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Question of the Week: What is your definition of science?

2009 May 4

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Science is a lot of things to a lot of people. Some folks think of science as beakers, test tubes and experiments, others as statistics and numbers. Tell us what science means to you.

What is your definition of science?

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47 Responses leave one →
  1. Anonymous permalink
    May 4, 2009

    Science for me is the understanding of Universe’s mechanism. It’s find the path of the nature. It’s like art and poetry all combined with the beauty of the maths. It’s a universal languaje.

  2. Janna permalink
    May 4, 2009

    Science means to me a very systematic way of exploring how the world works – an attempt to discover whether our ‘hunches’ about such things can stand up to the multitude of ‘other’ explanations. The goal of science is to be able to say with certainty we now know why something happens, and how it happens, so that ultimately we can use this knowledge for the betterment of worldkind. (Yes, I’m an idealist!)

  3. AMARENDRA PADHI permalink
    May 4, 2009

    special knowledge on any branch of a specfic
    subject is known as science.

  4. Jerry permalink
    May 4, 2009

    Science is verifiable reality that we can all subjectively or objectively look at and come to identical conclusions about. Science pushes the limits of the unknown to make better conclusions and openly challenges its previous decisions to better define the causal effects. It is sanity

  5. tom harris permalink
    May 4, 2009

    science is a theory that works for the moment until smarter people come along and prove that something else exist. i think mankind is an infant and that shows by the fact that prizes and awards are givin out for projects that will 1 day be disproven. mankind is arrogant and should only place their findings under the proper word temp science

  6. Kevin permalink
    May 4, 2009

    The study of phenomenom using a system of controlled, repeatable experiments and theorems.

  7. Dr. Shabbir Rizvi permalink
    May 4, 2009

    Branch of hypothetical knowledge ordained by humankind based upon true (naturally occurring) laws operatiing in nature within defined human mind perception. In turn these laws are based interatively upon factual strong observations; problem posing facts, hypothetical assumptions, hypothesis tests of facts, confirmation of established facts or generation of new facts.

  8. Susan Tolbert permalink
    May 4, 2009

    Drawing false conclusions from anecdotal information to accomplish an agenda….oops, wait – that’s Global Warming Science. Sorry.

    Science is the process of learning by using the scientific method (i.e. the collection of data through observation and experiment, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses)

  9. Heather D. permalink
    May 4, 2009

    Science is the methodological study of the our universe and anything in it. That sudy is based on observation, data collection, and the formation of hypothesese that can be tested.

  10. John permalink
    May 4, 2009

    Science is a form of organized inquiry wherein the primary goal is to falsify the null hypothesis. Like any other form of human inquiry it is guided by a series of commonly accepted beliefs. Unlike technology, scientific information is not neccessarily cummulative but is malleable acccording to the paradigm followed. Depending on the paradigm, scientific terms can mean completely different things and the both key questions and the resultant answers will be different. Science has a very strong political dimension and views of the community limit the nature and degree of change.

  11. Kerstin Jonsson permalink
    May 4, 2009

    Science means to me the exploration about things that is difficult to understand by pure logical thinking or if you say thinking about material or pure fhysiological things.It’s this which is a bit above what you can understand and also theese things that are a bit above us.

  12. Bonnie Aylor permalink
    May 4, 2009

    Science is many things. Basically, it’s when you apply analysis to a question that you have so that you can test and experiment and theologize and use data to derive some common answer amongst all of those things. Science is exploration. Its also applying those theories to real life and learning how to evolve with them or basically how to evolve the theories to fit the truths. It’s learning and making what you learn into a solid language so that everyone can understand. Science is a lot of things.

  13. Lori permalink
    May 4, 2009

    Science to me is to study and to find a proven answer thus far to the unknown…….make sense?

  14. Chrios S permalink
    May 4, 2009

    Science is a tool that is used to discover new facts, re-xamine “old” facts and draw conclusions.

    Science is not just a formal study of some aspect of our universe; it is also a unique approach to understanding the world around us, currently known as “scientific method.”

    But the bottom line is that those who embrace this way of thinking are trying to come to the most accurate understanding of what they observe, knowing that they are limited in their ability to discover facts and answers and aware of the dangers of cultural bias when trying to formulate answers that will “fit” the facts as they are known at the time.

    Science depends upon peer review and the ability to recognize when a particular hypothosis is not consistent with the known facts. Even a theory that is ultimately determined to be accurate (and the mechanism that supports that theory) needs to undergo rigorous testing and not be blindly accepted at face value.

    That said, scientists are human and are very good at making mistakes in every aspects of their lives. Science is a tool and can be misused, just like every other tool ever invented by humankind.

  15. Helenann permalink
    May 4, 2009

    To mean science means DISCOVERY.

