What Is Science?

I don't think you can get a more compact answer on "What Is Science" than this article, even though I think that isn't the main purpose of the article.

In schools, science is often taught as a body of knowledge — a set of facts and equations. But all that is just a consequence of scientific activity.

Science itself is something else, something both more profound and less tangible. It is an attitude, a stance towards measuring, evaluating and describing the world that is based on skepticism, investigation and evidence. The hallmark is curiosity; the aim, to see the world as it is. This is not an attitude restricted to scientists, but it is, I think, more common among them. And it is not something taught so much as acquired during a training in research or by keeping company with scientists.

This is why I proposed the revamping of the intro physics labs, with the aim towards the students that are NOT physics/science majors. It is one of the few classes they will have where they can acquire such skill that a scientist must have.


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