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Question of the Week: What branch of science do you find most interesting?

2009 May 11

Each week we ask a question related to the environment. Please let us know your thoughts as comments. Feel free to respond to earlier comments or post new ideas. Previous questions.

Science has many branches – biology, physics, geology, chemistry, and others.  Tell us what kind of science you find most interesting and why.

What branch of science do you find most interesting?

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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79 Responses leave one →
  1. Alan Duffy permalink
    May 11, 2009

    I work in this area – also loving the build up to the launch today at Cape Canaveral (11th May 2009) and of course it relates to the Hubble Telescope

  2. Carlos D. Torres permalink
    May 11, 2009

    Chemistry is the most interesting. Through chemistry, you can explain current phenomenons that are affecting our environment; for example, the ozone layer depletion. Also, some problems like the greenhouse effect, can be minimized utilizing systems that work with chemical reactions. For example, methane, a greenhouse gas, can be burned to form carbon dioxide, a much less dangerous greenhouse gas.

  3. Rensay Owen permalink
    May 11, 2009

    Molecular Biology. The basis of life itself.

  4. Sunny permalink
    May 11, 2009

    Micro-biology! Less dramatic than a space launch but the detail of research for identifing that ‘thing’ causing/curing disease fascinates me. It’s there, like deep space, and the researchers are bold and brilliant; most often making unapplauded contributions. Yea for them all!

  5. Patrick permalink
    May 11, 2009

    I always enjoyed studying physics for the insights it gives us into the nature of this reality we find ourselves in. Then again, entomology is pretty cool, too.

  6. Gail permalink
    May 11, 2009

    Forensic Science. That was my major in college. I find it facinating what criminalists can do with just a trace of evidence, i.e., tracing saliva found at a crime scene to the perpetrator.

  7. Anonymous permalink
    May 11, 2009

    Economics. it is useful in areas like the commercialized strategy to deal with climate change, valuation of the impact of an environmental issue

  8. Michalene permalink
    May 11, 2009

    Environmental Science is my favorite. It combines aspects of chemistry, biology, geology and so many more. The difference with enviornmental science is that you are trying to determine how things really happen in nature. It is different every time because of the inputs into the system. And it is greatly misunderstood because of the idea that science can be done in a vaccuum when it really can’t. Yes, I’ll take environmental science!

  9. Fernando martinez permalink
    May 11, 2009

    For me as a simple person not a PhD or any other higher level (I’m just Civil Engineer) I like Chemestry, but simple one. Not advanced due to it’s impossible to see it, only in laboratories, universities, etc. There are many samples of “On Hand Chemestry”, we can apply in everywhere and can be showed to small kids, teenagers, adults and seniors, this way we can create or promote onto them “Environmental Care Mind”

  10. Liz permalink
    May 11, 2009

    Environmental science which encompasses issues such as climate change, sustainable development, noise pollution, disaster reduction, air pollution, water quality, groundwater contamination , soil contamination, waste management, conservation, biodiversity, and use of natural resources.

    One of my personal passions is to stop the degradation of the planet’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature.

  11. LEO BYFORD permalink
    May 11, 2009

    I find this question extremely interesting. I seems to me that if EPA was interested in science and wanted answers, EPA would also stop evading the federal laws that have been mandated by congress. You can have all the science you want, but if EPA decides to distance itself from the science and not follow what the science has proven, it doe not make the science have much value or much use.

  12. Todd Letterman permalink
    May 11, 2009

    This is a tough one I love both Chemical and Phyisics, in one aspect you have the rocket that must get off the ground and the chemical portion that equates to the right type of fuel for propelling the rocket to the type of materials that were created by chemistry to be able to withstand the heat and cold and elastisity to different enviorments.

  13. David permalink
    May 11, 2009

    I enjoy clean sources of energy such as solar power. This discipline involves many sciences. I am aware of material science, microelectronics, and chemistry. It make sense to utilize free sources of power.

