Science

Science

Science information for online study; you can learn about science and related subjects, self-study and e-Learning courses about science.

Science

Science is the study of the physical and natural world through observations and experiments. Science is all around us. Right now, the fact that you exist and are in the process of reading this lesson is science. The food we enjoy, water we drink, and clothes we wear are all based in science. Looking up into the atmosphere gives us a glimpse into astronomy, another branch of science. You can't get around it. Science is everywhere and is one of the most important topics of study in our world. Science is the concerted human effort to understand, or to understand better, the history of the natural world and how the natural world works, with observable physical evidence as the basis of that understanding. It is done through observation of natural phenomena, and/or through experimentation that tries to simulate natural processes under controlled conditions. (There are, of course, more definitions of science.)Science can be thought of as both a body of knowledge (the things we have already discovered), and the process of acquiring new knowledge (through observation and experimentation—testing and hypothesizing). Both knowledge and process are interdependent, since the knowledge acquired depends on the questions asked and the methods used to find the answers. Consider some examples. An ecologist observing the territorial behaviors of bluebirds and a geologist examining the distribution of fossils in an outcrop are both scientists making observations in order to find patterns in natural phenomena. They just do it outdoors and thus entertain the general public with their behavior. An astrophysicist photographing distant galaxies and a climatologist sifting data from weather balloons similarly are also scientists making observations, but in more discrete settings. The field of ‘science’ is often grouped into:

Natural science—life or biological science (the study of living organisms) and physical science (the study of the material universe including physics, chemistry, space science etc).

Social science—the study of society and people (such as anthropology, psychology)

Formal science—the study of logic and mathematics

Applied science—disciplines that rely on science and use existing scientific knowledge to develop new applications, such as in engineering, robotics, agriculture and medicine.

The examples above are observational science, but there is also experimental science. A chemist observing the rates of one chemical reaction at a variety of temperatures and a nuclear physicist recording the results of bombardment of a particular kind of matter with neutrons are both scientists performing experiments to see what consistent patterns emerge. A biologist observing the reaction of a particular tissue to various stimulants is likewise experimenting to find patterns of behavior. These folks usually do their work in labs and wear impressive white lab coats, which seems to mean they make more money too.

Branches of Science

Physical science

The study of inanimate natural objects and the laws that govern them. It includes physics, chemistry, and astronomy. In physics, we try to break down the whole universe into a set of fundamental, mathematical laws that explain the smallest things in the universe and the largest. In chemistry, we study the composition, structure, changes and properties of matter: focusing on the scale of chemical bonds and reactions. And in astronomy, we study celestial objects, including the origin of the planet on which we live. 

Earth science is the study of the Earth and the physical components that make it up: the constitution of the atmosphere, the seas, the land, and how those things are tied together. It includes geology, oceanography, meteorology and paleontology. Paleontology, the study of life that lived in prehistoric and geologic periods, has some overlap with the life sciences. And other parts of Earth science have a lot of overlap with physical science. The first branch is mathematics & logic. It goes hand in hand as both are needed in relation to finding out how social sciences and natural sciences work. They are also both needed in forming laws, theories and hypothesis. Even scientist needs this branch of science, as they would not come to a conclusion without any formulation.

Biological science

This on the other hand deals with the study of living things. Biological science is divided into different sub topics. One of them is Zoology. It is a category under biology that focuses on the study of animal life. The study includes, and are not limited to, evolution, classification of both extinct and the living, structure and habits. Zoology also deals with embryology, which is the study of the animals' development of the embryo, from fertilization to fetus. Another category is Botany. This category is the scientific study of plants and its life cycle. Including in this study are the plants diseases, reproduction, growth, chemical properties, structure and relationship. Ecology on the other hand deals with the study of the environment and its relationship to living organisms. The last category of biological science is Paleontology. This category of biology deals with the study of prehistoric era. Fossils are not just the main concern in paleontology, it can include any subject that is related with the past, and in other words it can be a study of the whole history of mankind and its life on earth. Social science is one of the four major branches of science. This on the other hand is the study of the society and man's relationship to it. This study includes Anthropology, which is the study of human behavior and human development that considers cultural, social and physical aspects. Economics is another category under social science; this science studies goods and services, how they are being manufactured, distributed and consumed. Sociology meanwhile is the study of human society; it is more concerned in group activities and urban studies. This study is part of the social science branch, although synonymous when it comes to the name, sociology is more compound since it uses different methods of critical analysis and investigation to come up with a conclusion.

Scientific Research of Science

Furthermore, scientists don't just come up with explanations about the world around us willy-nilly. Not even close. Scientists use the scientific method, a process that helps construct an accurate depiction of our universe and its processes, in order to answer whatever question they may have! What this means is, researchers observe the world around them, formulate potential explanations for the phenomena they observe, test their hypotheses out with experiments, and analyze their results to see if they were right or wrong. The key thing about the scientific method is that it carries no prejudice, meaning you don't even have to believe whatever it is the researcher wrote or said! Using the scientific method, you can repeat the experiment to find out for yourself whether or not the other researcher's assertions are true. Science is a systematic and logical approach to discovering how things in the universe work. It is also the body of knowledge accumulated through the discoveries about all the things in the universe. When conducting research, scientists use the scientific method to collect measurable, empirical evidence in an experiment related to a hypothesis (often in the form of an if/then statement), the results aiming to support or contradict a theory.

Make an observation or observations.

  1. Ask questions about the observations and gather information.
  2. Form a hypothesis — a tentative description of what's been observed, and make predictions based on that hypothesis.
  3. Test the hypothesis and predictions in an experiment that can be reproduced.
  4. Analyze the data and draw conclusions; accept or reject the hypothesis or modify the hypothesis if necessary.

Reproduce the experiment until there are no discrepancies between observations and theory. "Replication of methods and results is my favorite step in the scientific method," Moshe Pritsker, a former post-doctoral researcher at Harvard Medical School and CEO of JoVE, told Live Science. "The reproducibility of published experiments is the foundation of science. 

Science Community

The scientific community is a broad term used to encompass people with science-based degrees that contribute towards and review research published in peer-reviewed journals. The scientific community is then mostly made up of scientists in academia, industry, and government that perform research.

It is quite vague, though in thinking about an answer, your question made me appreciate how broad of a term "scientific community" really is and how it is over-used in journalism as a blanket term to describe researchers and scientists. The progress of science depends on interactions within the scientific community — that is, the community of people and organizations that generate scientific ideas, test those ideas, publish scientific journals, organize conferences, train scientists, distribute research funds, etc. This scientific community provides the cumulative knowledge base that allows science to build on itself. It is also responsible for the further testing and scrutiny of ideas and for performing checks and balances on the work of community members. Community also called biological community, in biology, an interacting group of various species in a common location. For example, a forest of trees and undergrowth plants, inhabited by animals and rooted in soil containing bacteria and fungi, constitutes a biological community. Among the factors that determine the overall structure of a community are the number of species (diversity) within it, the number of each species (abundance) found within it, the interactions among the species, and the ability of the community to return to normal after a disruptive influence such as fire or drought. The change of biological communities over time is known as succession, or ecological succession.

Science and Public

Public science is basic scientific research funded by governments, and just in America alone it's led to breakthroughs in everything from medicine to clean energy. But now public science is under threat. Here's why — and why we can't afford to lose it. The US government has pledged to deal with the nation's debt crisis by cutting social spending. On the chopping block are many social programs, including some of the country's most important government-funded science institutions like the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).