  16. May 4, 2009

    In my high school science class, we were taught there are two unchangeable rules of science. In order for anything to be considered scientific fact, it must be OBSERVABLE and REPRODUCIBLE. That knocks out quite a few ideas that are considered “scientific fact” today, doesn’t it?

  17. Lorenzo permalink
    May 4, 2009

    Science to me is the study of anything that naturally occurs in the universe. Or, to put it more simple, everything.

  18. Mykela permalink
    May 4, 2009

    Science is the things in life people are willing to go out and discover and experiance. Not a single creature on Earth or anywhere else can survive without science in their life while still having their sanity.

  19. Gwynne permalink
    May 4, 2009

    Science is how we explore, investigate and try to prove our creation myths–how we got here and why “here” is like it is.

    Some use it to prove that there is no God, some to show how there definitely is a God. Sometimes science morphs into religion. Then new scientists question that dogma adding to inquiry and knowledge.

  20. Scott permalink
    May 4, 2009

    Science is a lot of things regarding a higher method of understanding, research and development; but what many fail to misconstrued are the positive and negative impacts it has brought without any ethical control in developing countries. Science to me in short is weapon or a blessing in progression and very hard to manage.

  21. Jimmy McCurry permalink
    May 4, 2009

    Many people in the media and government define science as “what is perceived to be true.” This leads to junk science such as Al Gore and his global warning theories. Scientists now are saying that we may actually be interring a global cooling cycle, so all of the environmentalists have changed their cry to “climate change’ instead of global warming. All of this is designed to scare the uneducated into allowing the government more power over our individual rights. “Real” science is something that can be proven beyond a shadow of a doubt. Real science is upheld after being scrutinized by others in the research world, not the government or media. How many federal judges or even legislators are educated in the “sciences” yet they fall for the junk science and legislate accordingly. One of our founding fathers put it best, “I would rather be led by the first 200 people in New York City than by 200 lawyers in Washington D.C.

  22. Jimmy McCurry permalink
    May 4, 2009

    Could it be that science is the attempt of mankind to discover the intricate creations made by a supreme being. ie. Understanding the mysteries of God.

  23. Gabriel Michas permalink
    May 5, 2009

    I am going to start using the origin of the meaning of the word science by the Greek definition etymology and then I will transfer it to an English hearing meaning:

    Science in Greek called Episteme, this is a synthetic word comes from epi – and – istame (verb), epi means for something I am upon, and istame means to be in known in my presence (in – present- nce).

    While a verb add always time in a sentence, the part of the speech epi (traps) the time locally, and then we can capture semantics definitions in known for the brain expression functions.

    In Greek language the vocal spelling is the key to understand the DNA structure of the language as well, upon knowledge that can be form and proceed accordingly… dna vibrations

    Aristotle in his book “peri Organon” sets these findings in a key logic structures; it is not strange at all why he was THE Philosopher founder of the epistemic way expression of today’s sciences.

    Thank you

  24. lisa permalink
    May 5, 2009

    The study of something unknown.

  25. Vincent Chidi permalink
    May 5, 2009

    well, believes it or not human where meant to exist – ether through evolutionary theory or biblical story, but with a limited mental logistics. Hence, SCIENCE is the study of entities within man’s awareness and mental scopes by it predefined mental logic. furthermore, the results of the studies are applied within the scopes of man’s understanding into solving it immediate challenges….”picking up one end of a stick without knowing how the other end is coming up”. I personally believes that there exist more understandings and logic beyond human mental domain or Science.
    Thank you

  26. Luis Visani permalink
    May 5, 2009

    Science is a way to meet different kind of people, religions and places. Its a way to these different people work together to improve our community and enrich our technology, putting aside the differences for a thing greater.

  27. Druz permalink
    May 5, 2009

    Science is the “Scientific Method”: 1. Develop a hypothesis, 2. Design and implement experiments to test this hypothesis, 3. Analyze the results of the experiment, and 4. Come to a conclusion about the original hypothesis (true or false).

    Too much “science” is biased. The true scientist must remain absolutely objective during the experimentation and analysis stages. Personal feelings and preferences MUST be disregarded.

    Arbitrarily disgarding “bad” data to justify a conclusion is opinion, not science. Such a practice makes you a pimp…a biostitute…, not a scientist.

  28. Terrence Fulton permalink
    May 6, 2009

    i agree

  29. Caitlin permalink
    May 6, 2009

    Science is the study of all things living and non-living. It involves series of tests to prove a hypothesis, the breakdown of compounds to satisfy interest, and the documentation of an environment. Science defines the boundaries of space, matter, gravity and other unchangable forces.
    Science is the study of what is now, then and what is to come.