  14. Helen permalink
    May 11, 2009

    I think Geology is the most exciting – it is so thrilling to think about how the earth is always moving, changing, morphing – sometimes imperceptibly, sometimes with a big bang. Man will never tame the geological forces of the earth.

  15. Luis Visani permalink
    May 11, 2009

    Well, I agree with you, maybe because we work in the same area. My favorite kind of studies are ecotoxicoloy, i have the flexibility to work with chemistry understanding how determined substance could affect the organisms in the environment throught all systems water, soil and atmosphere. There is nothing better than work in real place to realize how the systems works. The environmental science can provide these things

  16. Edik permalink
    May 11, 2009

    Science is a way of life to approach our reasons.

  17. ALD permalink
    May 11, 2009

    Environmental Science – simple fact that it combines different sciences – It is not pure physics or pure mathematics or biology. It also relates better to what makes the world tick. Too many times we focus on just one aspect and assume that is the true answer, when it really just a small part of the overall solution.

  18. Ruthie Gocka permalink
    May 11, 2009

    I used to think marine biology especially ichtyology was the most intriguing, however after studying environmental science as a student Im not quite sure. There are so very many aspects of science that are fascinating, its almost impossible to decide but if I have to I would say ecology is pretty amazing because it includes the fish and every habitat possible for every creature on this beautiful Earth.

  19. Ruthie permalink
    May 11, 2009

    Wouldnt that be wonderful? Sadly it seems as it will never happen . Someday.

  20. sam7 permalink
    May 11, 2009

    well, i think electronic is interesting science for me, i like it because it is

    ERRATIC and we can do more STRANGE ,WONDER ,surprise,astonish things,

    and we always wait for new on it.
    we can make very short and ECONOMIC and EVERGREEN things .
    in these days we can may electric material with those SPECIFICATION, but

    economy policy …. . it\’s , because initiative is very pale and we want just more

    more money ,and what we earn ? more waste, more less energy , need more

    material , more ….
    we can do new energy saver, new battery, new everything that help human for

    better life no money life, in electronic and every branch of science.

  21. James Elder permalink
    May 11, 2009

    I’m fastenated with space just because of the vast size and distance . Here on earth it would have to be the environment . Working in the automotive repair business and racing cars as well , I’m excited to see how the clean , renewable fuels will work, and which will be the best for the environment . A hybrid electric/hydrogen car will be first , but there are some clever people out there . It is always a give and take , meaning when you apply x you lose a little of y . The known clean renewables today each have their limits . I can’t wait ….

  22. Jimmy McCurry permalink
    May 11, 2009

    My most favorite science is political science. Talk about evolution! I have just finished reading “John Adams” by author David McCullough and have read “The Making of The American Republic” {The Great Documents, 1774-1789} by Charles Tansill. It amazes me how brilliant these founding fathers were and how important it is to protect our Constitution from left leaning judges that think it does not apply today. There is legislation in 23 states (last count) reaffirming state rights as was originally set forth in the Constitution. It is terrible that our “tenured” professors and even our public school teachers no longer teach the principals of the Constitution. One day I am afraid we are going to wake up under a socialistic government and all our rights will be gone.

    Please take time to study political science, citizens educating themselves may be the only way we save the United States.

  23. Betty McCurry permalink
    May 11, 2009

    My favorite science is eschatology. There are many truths that are only revealed by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to Christian Believers. The Bible calls these “mysteries” because to the carnal man they make no sense. There is predicted in the Last Days a great falling away from Christianity. You can see it happening daily throughout the world at this time. When the last person “believes” and receives salvation the church will be raptured leaving only non-believers on this earth. That is when the ant-christ will make a treaty between the world and Israel. This treaty will last 3 1/2 years in which the Israeli’s will rebuild the Temple. At that time the ant-christ will declare himself god and defile the Temple. He will then wage war on Israel to try to completely destroy God’s chosen people but Israel will be miraculously protected by God. God’s son, Jesus Christ will return and defeat the anti-christ (Lucifer) throwing him into the pit for a thousand years. Christ will then set up his millennial kingdom and reign for a thousand years on the earth.

