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Science is a systematic endeavor that
builds
builds
and organizes
knowledge Knowledge can be defined as Descriptive knowledge, awareness of facts or as Procedural knowledge, practical skills, and may also refer to Knowledge by acquaintance, familiarity with objects or situations. Knowledge of facts, also called pro ...
in the form of
testable Testability is a primary aspect of Science and the Scientific Method The scientific method is an Empirical evidence, empirical method for acquiring knowledge that has characterized the development of science since at least the 17th centur ...
explanation An explanation is a set of Statement (logic), statements usually constructed to description, describe a set of facts which clarifies the causality, causes, wiktionary:context, context, and Logical consequence, consequences of those facts. It may ...
s and
prediction A prediction (Latin ''præ-'', "before," and ''dicere'', "to say"), or forecasting, forecast, is a statement about a future event (probability theory), event or data. They are often, but not always, based upon experience or knowledge. There i ...
s about the
universe The universe is all of space and time and their contents, including planets, stars, galaxy, galaxies, and all other forms of matter and energy. The Big Bang theory is the prevailing cosmology, cosmological description of the development of ...

universe
. Science may be as old as the
human species Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread species of primate, characterized by bipedality, bipedalism and exceptional cognitive skills due to a large and complex Human brain, brain. This has enabled the development of ad ...
, and some of the earliest archeological evidence for scientific reasoning is tens of thousands of years old. The earliest written records in the
history of science The history of science covers the development of science from ancient history, ancient times to the present. It encompasses all three major branches of science: natural science, natural, social science, social, and formal science, formal. Sc ...

history of science
come from
Ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a civilization in Northeast Africa situated in the Nile Valley. Ancient Egyptian civilization followed prehistoric Egypt and coalesced around 3100Anno Domini, BC (according to conventional Egyptian chronology) with the ...

Ancient Egypt
and
Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن or ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of Western Asia situated within the Tigris–Euphrates river system, in the northern part of the F ...

Mesopotamia
in around 3000 to 1200
BCE Common Era (CE) and Before the Common Era (BCE) are year notations for the Gregorian calendar The Gregorian calendar is the calendar used in most parts of the world. It was introduced in October 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII as a modificatio ...
. Their contributions to
mathematics Mathematics is an area of knowledge that includes the topics of numbers, formulas and related structures, shapes and the spaces in which they are contained, and quantities and their changes. These topics are represented in modern mathematics ...

mathematics
,
astronomy Astronomy () is a natural science that studies astronomical object, celestial objects and phenomena. It uses mathematics, physics, and chemistry in order to explain their origin and chronology of the Universe, evolution. Objects of interest ...
, and
medicine Medicine is the science and Praxis (process), practice of caring for a patient, managing the diagnosis, prognosis, Preventive medicine, prevention, therapy, treatment, Palliative care, palliation of their injury or disease, and Health promotion ...

medicine
entered and shaped Greek
natural philosophy Natural philosophy or philosophy of nature (from Latin ''philosophia naturalis'') is the philosophy, philosophical study of Physics (Aristotle), physics, that is, nature and the physical universe. It was dominant before the development of mode ...
of
classical antiquity Classical antiquity (also the classical era, classical period or classical age) is the period of cultural history between the 8th century BC and the 5th century AD centred on the Mediterranean Sea, comprising the interlocking civilizations of ...
, whereby formal attempts were made to provide explanations of events in the
physical world The universe is all of space and time and their contents, including planets, stars, galaxy, galaxies, and all other forms of matter and energy. The Big Bang theory is the prevailing cosmology, cosmological description of the development of ...

physical world
based on natural causes. After the
fall of the Western Roman Empire The fall of the Western Roman Empire (also called the fall of the Roman Empire or the fall of Ancient Rome, Rome) was the loss of central political control in the Western Roman Empire, a process in which the Empire failed to enforce its rul ...
, knowledge of Greek conceptions of the world deteriorated in
Western Europe Western Europe is the western region of Europe. The region's countries and territories vary depending on context. The concept of "the West" appeared in Europe in juxtaposition to "the East" and originally applied to the ancient Mediterranean ...

Western Europe
during the early centuries (400 to 1000 CE) of the
Middle Ages In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages or medieval period lasted approximately from the late 5th to the late 15th centuries, similar to the Post-classical, post-classical period of World history (field), global history. It began with t ...
, but was preserved in the
Muslim world The terms Muslim world and Islamic world commonly refer to the Islamic community, which is also known as the Ummah. This consists of all those who adhere to the religious beliefs and laws of Islam or to societies in which Islam is practiced. In ...

Muslim world
during the
Islamic Golden Age The Islamic Golden Age was a period of cultural, economic, and scientific flourishing in the history of Islam, traditionally dated from the 8th century to the 14th century. This period is traditionally understood to have begun during the reign ...
and later by the efforts of Byzantine Greek scholars who brought Greek manuscripts from the dying Byzantine Empire to Western Europe in the
Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. is a Periodization, period in History of Europe, European history marking the transition from the Middle Ages to modernity and covering the 15th and 16th centuries, characterized by an e ...

Renaissance
. The recovery and assimilation of Greek works and Islamic inquiries into Western Europe from the 10th to 13th century revived "
natural philosophy Natural philosophy or philosophy of nature (from Latin ''philosophia naturalis'') is the philosophy, philosophical study of Physics (Aristotle), physics, that is, nature and the physical universe. It was dominant before the development of mode ...
", which was later transformed by the
Scientific Revolution The Scientific Revolution was a series of events that marked the emergence of modern science during the early modern period, when developments in mathematics Mathematics is an area of knowledge that includes the topics of numbers, fo ...

Scientific Revolution
that began in the 16th century as new ideas and discoveries departed from previous Greek conceptions and traditions. The
scientific method The scientific method is an Empirical evidence, empirical method for acquiring knowledge that has characterized the development of science since at least the 17th century (with notable practitioners in previous centuries; see the article hist ...

scientific method
soon played a greater role in knowledge creation and it was not until the
19th century The 19th (nineteenth) century began on 1 January 1801 (Roman numerals, MDCCCI), and ended on 31 December 1900 (Roman numerals, MCM). The 19th century was the ninth century of the 2nd millennium. The 19th century was characterized by vast social ...
that many of the
institutional Institutions are humanly devised structures of rules and norms that shape and constrain individual behavior. All definitions of institutions generally entail that there is a level of persistence and continuity. Laws, rules, social conventions a ...
and
professional A professional is a member of a profession or any person who works in a specified professional activity. The term also describes the standards of education and training that prepare members of the profession with the particular knowledge and sk ...
features of science began to take shape; along with the changing of "natural philosophy" to "natural science". Modern science is typically divided into three major branches:
natural science Natural science is one of the branches of science concerned with the description, understanding and prediction of Nature, natural Phenomenon, phenomena, based on empirical evidence from observation and experimentation. Mechanisms such as peer re ...

natural science
s (e.g.,
biology Biology is the scientific study of life. It is a natural science with a broad scope but has several unifying themes that tie it together as a single, coherent field. For instance, all organisms are made up of Cell (biology), cells that proce ...

