Chap. 1
Chap. 2
Chap. 3
Chap. 4
Chap. 5
Chap. 6
Chap. 7
Chap. 8
Chap. 9
Chap. 10
Chap. 11
Chap. 12
Chap. 13

Science for All Americans

Chapter 1/The Nature of Science

Over the course of human history, people have developed many interconnected and validated ideas about the physical, biological, psychological, and social worlds. Those ideas have enabled successive generations to achieve an increasingly comprehensive and reliable understanding of the human species and its environment. The means used to develop these ideas are particular ways of observing, thinking, experimenting, and validating. These ways represent a fundamental aspect of the nature of science and reflect how science tends to differ from other modes of knowing.

It is the union of science, mathematics, and technology that forms the scientific endeavor and that makes it so successful. Although each of these human enterprises has a character and history of its own, each is dependent on and reinforces the others. Accordingly, the first three chapters of recommendations draw portraits of science, mathematics, and technology that emphasize their roles in the scientific endeavor and reveal some of the similarities and connections among them.

This chapter lays out recommendations for what knowledge of the way science works is requisite for scientific literacy. The chapter focuses on three principal subjects: the scientific world view, scientific methods of inquiry, and the nature of the scientific enterprise.

 

>From SCIENCE FOR ALL AMERICANS by American Association for the Advancement of Science. Copyright (c) 1989, 1990 by American Association for the Advancement of Science. Used by permission of Oxford University Press, Inc.


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