  24. ALEXANDER SELVAM permalink
    May 12, 2009

    The branch of science that interest me is Preventive Medicine. A sound knowledge of it helps to prevent infectious and non-infectious diseases which are quite common and widespread nowadays. Once an outbreak occurs then control measures should be in place to curb further widespread.People in this field work without being noticed at times.

  25. Goffinet McLaren permalink
    May 12, 2009

    I do not know if “interesting” is the way to describe my feelings about chemistry but I do feel most strongly about it because it is the most damaging and least responsive to our environment. The chemical industry seems to be destroying our planet with all their detrimental products.

  26. Justin Marble permalink
    May 12, 2009

    Hydrology. What could be more important, controversial, or interesting than water?

  27. LE HOUEDEC permalink
    May 12, 2009

    Helen is right… We can by geology learn how our ancesters live, build, eat and how systems ender (agricol world after cuting fruit)… Perhaps do we learn how people invested in their groups (human).

  28. Lori Latimer permalink
    May 12, 2009

    Geology. The Earth and all of her beautiful layers, can tell us much about the past. It is over quoted and I don’t imagine it is taken to heart; “…if we don’t learn from our past, we are destined to repeat it.”

    I have attended excavations that told of times of volcano eruptions, rising water, and perhaps even civilizations wiped away. Our earth (dirt and rock) speak to us, I find this interesting beyond measure.

    Drop me in a pile of river rock and leave me, and I will be the happiest person in the world.

  29. Linda permalink
    May 12, 2009

    While I am interested in almost all branches of science, I chose to study Environmental Biology because, as has been noted by others, it encompasses and embraces many disciplines, so I got to have a little bit of everything; Biology from the micro- to the macro-scale, chemistry, a bit of physics, a little math, a touch of genetics, a hint of epidemiology, lots of ecology … you get the picture. I may be done with my formal education (for now), but I’m still learning all the time; as a biologist, all you have to do to learn is open your eyes to the world around you.

  30. Don permalink
    May 12, 2009

    Reading the above responses sure makes me think that we have many interpretations to what is science. One thing for sure, it is diff erent things to different people.

  31. Oge permalink
    May 12, 2009

    Chemistry of course. If I may ask, what in the world is not chemistry? Our building materials, clothings, cosmetics, drugs, make ups, electrical components, food, automobiles etc all involve chemistry in different stages of prodction. Talk about the quality of our environmennt: air, water, soil – it is all about chemistry. Chemistry is certainly the BUILDING BLOCKS of the earth!!!

  32. Janet permalink
    May 12, 2009

    Biology! I’m fascinated by the animals and plants that inhabit this earth. We are all dependent on each other and even the smallest (seeming) extinction can wreak havoc with the biosystem. We must learn from this.

  33. Bryan Nielsen permalink
    May 12, 2009

    I am most interested in aquatic biology, observing the habits, interactions and amazing diversity underwater. Although the reality of my day to day work is environmental science where I work to solve problems to improve the environment.

  34. Anonymous permalink
    May 12, 2009

    astronomy

  35. Kathy permalink
    May 12, 2009

    Geology. It all starts here: the Big Bang, Plate Tectonics, ocean currents, climate, the very stuff of life. We are nowhere without geology.

  36. Sharon permalink
    May 12, 2009

    It has to be physics. I took a class in physics. I had Dr. Chow, oh man! I got a C and was glad to get it. It was a tough class, but fascinating. If I were smarter I would major in it.

  37. Frank permalink
    May 12, 2009

    I think the Hubble Telescope should be granted honorary status as a Citizen of the USA. I know that sounds crazy, but I really do think its contributions to science have been in the extreme and entirely unparalleled in America.

  38. Dan permalink
    May 12, 2009

    Ecology. It integrates thought in many other sciences (biology, chemistry, geology, meteorology and physics) with the behavior of organisms (including humans). It also comes in various forms including deep and social ecology. Mankind has much to learn from these systems and must try to find a balance within them to go on successfully as part of a greater whole, this beautiful planet Earth.