biology
,
chemistry Chemistry is the scientific study of the properties and behavior of matter. It is a natural science that covers the elements that make up matter to the compounds made of atoms, molecules and ions: their composition, structure, properties ...

chemistry
, and
physics Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its Elementary particle, fundamental constituents, its motion and behavior through Spacetime, space and time, and the related entities of energy and force. "Physical science is that depar ...

physics
), which study the
physical world The universe is all of space and time and their contents, including planets, stars, galaxy, galaxies, and all other forms of matter and energy. The Big Bang theory is the prevailing cosmology, cosmological description of the development of ...

physical world
; the
social science Social science is one of the branches of science, devoted to the study of society, societies and the Social relation, relationships among individuals within those societies. The term was formerly used to refer to the field of sociology, the o ...

social science
s (e.g.,
economics Economics () is the social science that studies the Production (economics), production, distribution (economics), distribution, and Consumption (economics), consumption of goods and services. Economics focuses on the behaviour and intera ...

economics
,
psychology Psychology is the science, scientific study of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the study of consciousness, conscious and Unconscious mind, unconscious phenomena, including feelings and thoughts. It is an academic discipline of immens ...

psychology
, and
sociology Sociology is a social science that focuses on society, human social behavior, patterns of Interpersonal ties, social relationships, social interaction, and aspects of culture associated with everyday life. It uses various methods of Empirical ...
), which study
individual An individual is that which exists as a distinct entity An entity is something that exists as itself, as a subject or as an object, actually or potentially, concretely or abstractly, physically or not. It need not be of material existence. In ...
s and
societies A society is a Social group, group of individuals involved in persistent Social relation, social interaction, or a large social group sharing the same spatial or social territory, typically subject to the same Politics, political authority an ...

societies
; and the
formal science Formal science is a Branches of science, branch of science studying disciplines concerned with abstract structures described by formal systems, such as logic, mathematics, statistics, theoretical computer science, artificial intelligence, inform ...
s (e.g.,
logic Logic is the study of correct reasoning. It includes both Mathematical logic, formal and informal logic. Formal logic is the science of Validity (logic), deductively valid inferences or of logical truths. It is a formal science investigating h ...

logic
,
mathematics Mathematics is an area of knowledge that includes the topics of numbers, formulas and related structures, shapes and the spaces in which they are contained, and quantities and their changes. These topics are represented in modern mathematics ...

mathematics
, and
theoretical computer science Theoretical computer science (TCS) is a subset of general computer science and mathematics that focuses on mathematical aspects of computer science such as the theory of computation, lambda calculus, and type theory. It is difficult to circumsc ...

theoretical computer science
), which study
formal system A formal system is an abstract structure used for inferring theorems from axioms according to a set of rules. These rules, which are used for carrying out the inference of theorems from axioms, are the logical calculus of the formal system. A form ...
s, governed by
axiom An axiom, postulate, or assumption is a statement (logic), statement that is taken to be truth, true, to serve as a premise or starting point for further reasoning and arguments. The word comes from the Ancient Greek word (), meaning 'that whi ...

axiom
s and rules. There is disagreement whether the formal sciences are science disciplines, because they do not rely on
empirical evidence Empirical evidence for a proposition is evidence, i.e. what supports or counters this proposition, that is constituted by or accessible to sense experience or experimental procedure. Empirical evidence is of central importance to the sciences and ...
.
Applied science Applied science is the use of the scientific method and knowledge obtained via conclusions from the method to attain practical goals. It includes a broad range of disciplines such as engineering and medicine. Applied science is often contrasted ...
s are disciplines that use scientific knowledge for practical purposes, such as in
engineering Engineering is the use of scientific principles to design and build machines, structures, and other items, including bridges, tunnels, roads, vehicles, and buildings. The discipline of engineering encompasses a broad range of more specializ ...

engineering
and
medicine Medicine is the science and Praxis (process), practice of caring for a patient, managing the diagnosis, prognosis, Preventive medicine, prevention, therapy, treatment, Palliative care, palliation of their injury or disease, and Health promotion ...

medicine
. New knowledge in science is advanced by
research Research is "creativity, creative and systematic work undertaken to increase the stock of knowledge". It involves the collection, organization and analysis of evidence to increase understanding of a topic, characterized by a particular att ...

research
from
scientist A scientist is a person who conducts Scientific method, scientific research to advance knowledge in an Branches of science, area of the natural sciences. In classical antiquity, there was no real ancient analog of a modern scientist. Instead, ...

scientist
s who are motivated by curiosity about the world and a desire to solve problems. Contemporary scientific research is highly collaborative and is usually done by teams in
academic An academy (Attic Greek Attic Greek is the Greek language, Greek dialect of the regions of ancient Greece, ancient region of Attica, including the ''polis'' of classical Athens, Athens. Often called classical Greek, it was the prestige (socio ...
and research institutions,
government agencies A government or state agency, sometimes an appointed commission, is a permanent or semi-permanent organization in the machinery of government that is responsible for the oversight and administration of specific functions, such as an Administratio ...
, and
companies A company, abbreviated as co., is a legal entity representing an association of people, whether natural, legal or a mixture of both, with a specific objective. Company members share a common purpose and unite to achieve specific, declared ...
. The practical impact of their work has led to the emergence of science policies that seek to influence the scientific enterprise by prioritizing the ethical and moral development of commercial products,
armaments A weapon, arm or armament is any implement or device that can be used to deter, threaten, inflict physical damage, harm, or kill. Weapons are used to increase the efficacy and efficiency of activities such as hunting, crime, law enforcement, s ...
,
health care Health care or healthcare is the improvement of health via the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, amelioration or cure A cure is a substance or procedure that ends a medical condition, such as a medication, a surgery, surgical operation, ...
,
public infrastructure Public infrastructure is infrastructure owned or available for use by the public (represented by the government). It is distinguishable from generic or private infrastructure in terms of policy, financing, purpose, etc. Public infrastructure is ...
, and
environmental protection Environmental protection is the practice of protecting the natural environment by individuals, organizations and governments. Its objectives are to conserve natural resources and the existing natural environment and, where possible, to repair dam ...
.