  30. Dr. A permalink
    May 6, 2009

    Well assuredly there are countless visages that can come to mind. There are many branches that compose the fields of science specialties. Experiments in Chemistry, mixing of metals and gases to witness chemical bond interactions, theorizing about constants and postulates related to the forming and make-up of our universe in Physics, or simply witnessing the majesty of visible and non visible objects interacting with each other, such as in UV radiation on plants, humans, and solar cells; sound wave pulsations used in radio; and Electromagnetic fields in nuclear medicine, or biomechanics. As all these coupled items relate in the grand scheme of things, there are plenty practical applications to improve, health, environment, industry, and exploration. It will take more pervasive approaches with genuine discussion to crack the layers that make up the fields and study of science. Attempting to answer what all is would be the short definition. Opening this dialogue is one such vehicle to bridge the minds of scientists, engineers, mathematicians, and investigators alike.

  31. david permalink
    May 6, 2009

    Science is what Surrounds us and applied in our daily live. I also study science for my first year of high school.

  32. May 6, 2009

    Science is discovery. Ideally designed to assist both people and planet in a sustainable manner.

  33. May 6, 2009

    AS in Sustainable Science

    http://www.epa.gov/Sustainability/

  34. John permalink
    May 6, 2009

    Interesting logic: that climate science is biased to achieve an agenda that in theory will cost everyone money, unstabilize the lives of millions, reduce our mobility, etc., etc. Whose agenda is that?

    But more importantly, all science is biased. Francis Bacon taught us in 1620 that the influence of our biases, the ‘idols of the minds’ can only be reduced by scrutiny and reason. Many great scientists have spent their latter days trapped by their hypotheses.

    So, what biases lead you to reject this body of empirical observation?

  35. Anonymous permalink
    May 6, 2009

    Thank you, I agree. In science education, they’re always trying to teach you that true science is purely objective and free of all bias. The reality is, because we’re all flawed human beings with backgrounds, beliefs, etc., it is IMPOSSIBLE to eliminate bias and values from science. There is always presupposition going in, and intentional application afterward. The sooner scientists acknowledge that, the more progress we will make in all fields.

  36. Anonymous permalink
    May 6, 2009

    No, personal feelings and preferences must be ACKNOWLEDGED. They are not irrelevant, although they may be hindrances at times. Only when scientists can acknowledge their various biases, etc. can they begin to work past them and make real progress.

  37. Green Economy Educator permalink
    May 6, 2009

    Science is the contemplative mind of conscious awareness; if performed with passion then it becomes a religion based on the systematic applied study of finite ideals in search of infinite understanding and wisdoms

  38. Anonymous permalink
    May 6, 2009

    Science is a means to justify a desired political outcome.

  39. Mark Ballington permalink
    May 7, 2009

    Science is Knowledge.

  40. Chris S permalink
    May 7, 2009

    This statement is the exact opposite of what science is.

    The misuse of science or the information derived through scientific inquiry is all too prevelant today; and this misuse continues because it seems that a great many individuals do not understand what science actually is and are easily mislead.

    Science is not merely a collection of facts. Facts can be used and misused to support political, philosophical and religous agendas, but that is not science. Science is a process that examines facts and attempts to reach conclusions that are supported by evidence and rigourous testing.

    Anything else is the abuse of science and merely part of a propaganda campaign that cares less for truth and honesty than it does for trying to advance their own beliefs. Or, even more cynically put …. there are people who think nothing about advancing lies in order to gain power or money. Think Hilter, Stalin, Joe McCarthy or any number of current individuals who are guilty of telling the “Big Lie”.

  41. Sherell Heidt permalink
    May 7, 2009

    Science to me is enhancing ones understanding of somethings systematic way of working by accumulating observable evidence and analyzing the collected data via research. Anytime there is a question about anything, science is the door to our answers. Science satisfies the what,who,why, and when part of a question.

  42. Matt permalink
    May 7, 2009

    It could be in so far as everyone here seems to agree that science is a fundamental way of Knowing things. Therefore the highest form of such knowing is the knowlege as to weather the “intricate creations” are in fact created by a supreme being; random occurrences; or some other explanation exists.

  43. Anonymous permalink
    May 7, 2009

    I agree.

  44. Arun kumar. A permalink
    May 8, 2009

    Science, is the teacher for all facts. Sometimes it will be faith breaker, sometimes it will be faith maker to all minds. Science make us look inner to discover realism.

  45. mdfeldman permalink
    June 2, 2009

    Interesting question. For me, science is a way of understanding the poetics of the physical world.

  46. Anon permalink
    October 11, 2009

    Everything and anything!

  47. Roger permalink
    April 24, 2011

    This is how I defined science on my science blog:”in the strict definition, science is the systematic study of the universe, its constituents and their interaction through observation and experimentation. Science involves logical reasoning, experiments and approximations to discover the absolute truth. ”

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