    I find it the most interesting because it digs into the smallest and incorporates the largest (sort of like physics, but at the organism and ecosystem levels) into a cohesive understanding of the natural world and our place within it.

  39. John permalink
    May 12, 2009

    Let’s not confuse science and faith. Science is about measurement and prediction based on verifiable physical evidence. Faith is about stuff you believe in, or are told to believe in, regardless of physical evidence. They told us to believe that sun went around the earth, until we measured otherwise and told them to take a hike. BTW, that treaty is going to last 3 and 3/4 years… I have faith!

  40. João Carlos permalink
    May 12, 2009

    Physics. And the very base of it, Math.

  41. Regina Atterberry Philson permalink
    May 12, 2009

    Because science is so inter-related, it’s very difficult to just pick one main subject of interest. As an Environmental Scientist, I evaluate many pollutants that impact biological systems (Chemistry/Biology). In addition, the route of entry and chemical pathway for these contaminants may affect the groundwater and aquifer systems (geology), which in turns determine particle movement and velocity (physics). Science encomposes all things and it is truly amazing!

  42. Bonnie Aylor permalink
    May 12, 2009

    Wow, that’s a really hard question since I love science period. However, I tend to really get into behavioral science, but that’s merely on a soft science level so that doesn’t count. Past that I’d have to say biology, I’d call it health science however I love to see the way biological systems work together, even if it’s just how an ecosystem works via all the tasks of all the little creatures floating around or if it’s how things interact in our bodies or in an animal’s body and how to conquer those things, ie how diseases act and are formed or other illnesses, genetics, evolution, how to make myself the utmost in health or the lowest, etc. What kind of diet can I give my dogs and how will their system react? So on and so forth. How does the water and all teh creatures interact with the coral reefs, and stuff like that.

    However, ALL SCIENCE IS FUN!!!

  43. Bill permalink
    May 12, 2009

    Biology. Within biology or the general study of living organisms is the opportunity to investigate multiple scientific elements all working together in an efficient manner (chemistry, physics, engineering, etc.). For example, look at the field of biomimicry and all the fantastic practical applications that are evolving in this area of study (swim suits that mimic shark skin, adhesive that mimics gecko foot pads, ….). Now that is cool stuff with its origin based in biology!

  44. Jon permalink
    May 12, 2009

    Biology & Ecology (Environmental Science) is my favorite. I think it’s awesome to be able to walk in the woods or a marsh or a bog or a beach, etc and be able to properly identify a singing bird or an old oak tree. Or stick an auger into the ground and look at the soils and say, hey, that’s an A horizon b/c there are minerals in it.
    Science is fun.

  45. Edward B. permalink
    May 12, 2009

    I personally like physics the most. Im working to get a doctorates in a spcific area in physics, called astrophysics!!! GO PHYSICS WOOOOOOO!

    I like physics because this subject in science explains how our world works, which is what I’m really into.

  46. Ellie permalink
    May 12, 2009

    Marine biology, I’m going to be a marine biologist when I grow up! These under water wonders are amazing to me

  47. Frank permalink
    May 12, 2009

    Biology and all its subsets. I think the understanding and preservation of LIFE is our most important task.

  48. Jeffrey Levy, EPA permalink*
    May 13, 2009

    That’s why I got a B.S. in Physics, Edward. But in my third year, it all turned into calculus, and I lost the connection to the real world. I still enjoy what I call science museum physics, and love teaching simple things to my kids. But I left the formal study behind after college.

  49. Alka permalink
    May 13, 2009

    Electronics …a branch wid physics is more interesting….

  50. Vincent Chidi permalink
    May 13, 2009

    physics to me is the mother of all sciences and nothing interest me like anything that has dynamic and independently progressive nature. anything that involves science is all about human reasoning and logical calculations that can be applied in true live situations and physics holds the basics of them all. It is interesting to know that all branches of science needs the basics or advance knowledge of physics for a progressive advance in their studies. as long as the universe is involved every thing is on motion…so get a better understanding of motions from Physics.
    thank you.

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