Etymology

The word ''science'' has been used in
Middle English Middle English (abbreviated to ME) is a form of the English language that was spoken after the Norman conquest of England, Norman conquest of 1066, until the late 15th century. The English language underwent distinct variations and developments ...
since the 14th century in the sense of "the state of knowing". The word was borrowed from the
Anglo-Norman language Anglo-Norman, also known as Anglo-Norman French ( nrf, Anglo-Normaund) (Standard French, French: ), was a dialect of Old Norman French that was used in Kingdom of England, England and, to a lesser extent, elsewhere in Great Britain and Ireland du ...
as the suffix , which was borrowed from the
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally a dialect spoken in the lower Tiber area (then known as Latium) around present-day Rome, but through ...
word , meaning "knowledge, awareness, understanding". It is a noun derivative of the Latin meaning "knowing", and undisputedly derived from the Latin , the
present participle In linguistics, a participle () (from Latin ' a "sharing, partaking") is a nonfinite verb, nonfinite verb form that has some of the characteristics and functions of both verbs and adjectives. More narrowly, ''participle'' has been defined as "a wo ...
', meaning "to know". There are many hypotheses for ''science'''s ultimate word origin. According to Michiel de Vaan, Dutch linguist and Indo-Europeanist, may have its origin in the
Proto-Italic language The Proto-Italic language is the ancestor of the Italic languages, most notably Latin and its descendants, the Romance languages. It is not directly attested in writing, but has been reconstructed language, reconstructed to some degree through th ...
as or meaning "to know", which may originate from
Proto-Indo-European language Proto-Indo-European (PIE) is the reconstructed common ancestor of the Indo-European language family. Its proposed features have been derived by linguistic reconstruction from documented Indo-European languages. No direct record of Proto-Indo ...
as '', '', meaning "to incise". The ''
Lexikon der indogermanischen Verben The ''Lexikon der indogermanischen Verben'' (''LIV'', ''"Lexicon of the Indo-European Verbs"'') is an etymological dictionary An etymological dictionary discusses the etymology of the words listed. Often, large dictionaries, such as the ''Oxfo ...
'' proposed is a
back-formation In etymology, back-formation is the process or result of creating a neologism, new word via inflection, typically by removing or substituting actual or supposed affixes from a lexical item, in a way that expands the number of lexemes associated w ...
of , meaning "to not know, be unfamiliar with", which may derive from Proto-Indo-European ' in Latin , or ', from ' meaning "to cut". In the past, science was a synonym for "knowledge" or "study", in keeping with its
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally a dialect spoken in the lower Tiber area (then known as Latium) around present-day Rome, but through ...
origin. A person who conducted scientific research was called a "natural philosopher" or "man of science". In 1833,
William Whewell William Whewell ( ; 24 May 17946 March 1866) was an English people, English polymath, scientist, Anglican priest, philosopher, theologian, and History of science, historian of science. He was Master of Trinity College, Cambridge. In his time ...
coined the term ''scientist'' and the term first appeared in literature one year later in
Mary Somerville Mary Somerville (; , formerly Greig; 26 December 1780 – 29 November 1872) was a Scottish scientist, writer, and polymath. She studied mathematics and astronomy, and in 1835 she and Caroline Herschel were elected as the first female Honorary ...
's '' On the Connexion of the Physical Sciences'', published in the ''
Quarterly Review The ''Quarterly Review'' was a literary and political periodical founded in March 1809 by London publishing house John Murray (publishing house), John Murray. It ceased publication in 1967. It was referred to as ''The London Quarterly Review'', a ...
''.


History


Earliest roots

Science has no single origin. Rather, scientific methods emerged gradually over the course of thousands of years, taking different forms around the world, and few details are known about the very earliest developments. Some of the earliest evidence for scientific reasoning is tens of thousands of years old, and
women A woman is an adult female human. Prior to adulthood, a female human is referred to as a girl (a female child or Adolescence, adolescent). The plural ''women'' is sometimes used in certain phrases such as "women's rights" to denote female hum ...
likely played a central role in prehistoric science, as did
religious rituals Religion is usually defined as a social Social organisms, including human(s), live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it or not, and whether the exchange is voluntary or n ...
. Some Western authors have dismissed these efforts as " protoscientific". Direct evidence for scientific processes becomes clearer with the advent of
writing systems A writing system is a method of visually representing verbal communication, based on a script and a orthography, set of rules regulating its use. While both writing and spoken language, speech are useful in conveying messages, writing differs i ...
in early civilizations like
Ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a civilization in Northeast Africa situated in the Nile Valley. Ancient Egyptian civilization followed prehistoric Egypt and coalesced around 3100Anno Domini, BC (according to conventional Egyptian chronology) with the ...

Ancient Egypt
and
Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن or ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of Western Asia situated within the Tigris–Euphrates river system, in the northern part of the F ...

Mesopotamia
, creating the earliest written records in the
history of science The history of science covers the development of science from ancient history, ancient times to the present. It encompasses all three major branches of science: natural science, natural, social science, social, and formal science, formal. Sc ...

history of science
in around 3000 to 1200
BCE Common Era (CE) and Before the Common Era (BCE) are year notations for the Gregorian calendar The Gregorian calendar is the calendar used in most parts of the world. It was introduced in October 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII as a modificatio ...
. Although the words and concepts of "science" and "nature" were not part of the conceptual landscape at the time, the ancient Egyptians and Mesopotamians made contributions that would later find a place in Greek and medieval science: mathematics, astronomy, and medicine. From the 3rd millennium BCE, the ancient Egyptians developed a decimal numbering system, solved practical problems using
geometry Geometry (; ) is, with arithmetic, one of the oldest branches of mathematics. It is concerned with properties of space such as the distance, shape, size, and relative position of figures. A mathematician who works in the field of geometry is ca ...
, and developed a
calendar A calendar is a system of organizing days. This is done by giving names to periods of time, typically days, weeks, months and years. A date is the designation of a single and specific day within such a system. A calendar is also a ph ...
. Their healing therapies involved drug treatments and the supernatural, such as
prayer Prayer is an invocation or act that seeks to activate a rapport with an object of worship through deliberate communication. In the narrow sense, the term refers to an act of supplication or intercession directed towards a deity or a deified an ...
s,
incantation An incantation, a spell, a charm, an enchantment or a bewitchery, is a magical formula intended to trigger a magic (supernatural), magical effect on a person or objects. The formula can be spoken, sung or chanted. An incantation can also be per ...
s, and rituals. The ancient
Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن or ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of Western Asia situated within the Tigris–Euphrates river system, in the northern part of the F ...

Mesopotamia
ns used knowledge about the properties of various natural chemicals for manufacturing
pottery Pottery is the process and the products of forming vessels and other objects with clay and other ceramic materials, which are fired at high temperatures to give them a hard and durable form. Major types include earthenware, stoneware and porc ...
,
faience Faience or faïence (; ) is the general English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language of the Indo-European language family, with its earliest forms spoken by the inhabitants of early medieval England. It ...
, glass, soap, metals,
lime plaster Lime plaster is a type of plaster composed of sand, water, and lime, usually non-hydraulic hydrated lime (also known as slaked lime, high calcium lime or air lime). Ancient lime plaster often contained horse hair for reinforcement and pozzola ...
, and waterproofing. They studied
animal physiology Physiology (; ) is the science, scientific study of function (biology), functions and mechanism (biology), mechanisms in a life, living system. As a branches of science, sub-discipline of biology, physiology focuses on how organisms, organ syst ...
,
anatomy Anatomy () is the branch of biology concerned with the study of the structure of organisms and their parts. Anatomy is a branch of natural science that deals with the structural organization of living things. It is an old science, having its ...
,
behavior Behavior (American English) or behaviour (British English) is the range of Action (philosophy), actions and mannerisms made by individuals, organisms, systems or Artificial Intelligence, artificial entities in some environment. These systems c ...
, and
astrology Astrology is a range of Divination, divinatory practices, recognized as pseudoscientific since the 18th century, that claim to discern information about human affairs and terrestrial events by studying the apparent positions of Celestial o ...
for
divinatory Divination (from Latin ''divinare'', 'to foresee, to foretell, to predict, to prophesy') is the attempt to gain insight into a question or situation by way of an occultic, standardized process or ritual. Used in various forms throughout history ...
purposes. The Mesopotamians had an intense interest in medicine and the earliest
medical prescription A prescription, often abbreviated or Rx, is a formal communication from a physician or other registered health-care professional to a pharmacist, authorizing them to wikt:dispense, dispense a specific prescription drug for a specific patien ...
s appeared in Sumerian during the
Third Dynasty of Ur The Third Dynasty of Ur, also called the Neo-Sumerian Empire, refers to a 22nd to 21st century Common Era, BC (middle chronology) Sumerian ruling dynasty based in the city of Ur and a short-lived territorial-political state which some historians c ...
. They seem to study scientific subjects which have practical or religious applications and have little interest of satisfying curiosity.


