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What is science?

16 June 2013 - Free Writing - admin - Comments


 

 Science Definition
– Ananda Sigdel 
The word science comes from the Latin “scientia,” meaning knowledge.

How do we define science? According to Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary, the definition of science is “knowledge attained through study or practice,” or “knowledge covering general truths of the operation of general laws, esp. as obtained and tested through scientific method [and] concerned with the physical world.”

What does that really mean? Science refers to a system of acquiring knowledge. This system uses observation and experimentation to describe and explain natural phenomena. The term science also refers to the organized body of knowledge people have gained using that system. Less formally, the word science often describes any systematic field of study or the knowledge gained from it.

What is the purpose of science? Perhaps the most general description is that the purpose of science is to produce useful models of reality.

Most scientific investigations use some form of the scientific method. You can find out more about the scientific method here.

Science as defined above is sometimes called pure science to differentiate it from applied science, which is the application of research to human needs. Fields of science are commonly classified along two major lines:
– Natural sciences, the study of the natural world, and
– Social sciences, the systematic study of human behavior and society.

The Different Fields of Science

This is just a partial listing of some of the many, many different possible fields of study within science. Many of the fields listed here overlap to some degree with one or more other areas.

Natural Sciences
Biology
Anatomy
Astrobiology
Biochemistry
Bioinformatics
Biophysics
Botany
Cell biology
Developmental biology
Ecology
Entomology
Epidemiology
Evolution (Evolutionary biology)
Freshwater Biology
Genetics
Immunology
Marine biology
Microbiology
Molecular Biology
Morphology
Neuroscience
Physical anthropology
Physiology
Population dynamics
Structural biology
Taxonomy
Toxicology
Virology
Zoology

Chemistry
Analytical chemistry
Biochemistry
Computational chemistry
Electrochemistry
Inorganic chemistry
Materials science
Organic chemistry
Polymer chemistry
Physical chemistry
Quantum chemistry
Spectroscopy
Stereochemistry
Thermochemistry

Physics
Acoustics
Astrodynamics
Astronomy
Astrophysics
Biophysics
Classical mechanics
Computational physics
Condensed matter physics
Cryogenics
Dynamics
Fluid dynamics
High Energy Physics
Materials physics
Mechanics
Nuclear physics
Optics
Particle physics
Plasma physics
Polymer physics
Quantum mechanics
Solid State physics
Thermodynamics

Earth Science
Environmental Science
Geodesy
Geography
Geology
Hydrology
Meteorology
Oceanography
Paleontology
Seismology