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What is Science and What is a Scientist? PowerPoint Presentation
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What is Science and What is a Scientist?

What is Science and What is a Scientist?

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What is Science and What is a Scientist?

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  1. What is Science and What is a Scientist? KNR 164

  2. What is Science? • Science is: • the concerted human effort to understand, or to understand better, the history of the natural world and how the natural world works with observable physical evidence as the basis of that understanding • This is done through observations • This is also done through experimentation that tries to simulate or alter natural processes under controlled conditions

  3. What is Science? • Types of Science: • Observational Science: data recorded to describe what is being studied. • Example: Observe and describe the way some one walks • Experimental Science -experimentation that tries to simulate or alter natural processes under controlled conditions • Example: observe the way some one walks –then perturb their gait and observe their corrective balance strategy In either case OBSERVATION is the key component; followed closely by the recording of data

  4. What is a Scientist • Someone who observes and describes how the natural world works and conducts research to generate knowledge • What is your image of a scientist? • Do they need to be trained?

  5. Science vs. Research • The term science and research are often used interchangeably but typically Science is a global term and the word research is often used to describe the methodology of scientific discovery **We will discuss The Scientific Method later in the semester

  6. So why do science? I -the individual perspective • Scientists become famous for discovering new things that change how we think about nature • Many scientists find their greatest joy in a previously unknown fact (a discovery) that explains some problem previously not explained, or overturns some previously accepted idea Science is also the highest form of teaching, as Scientists conduct research which generates “new” knowledge

  7. So why do science? I -the individual perspective • Science is also the highest form of teaching • University professors are expected as part of their contractual obligations to do research that makes new contributions to knowledge • Performing science earns a good paycheck (usually) • Scientists also work for corporations • non teaching, non sharing, for profit, patent protective • knowledge generated is kept secret by the employers for the development of new products or technologies • get paid much better (x2)

  8. Why do Science? II -The Societal Perspective • The “smarter” the society the better it is…? • capitalism vs. communism? • a “good” society seeks and desires to improve people's lives • help avoid hardships • plagues, floods, disasters • humanity's increasing control over our planet • simple curiosity & possibly fear • ability to leave our planet and explore • Find E.T. –before he finds us

  9. Why do Science? II -The Societal Perspective • Science pushes the envelope of knowledge, which pushes the envelope of development and engineering, which are all prone to disaster

  10. Why do Science? II -The Societal Perspective • Science is loaded with disaster • misfortune or necessary risk • Science is also haunted by unethical behavior • deliberate and horrific acts against humanity conducted “in the name of scientific discovery” • Nazi Germany • Spanish Inquisition • US Mental Health • Tuskegee Syphilis study IRB and Ethical Conduct of Research –later in the semester

  11. Why should YOU care about science? • Exercise SCIENCE major! • Science will always move field forward • Need to keep on pace changing theories and new paradigms • Things learned today may be outdated, obsolete or even proven wrong tomorrow • Always a need for the profession

  12. How Research becomes Scientific Knowledge • Doing research in the lab or in the field may be science, • but it isn't necessarily a contribution to knowledge until you tell/teach someone • No one in the scientific community will place much confidence in a piece of scientific research until it is published in a peer-reviewed journal • You hear of groundbreaking research on the news all the time; • but nothing should be taken too seriously until publication of the data

  13. How Research becomes Scientific Knowledge • That means Scientists must publish their work -write a paper (called a "manuscript”) • Many, many, many journals…..Science or Nature are THE BEST • Impact factor rating scale • Science: 30.1 (2012) • Medicine & Science in Sports and Exercise (ACSM): 3 (2012)

  14. Science and Knowledge • Science does not presently, and probably never can, give statements of absolute truth • it only provides theories • With further detailed research, we know that those theories will probably be refined in the future, and may even be discarded in favor of theories that make more sense in light of data generated by future scientists • The world is flat • AIDS is a gay male disease

  15. What Science Isn't, Part II: Science Isn't Art • Art is individualistic • Science attempts to remove individualism • 1) The conclusions reached have to be demonstrable to others with physical evidence • 2) Science is reproducible; art is not • 3) Art should be beautiful; science doesn’t • Kepler’s law of planetary motion

  16. What Science Isn't, Part III: Science is not Technology • People doing science often use sophisticated technology, but science doesn't require it • In short, science often leads to technology, and it often uses technology, but it isn't technology, and in fact it can operate quite independently of technology

  17. What Science Isn't, Part IV: Science isn't Truth and it isn't certainty • Science seeks the truth, but most scientists will concede that, although they seek truth, they don't know or generate truth • They propose and test theories, knowing that future evidence may cause refinement, revision, or even rejection of today's theories