Classical antiquity

In
classical antiquity Classical antiquity (also the classical era, classical period or classical age) is the period of cultural history between the 8th century BC and the 5th century AD centred on the Mediterranean Sea, comprising the interlocking civilizations of ...
, there is no real ancient analog of a modern
scientist A scientist is a person who conducts Scientific method, scientific research to advance knowledge in an Branches of science, area of the natural sciences. In classical antiquity, there was no real ancient analog of a modern scientist. Instead, ...

scientist
. Instead, well-educated, usually upper-class, and almost universally male individuals performed various investigations into nature whenever they could afford the time. Before the invention or discovery of the
concept Concepts are defined as abstract ideas. They are understood to be the fundamental building blocks of the concept behind principles, thoughts and beliefs. They play an important role in all aspects of cognition. As such, concepts are studied by sev ...
of '' phusis'' or nature by the
pre-Socratic philosopher Pre-Socratic philosophy, also known as early Greek philosophy, is ancient Greek philosophy before Socrates. Pre-Socratic philosophers were mostly interested in cosmology, the beginning and the substance of the universe, but the inquiries of thes ...
s, the same words tend to be used to describe the natural "way" in which a plant grows,An account of the pre-Socratic use of the concept of φύσις may be found in and in The word φύσις, while first used in connection with a plant in Homer, occurs early in Greek philosophy, and in several senses. Generally, these senses match rather well the current senses in which the English word ''nature'' is used, as confirmed by (volume 2 of his ''History of Greek Philosophy''), Cambridge UP, 1965. and the "way" in which, for example, one tribe worships a particular god. For this reason, it is claimed that these men were the first philosophers in the strict sense and the first to clearly distinguish "nature" and "convention". The early Greek philosophers of the Milesian school, which was founded by
Thales of Miletus Thales of Miletus ( ; grc-gre, wikt:Θαλῆς, Θαλῆς; ) was a Greeks, Greek Greek Mathematics, mathematician, astronomer, statesman, and Pre-Socratic philosophy, pre-Socratic philosopher from Miletus in Ionia, Asia Minor. He was one of ...
and later continued by his successors
Anaximander Anaximander (; grc-gre, Ἀναξίμανδρος ''Anaximandros''; ) was a Pre-Socratic philosophy, pre-Socratic Ancient Greek philosophy, Greek philosopher who lived in Miletus,"Anaximander" in ''Chambers's Encyclopædia''. London: George Newn ...
and Anaximenes, were the first to attempt to explain natural phenomena without relying on the
supernatural Supernatural refers to phenomena or entities that are beyond the laws of nature. The term is derived from Medieval Latin , from Latin (above, beyond, or outside of) + (nature) Though the corollary term "nature", has had multiple meanings si ...
. The
Pythagoreans Pythagoreanism originated in the 6th century BC, based on and around the teachings and beliefs held by Pythagoras and his followers, the Pythagoreans. Pythagoras established the first Pythagorean community in the Ancient Greece, ancient Greek col ...
developed a complex number philosophy and contributed significantly to the development of mathematical science. The theory of atoms was developed by the Greek philosopher
Leucippus Leucippus (; el, Λεύκιππος, ''Leúkippos''; fl. 5th century BCE) is a pre-Socratic Pre-Socratic philosophy, also known as early Greek philosophy, is ancient Greek philosophy before Socrates. Pre-Socratic philosophers were mostly inte ...
and his student
Democritus Democritus (; el, Δημόκριτος, ''Dēmókritos'', meaning "chosen of the people"; – ) was an Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient ...
. The Greek doctor
Hippocrates Hippocrates of Kos (; grc-gre, Ἱπποκράτης ὁ Κῷος, Hippokrátēs ho Kôios; ), also known as Hippocrates II, was a Greek physician of the Classical Greece, classical period who is considered one of the most outstanding figures ...
established the tradition of systematic medical science and is known as " The Father of Medicine". A turning point in the history of early philosophical science was
Socrates Socrates (; ; –399 BC) was a Greeks, Greek philosopher from Classical Athens, Athens who is credited as the founder of Western philosophy and among the first moral philosophers of the Ethics, ethical tradition of thought. An enigmati ...
' example of applying philosophy to the study of human matters, including human nature, the nature of political communities, and human knowledge itself. The
Socratic method The Socratic method (also known as method of Elenchus, elenctic method, or Socratic debate) is a form of cooperative argumentative dialogue between individuals, based on asking and answering questions to stimulate critical thinking and to draw ...
as documented by
Plato Plato ( ; grc-gre, wikt:Πλάτων, Πλάτων ; 428/427 or 424/423 – 348/347 BC) was a Greeks, Greek philosopher born in Athens during the Classical Greece, Classical period in Ancient Greece. He founded the Platonist school of thou ...
's dialogues is a
dialectic Dialectic ( grc-gre, διαλεκτική, ''dialektikḗ''; related to dialogue; german: Dialektik), also known as the dialectical method, is a discourse between two or more people holding different points of view about a subject but wishing ...
method of hypothesis elimination: better hypotheses are found by steadily identifying and eliminating those that lead to contradictions. The Socratic method searches for general commonly-held truths that shape beliefs and scrutinizes them for consistency. Socrates criticized the older type of study of physics as too purely speculative and lacking in self-criticism.
Aristotle Aristotle (; grc-gre, Ἀριστοτέλης ''Aristotélēs'', ; 384–322 BC) was a Greek philosopher and polymath during the Classical Greece, Classical period in Ancient Greece. Taught by Plato, he was the founder of the Peripatet ...
in the 4th century BCE created a systematic program of
teleological Teleology (from and )Partridge, Eric. 1977''Origins: A Short Etymological Dictionary of Modern English'' London: Routledge, p. 4187. or finalityDubray, Charles. 2020 912Teleology" In ''The Catholic Encyclopedia'' 14. New York: Robert Applet ...
philosophy. In the 3rd century BCE, Greek astronomer
Aristarchus of Samos Aristarchus of Samos (; grc-gre, Ἀρίσταρχος ὁ Σάμιος, ''Aristarkhos ho Samios''; ) was an ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, anci ...
was the first to propose a
heliocentric model Heliocentrism (also known as the Heliocentric model) is the astronomical model in which the Earth and planets revolve around the Sun at the center of the universe. Historically, heliocentrism was opposed to Geocentric model, geocentrism, which p ...
of the universe, with the
Sun The Sun is the star A star is an astronomical object comprising a luminous spheroid of plasma (physics), plasma held together by its gravity. The List of nearest stars and brown dwarfs, nearest star to Earth is the Sun. Many other st ...
at the center and all the planets orbiting it. Aristarchus's model was widely rejected because it was believed to violate the laws of physics, while Ptolemy's ''
Almagest The ''Almagest'' is a 2nd-century Greek-language mathematical and astronomical treatise on the apparent motions of the stars and planetary paths, written by Claudius Ptolemy ( ). One of the most influential scientific texts in history, it ca ...
'', which contains a geocentric description of the
Solar System The Solar SystemCapitalization of the name varies. The International Astronomical Union, the authoritative body regarding astronomical nomenclature, specifies capitalizing the names of all individual astronomical objects but uses mixed "Solar S ...
, was accepted through the early Renaissance instead. The inventor and mathematician
Archimedes of Syracuse Archimedes of Syracuse (;; ) was a Greeks, Greek Greek mathematics, mathematician, physicist, engineer, astronomer, and Invention, inventor from the ancient city of Syracuse, Sicily, Syracuse in History of Greek and Hellenistic Sicily, Sicil ...
made major contributions to the beginnings of
calculus Calculus, originally called infinitesimal calculus or "the calculus of infinitesimals", is the mathematics, mathematical study of continuous change, in the same way that geometry is the study of shape, and algebra is the study of generalizati ...
.
Pliny the Elder Gaius Plinius Secundus (AD 23/2479), called Pliny the Elder (), was a Roman Empire, Roman author, Natural history, naturalist and Natural philosophy, natural philosopher, and naval and army commander of the early Roman Empire, and a friend of t ...
was a Roman writer and polymath, who wrote the seminal encyclopedia '' Natural History''.


