So, What is Science?

All sorts of popular media and education material paint simple pictures, cut-and-dry science dichotomies, proving something right or wrong. However, science is complex, nuanced, sturdy, malleable. Learning to conceptualize science in non-dichotomous ways takes a bit of practice.

Especially, learning to envision the invisible can take practice. Research publications can be held, seen. Yet, cultural influences and various limitations are aspects of science often unseen, un-holdable. Nonetheless they, too, contribute to larger questions of, how effective is this or that practice? How reliable is this or that theory or research? As you research and share science publications with one hand, special care must be taken to hold the unseen in the palm of the other.

The models below are designed to help you conceptualize science in complex yet graspable ways. Take a moment with each model and consider: does this imagery help you hold complexity and nuance in your mind while also giving you a sense, some gauge, of how reliable any one bit of science information is? Do any one or the others of these models really click for you?

What is Science?

Say you are on an elevator ride and a fellow rider asks you, what is science? Before you depart this section, I propose you spend a moment answering for yourself – in one to five sentences – what is science?

%d bloggers like this: