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Nature of Science
Transcript of Nature of Science
Objectivity and Subjectivity
Observation and inference
No Universal Scientific Method
Creative and Imaginative
Socially and Culturally Embedded
Tentative but durable
Quantitative and qualitative data provide the basis for all valid scientific ideas
Observations are data gathered through five senses and technological tools
Inferences are logical interpretations of observations
Established theories & laws play a central role in the interpretation of new observations and discoveries
Scientific theories differ from everyday theories.
Scientific theories & laws explain and describe how the natural world works
Scientists apply many methods to their research.
There is no single, correct sequence of activities in science that leads to knowledge or truth
These serve as sources of innovation and inspiration in science
Einstein’s theory of relativity
Rutherford, Chadwick, Bohr’s work on theories of atomic structure
Copernicus’s theory of heliocentric universe
Objective – displaying skepticism and using mechanisms/procedures to cross-check work
Subjective – personal values, beliefs, intuition, academic training, experiences and expectations affect the types of questions scientists ask, they way they conduct their work, and how they interpret data
Science is practiced in the context of culture at large
It is affected by social fabric, power structures, politics, religion, socioeconomic factors
Science knowledge is never fully proven – it is subject to change in light of new discoveries
Because science knowledge has been developed and changed over time and is based on empirical evidence, it is the most reliable and durable knowledge about the natural world
What is science?
How does science differ from other ways of understanding the world?
Hypothesis - proposed explanation or prediction to a research question or problem
Theory - explains why/how natural phenomena occur
Law - describes consistent patterns or relationships in nature
"The mere formulation of a problem is far more essential than its solution, which may be merely a matter of mathematical or experimental skills. To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle requires creative imagination and marks real advances in science."
-- Albert Einstein
Which are mellinarks?
These are not mellinarks
These are mellinarks