Middle Ages

Due to the
collapse of the Western Roman Empire The fall of the Western Roman Empire (also called the fall of the Roman Empire or the fall of Ancient Rome, Rome) was the loss of central political control in the Western Roman Empire, a process in which the Empire failed to enforce its rul ...
, the 5th century saw an intellectual decline and knowledge of Greek conceptions of the world deteriorated in
Western Europe Western Europe is the western region of Europe. The region's countries and territories vary depending on context. The concept of "the West" appeared in Europe in juxtaposition to "the East" and originally applied to the ancient Mediterranean ...

Western Europe
. During the period, Latin encyclopedists such as
Isidore of Seville Isidore of Seville ( la, Isidorus Hispalensis; c. 560 – 4 April 636) was a Spanish people, Spanish scholar, theologian, and Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Seville, archbishop of Seville. He is widely regarded, in the words of 19th-cen ...
preserved the majority of general ancient knowledge. In contrast, because the
Byzantine Empire The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople. It survi ...
resisted attacks from invaders, they were able to preserve and improve prior learning.
John Philoponus John Philoponus (Greek language, Greek: ; ; c. 490 – c. 570), also known as John the Grammarian or John of Alexandria, was a Byzantine Greek philologist, commentaries on Aristotle, Aristotelian commentator, Christian theology, Christian theologi ...
, a Byzantine scholar in the 500s, started to question Aristotle's teaching of physics, introducing the
theory of impetus The theory of impetus was an auxiliary or secondary theory of Aristotelian dynamics, put forth initially to explain projectile motion against gravity. It was introduced by John Philoponus John Philoponus (Greek language, Greek: ; ; c. 490 – ...
. His criticism served as an inspiration to medieval scholars and Galileo Galilei, who extensively cited his works ten centuries later. During late antiquity and the
early Middle Ages The Early Middle Ages (or early medieval period), sometimes controversially referred to as the Dark Ages (historiography), Dark Ages, is typically regarded by historians as lasting from the late 5th or early 6th century to the 10th century. They ...
, natural phenomena were mainly examined via the Aristotelian approach. The approach includes Aristotle's
four causes The four causes or four explanations are, in Aristotelianism, Aristotelian thought, four fundamental types of answer to the question "why?", in Posterior Analytics, analysis of change or movement in nature: the Four_causes#Material, material, the ...
: material, formal, moving, and final cause. Many Greek classical texts were preserved by the
Byzantine empire The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople. It survi ...
and
Arabic Arabic (, ' ; , ' or ) is a Semitic languages, Semitic language spoken primarily across the Arab world.Semitic languages: an international handbook / edited by Stefan Weninger; in collaboration with Geoffrey Khan, Michael P. Streck, Janet C ...
translations were done by groups such as the
Nestorians Nestorianism is a term used in Christian theology and Church history to refer to several mutually related but doctrinary, doctrinarily distinct sets of teachings. The first meaning of the term is related to the original teachings of Christian t ...
and the
Monophysites Monophysitism ( or ) or monophysism () is a Christology, Christological term derived from the Ancient Greek, Greek (, "alone, solitary") and (, a word that has many meanings but in this context means "Nature (philosophy), nature"). It is defined ...
. Under the
Caliphate A caliphate or khilāfah ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an institution or public office under the leadership of an Islamic steward with the title of caliph (; ar, خَلِيفَة , ), a person considered a political-religious successor to th ...
, these Arabic translations were later improved and developed by Arabic scientists. By the 6th and 7th centuries, the neighboring
Sassanid Empire The Sasanian () or Sassanid Empire, officially known as the Empire of Iranians (, ) and also referred to by historians as the Neo-Persian Empire, was the History of Iran, last Iranian empire before the early Muslim conquests of the 7th-8th cen ...
established the medical Academy of Gondeshapur, which is considered by Greek, Syriac, and Persian physicians as the most important medical center of the ancient world. The
House of Wisdom The House of Wisdom ( ar, بيت الحكمة, Bayt al-Ḥikmah), also known as the Grand Library of Baghdad, refers to either a major Abbasid Caliphate, Abbasid public academy and intellectual center in Baghdad or to a large private library be ...
was established in
Abbasid The Abbasid Caliphate ( or ; ar, الْخِلَافَةُ الْعَبَّاسِيَّة, ') was the third caliphate to succeed the Islamic prophet Muhammad. It was founded by a dynasty descended from Muhammad's uncle, Abbas ibn Abdul-Muttalib ...
-era
Baghdad Baghdad (; ar, بَغْدَاد , ) is the capital of Iraq and the list of largest cities in the Arab world, second-largest city in the Arab world after Cairo. It is located on the Tigris near the ruins of the ancient city of Babylon and the ...
,
Iraq Iraq,; ku, عێراق, translit=Êraq officially the Republic of Iraq, '; ku, کۆماری عێراق, translit=Komarî Êraq is a country in Western Asia. It is bordered by Turkey to Iraq–Turkey border, the north, Iran to Iran–Iraq ...
, where the Islamic study of
Aristotelianism Aristotelianism ( ) is a philosophical tradition inspired by the work of Aristotle Aristotle (; grc-gre, Ἀριστοτέλης ''Aristotélēs'', ; 384–322 BC) was a Greek philosopher and polymath during the Classical Greece, Cla ...
flourished until the
Mongol invasions The Mongol invasions and conquests took place during the 13th and 14th centuries, creating history's largest contiguous empire: the Mongol Empire ( 1206- 1368), which by 1300 covered large parts of Eurasia Eurasia (, ) is the largest con ...
in the 13th century.
Ibn al-Haytham Ḥasan Ibn al-Haytham, Latinization of names, Latinized as Alhazen (; full name ; ), was a medieval Mathematics in medieval Islam, mathematician, Astronomy in the medieval Islamic world, astronomer, and Physics in the medieval Islamic world, ...
, better known as Alhazen, began experimenting as a means to gain knowledge See p. 464: "Schramm sums up bn Al-Haytham'sachievement in the development of scientific method.", p. 465: "Schramm has demonstrated .. beyond any dispute that Ibn al-Haytham is a major figure in the Islamic scientific tradition, particularly in the creation of experimental techniques." p. 465: "only when the influence of ibn al-Haytam and others on the mainstream of later medieval physical writings has been seriously investigated can Schramm's claim that ibn al-Haytam was the true founder of modern physics be evaluated." and disproved Ptolemy's theory of vision
Avicenna Ibn Sina ( fa, ابن سینا; 980 – June 1037 CE), commonly known in the West as Avicenna (), was a Persians, Persian polymath who is regarded as one of the most significant physicians, astronomers, philosophers, and writers of the ...
's compilation of the Canon of Medicine, a medical encyclopedia, is considered to be one of the most important publications in medicine and was used until the 18th century. By the eleventh century, most of Europe had become Christian, and in 1088, the
University of Bologna The University of Bologna ( it, Alma Mater Studiorum – Università di Bologna, UNIBO) is a Public university, public research university in Bologna, Italy. Founded in 1088 by an organised guild of students (''studiorum''), it is the List of old ...
emerged as the first university in Europe. As such, demand for Latin translation of ancient and scientific texts grew, a major contributor to the
Renaissance of the 12th century The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. is a Periodization, period in History of Europe, European history marking the transition from the Middle Ages to modernity and covering the 15th and 16th centuries, characterized by an e ...
. Renaissance
scholasticism Scholasticism was a medieval school of philosophy that employed a Organon, critical organic method of philosophical analysis predicated upon the Aristotelianism, Aristotelian categories (Aristotle), 10 Categories. Christian scholasticism eme ...
in
western Europe Western Europe is the western region of Europe. The region's countries and territories vary depending on context. The concept of "the West" appeared in Europe in juxtaposition to "the East" and originally applied to the ancient Mediterranean ...
flourished, with experiments done by observing, describing, and classifying subjects in nature. In the 13rd century, medical teachers and students at Bologna began opening human bodies, leading to the first anatomy textbook based on human dissection by
Mondino de Luzzi Mondino de Luzzi, or de Liuzzi or de Lucci,The family name is spelled variously: Liucci, Lucci, Luzzi or Luzzo (Latin: de Luciis, de Liuccis, de Leuciis); the ''dei'' may be contracted to ''de'' or ''de''. SeeGiorgi, P.P. (2004) "Mondino de' Li ...
.


Renaissance

New developments in optics played a role in the inception of the
Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. is a Periodization, period in History of Europe, European history marking the transition from the Middle Ages to modernity and covering the 15th and 16th centuries, characterized by an e ...

Renaissance
, both by challenging long-held
metaphysical Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy that studies the fundamental nature of reality, the first principles of being, identity and change, space and time, causality, necessity, and possibility. It includes questions about the nature of conscio ...
ideas on perception, as well as by contributing to the improvement and development of technology such as the
camera obscura A camera obscura (; ) is a darkened room with a aperture, small hole or lens at one side through which an image is 3D projection, projected onto a wall or table opposite the hole. ''Camera obscura'' can also refer to analogous constructions su ...
and the
telescope A telescope is a device used to observe distant objects by their emission, Absorption (electromagnetic radiation), absorption, or Reflection (physics), reflection of electromagnetic radiation. Originally meaning only an optical instrument usin ...
. At the start of the Renaissance,
Roger Bacon Roger Bacon (; la, Rogerus or ', also '' Rogerus''; ), also known by the Scholastic accolades, scholastic accolade ''Doctor Mirabilis'', was a medieval England, medieval English philosopher and Franciscans, Franciscan friar who placed consid ...
,
Vitello Vitello ( pl, Witelon; german: Witelo; – 1280/1314) was a friar, theology, theologian, natural philosopher and an important figure in the history of philosophy in Poland#Scholasticism, history of philosophy in Poland. Name Vitello's name var ...
, and
John Peckham John Peckham (c. 1230 – 8 December 1292) was Archbishop of Canterbury in the years 1279–1292. He was a native of Sussex who was educated at Lewes Priory and became a Friar Minor about 1250. He studied at the University of Paris under Bo ...
each built up a scholastic
ontology In metaphysics Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy that studies the fundamental nature of reality, the first principles of being, identity and change, space and time, causality, necessity, and possibility. It includes questions about ...
upon a causal chain beginning with sensation, perception, and finally
apperception Apperception (from the Latin ''ad-'', "to, toward" and ''percipere'', "to perceive, gain, secure, learn, or feel") is any of several aspects of perception and consciousness in such fields as psychology, philosophy and epistemology. Meaning in philo ...
of the individual and universal
forms Form is the shape, visual appearance, or :wikt:configuration, configuration of an object. In a wider sense, the form is the way something happens. Form also refers to: *Form (document), a document (printed or electronic) with spaces in which to ...
of Aristotle. A model of vision later known as
perspectivism Perspectivism (german: Perspektivismus; also called perspectivalism) is the epistemology, epistemological principle that perception of and knowledge of something are always bound to the interpretive Perspective (philosophy), perspectives of those ...
was exploited and studied by the artists of the Renaissance. This theory uses only three of Aristotle's four causes: formal, material, and final. In the sixteenth century,
Nicolaus Copernicus Nicolaus Copernicus (; pl, Mikołaj Kopernik; gml, Niklas Koppernigk, german: Nikolaus Kopernikus; 19 February 1473 – 24 May 1543) was a Renaissance polymath, active as a mathematician, astronomer, and Catholic Church, Catholic cano ...
formulated a
heliocentric model Heliocentrism (also known as the Heliocentric model) is the astronomical model in which the Earth and planets revolve around the Sun at the center of the universe. Historically, heliocentrism was opposed to Geocentric model, geocentrism, which p ...
of the Solar System, stating that the planets revolve around the Sun, instead of the
geocentric model In astronomy, the geocentric model (also known as geocentrism, often exemplified specifically by the Ptolemaic system) is a superseded description of the Universe with Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astro ...
where the planets and the Sun revolve around the Earth. This was based on a theorem that the
orbital period The orbital period (also revolution period) is the amount of time a given astronomical object takes to complete one orbit around another object. In astronomy, it usually applies to planets or asteroids orbiting the Sun, moons orbiting planets, ...
s of the planets are longer as their orbs are farther from the center of motion, which he found not to agree with Ptolemy's model.
Johannes Kepler Johannes Kepler (; ; 27 December 1571 – 15 November 1630) was a German astronomer, German mathematician, mathematician, astrologer, Natural philosophy, natural philosopher and writer on music. He is a key figure in the 17th-century Scienti ...
and others challenged the notion that the only function of the eye is perception, and shifted the main focus in optics from the eye to the propagation of light. Kepler is best known, however, for improving Copernicus' heliocentric model through the discovery of
Kepler's laws of planetary motion In astronomy Astronomy () is a natural science that studies astronomical object, celestial objects and phenomena. It uses mathematics, physics, and chemistry in order to explain their origin and chronology of the Universe, evolution. Ob ...
. Kepler did not reject Aristotelian metaphysics and described his work as a search for the Harmony of the Spheres.
Galileo Galileo di Vincenzo Bonaiuti de' Galilei (15 February 1564 – 8 January 1642) was an Italian astronomer, physicist and engineer, sometimes described as a polymath. Commonly referred to as Galileo, his name was pronounced (, ). He was ...
had made significant contributions to astronomy, physics and engineering. However, he became persecuted after Pope Urban VIII sentenced him for writing about the heliocentric model. The
printing press A printing press is a mechanical device for applying pressure to an inked surface resting upon a printing, print medium (such as paper or cloth), thereby transferring the ink. It marked a dramatic improvement on earlier printing methods in wh ...
was widely used to publish scholarly arguments, including some that disagreed widely with contemporary ideas of nature.
Francis Bacon Francis Bacon, 1st Viscount St Alban (; 22 January 1561 – 9 April 1626), also known as Lord Verulam, was an English philosopher and statesman who served as Attorney General and Lord Chancellor of England England is a Countries of ...
and
René Descartes René Descartes ( or ; ; Latinisation of names, Latinized: Renatus Cartesius; 31 March 1596 – 11 February 1650) was a French people, French philosopher, scientist, and mathematician, widely considered a seminal figure in the emergence of m ...
published philosophical arguments in favor of a new type of non-Aristotelian science. Bacon emphasized the importance of experiment over contemplation, questioned the Aristotelian concepts of formal and final cause, promoted the idea that science should study the laws of nature and the improvement of all human life. Descartes emphasized individual thought and argued that mathematics rather than geometry should be used to study nature.


Age of Enlightenment

At the start of the
Age of Enlightenment The Age of Enlightenment or the Enlightenment; german: Aufklärung, "Enlightenment"; it, L'Illuminismo, "Enlightenment"; pl, Oświecenie, "Enlightenment"; pt, Iluminismo, "Enlightenment"; es, La Ilustración, "Enlightenment" was an intel ...
,
Isaac Newton Sir Isaac Newton (25 December 1642 – 20 March 1726/27) was an English mathematician, physicist, astronomer, alchemist, Theology, theologian, and author (described in his time as a "natural philosophy, natural philosopher"), widely ...
formed the foundation of
classical mechanics Classical mechanics is a Theoretical physics, physical theory describing the motion of macroscopic objects, from projectiles to parts of Machine (mechanical), machinery, and astronomical objects, such as spacecraft, planets, stars, and galax ...
by his ''
Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica (English language, English: ''Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy'') often referred to as simply the (), is a book by Isaac Newton that expounds Newton's laws of motion and his Newton's law of universal gravitation, law of universa ...
'', greatly influencing future physicists.
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Gottfried Wilhelm (von) Leibniz . ( – 14 November 1716) was a German polymath active as a mathematician, philosopher, scientist and diplomat. He is one of the most prominent figures in both the history of philosophy and the history of mathema ...
incorporated terms from
Aristotelian physics Aristotelian physics is the form of natural science described in the works of the Greek philosopher Aristotle (384–322 BC). In his work '' Physics'', Aristotle intended to establish general principles of change that govern all natural bodies, ...
, now used in a new non-
teleological Teleology (from and )Partridge, Eric. 1977''Origins: A Short Etymological Dictionary of Modern English'' London: Routledge, p. 4187. or finalityDubray, Charles. 2020 912Teleology" In ''The Catholic Encyclopedia'' 14. New York: Robert Applet ...
way. This implied a shift in the view of objects: objects were now considered as having no innate goals. Leibniz assumed that different types of things all work according to the same general laws of nature, with no special formal or final causes. During this time, the declared purpose and value of science became producing wealth and
invention An invention is a unique or novelty (patent), novel machine, device, method, composition, idea or process. An invention may be an improvement upon a machine, product, or process for increasing efficiency or lowering cost. It may also be an ent ...
s that would improve human lives, in the materialistic sense of having more food, clothing, and other things. In Bacon's words, "the real and legitimate goal of sciences ", and he discouraged scientists from pursuing intangible philosophical or spiritual ideas, which he believed contributed little to human happiness beyond "the fume of subtle, sublime or pleasing
peculation Embezzlement is a crime In ordinary language, a crime is an unlawful act punishable by a state or other authority. The term ''crime'' does not, in modern criminal law, have any simple and universally accepted definition,Farmer, Lindsay ...
. Science during the Enlightenment was dominated by scientific societies and academies, which had largely replaced universities as centers of scientific research and development. Societies and academies were the backbones of the maturation of the scientific profession. Another important development was the popularization of science among an increasingly literate population. Enlightenment philosophers chose a short history of scientific predecessors –
Galileo Galileo di Vincenzo Bonaiuti de' Galilei (15 February 1564 – 8 January 1642) was an Italian astronomer, physicist and engineer, sometimes described as a polymath. Commonly referred to as Galileo, his name was pronounced (, ). He was ...
,
Boyle Boyle is an English, Irish and Scottish surname of Gaelic, Anglo-Saxon or Norman origin. In the northwest of Ireland it is one of the most common family names. Notable people with the surname include: Disambiguation * Adam Boyle (disambiguation) ...
, and Newton principally – as the guides to every physical and social field of the day. The 18th century saw significant advancements in the practice of
medicine Medicine is the science and Praxis (process), practice of caring for a patient, managing the diagnosis, prognosis, Preventive medicine, prevention, therapy, treatment, Palliative care, palliation of their injury or disease, and Health promotion ...

medicine
and
physics Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its Elementary particle, fundamental constituents, its motion and behavior through Spacetime, space and time, and the related entities of energy and force. "Physical science is that depar ...

physics
; the development of biological
taxonomy Taxonomy is the practice and science of categorization or classification (general theory), classification. A taxonomy (or taxonomical classification) is a scheme of classification, especially a hierarchical classification, in which things are ...
by
Carl Linnaeus Carl Linnaeus (; 23 May 1707 – 10 January 1778), also known after his Nobility#Ennoblement, ennoblement in 1761 as Carl von Linné#Blunt, Blunt (2004), p. 171. (), was a Swedish botanist, zoologist, taxonomist, and physician who formalise ...
; a new understanding of
magnetism Magnetism is the class of physical attributes that are mediated by a magnetic field, which refers to the capacity to induce attractive and repulsive phenomena in other entities. Electric currents and the magnetic moments of elementary particles ...
and
electricity Electricity is the set of physics, physical Phenomenon, phenomena associated with the presence and motion of matter that has a property of electric charge. Electricity is related to magnetism, both being part of the phenomenon of electromagne ...
; and the maturation of
chemistry Chemistry is the scientific study of the properties and behavior of matter. It is a natural science that covers the elements that make up matter to the compounds made of atoms, molecules and ions: their composition, structure, properties ...

chemistry
as a discipline. Ideas on human nature, society, and economics evolved during the Enlightenment. Hume and other Scottish Enlightenment thinkers developed ''
A Treatise of Human Nature '' A Treatise of Human Nature: Being an Attempt to Introduce the Experimental Method of Reasoning into Moral Subjects'' (1739–40) is a book by Scottish philosopher David Hume David Hume (; born David Home; 7 May 1711 New Style, NS (26 A ...
'', which was expressed historically in works by authors including James Burnett,
Adam Ferguson Adam Ferguson, (Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic ( gd, Gàidhlig ), also known as Scots Gaelic and Gaelic, is a Goidelic language (in the Celtic languages, Celtic branch of the Indo-European languages, Indo-European language family) nat ...
, John Millar and William Robertson, all of whom merged a scientific study of how humans behaved in ancient and primitive cultures with a strong awareness of the determining forces of
modernity Modernity, a topic in the humanities and social sciences, is both a historical period (the modern era) and the ensemble of particular socio-cultural norms, attitudes and practices that arose in the wake of the Renaissancein the " Age of ...
. Modern sociology largely originated from this movement. In 1776,
Adam Smith Adam Smith (baptized 1723 – 17 July 1790) was a Scottish economist and philosopher who was a pioneer in the thinking of political economy and key figure during the Scottish Enlightenment. Seen by some as "The Father of Economics"——— ...
published ''
The Wealth of Nations ''An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations'', generally referred to by its shortened title ''The Wealth of Nations'', is the ''Masterpiece, magnum opus'' of the Scottish people, Scottish economist and moral philosopher Ada ...
'', which is often considered the first work on modern economics.


19th century

During the nineteenth century, many distinguishing characteristics of contemporary modern science began to take shape. These included the transformation of the life and physical sciences, frequent use of precision instruments, emergence of terms such as "biologist", "physicist", "scientist", increased professionalization of those studying nature, scientists gained cultural authority over many dimensions of society, industrialization of numerous countries, thriving of popular science writings and emergence of science journals. During the late 19th century,
psychology Psychology is the science, scientific study of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the study of consciousness, conscious and Unconscious mind, unconscious phenomena, including feelings and thoughts. It is an academic discipline of immens ...

psychology
emerged as a separate discipline from philosophy when
Wilhelm Wundt Wilhelm Maximilian Wundt (; ; 16 August 1832 – 31 August 1920) was a German physiologist, philosopher, and professor, known today as one of the fathers of modern psychology. Wundt, who distinguished psychology as a science from philosophy and ...
founded the first laboratory for psychological research in 1879. During the mid-19th century,
Charles Darwin Charles Robert Darwin ( ; 12 February 1809 – 19 April 1882) was an English naturalist, geologist, and biologist, widely known for his contributions to evolutionary biology. His proposition that all species of life have descended ...
and
Alfred Russel Wallace Alfred Russel Wallace (8 January 1823 – 7 November 1913) was a British natural history, naturalist, explorer, geographer, anthropologist, biologist and illustrator. He is best known for independently conceiving the theory of evolution thro ...
independently proposed the theory of evolution by
natural selection Natural selection is the differential survival and reproduction of individuals due to differences in phenotype. It is a key mechanism of evolution, the change in the Heredity, heritable Phenotypic trait, traits characteristic of a populati ...
in 1858, which explained how different plants and animals originated and evolved. Their theory was set out in detail in Darwin's book ''
On the Origin of Species ''On the Origin of Species'' (or, more completely, ''On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life''),The book's full original title was ''On the Origin of Species by Me ...
'', published in 1859. Separately,
Gregor Mendel Gregor Johann Mendel, Augustinians, OSA (; cs, Řehoř Jan Mendel; 20 July 1822 – 6 January 1884) was a biologist, meteorologist, mathematician, Augustinians, Augustinian friar and abbot of St Thomas's Abbey, Brno, St. Thomas' Abbey in Br ...
presented his paper, "
Experiments on Plant Hybridization "Experiments on Plant Hybridization" (German language, German: "Versuche über Pflanzen-Hybriden") is a seminal paper written in 1865 and published in 1866 by Gregor Mendel, an Augustinian friar considered to be the founder of modern genetics. Th ...
" in 1865, which outlined the principles of biological inheritance, serving as the basis for modern genetics. Early in the 19th century,
John Dalton John Dalton (; 5 or 6 September 1766 – 27 July 1844) was an English chemist, physicist and meteorologist. He is best known for introducing the atomic theory into chemistry, and for his research into Color blindness, colour blindness, which ...
suggested the modern
atomic theory Atomic theory is the scientific theory A scientific theory is an explanation of an aspect of the natural science, natural world and universe that has been reproducibility, repeatedly tested and corroborated in accordance with the scientifi ...
, based on Democritus's original idea of indivisible particles called ''atoms''. The laws of
conservation of energy In physics and chemistry, the law of conservation of energy states that the total energy of an isolated system remains constant; it is said to be Conservation law, ''conserved'' over time. This law, first proposed and tested by Émilie du Chât ...
,
conservation of momentum In Newtonian mechanics, momentum (more specifically linear momentum or translational momentum) is the Multiplication, product of the mass and velocity of an object. It is a Euclidean vector, vector quantity, possessing a magnitude and a dire ...
and
conservation of mass In physics Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its Elementary particle, fundamental constituents, its motion and behavior through Spacetime, space and time, and the related entities of energy and force. "Physical scienc ...
suggested a highly stable universe where there could be little loss of resources. However, with the advent of the
steam engine A steam engine is a heat engine that performs mechanical work using steam as its working fluid. The steam engine uses the force produced by steam pressure to push a piston back and forth inside a Cylinder (locomotive), cylinder. This pus ...
and the
industrial revolution The Industrial Revolution was the transition to new manufacturing processes in Great Britain, continental Europe, and the United States, that occurred during the period from around 1760 to about 1820–1840. This transition included going fr ...
there was an increased understanding that not all forms of energy have the same energy qualities, the ease of conversion to useful work or to another form of energy. This realization led to the development of the laws of
thermodynamics Thermodynamics is a branch of physics that deals with heat, Work (thermodynamics), work, and temperature, and their relation to energy, entropy, and the physical properties of matter and radiation. The behavior of these quantities is governed b ...
, in which the free energy of the universe is seen as constantly declining: the
entropy Entropy is a scientific concept, as well as a measurable physical property, that is most commonly associated with a state of disorder, randomness, or uncertainty. The term and the concept are used in diverse fields, from classical thermodynam ...
of a closed universe increases over time. The electromagnetic theory was established in the 19th century by the works of
Hans Christian Ørsted Hans Christian Ørsted ( , ; often rendered Oersted in English; 14 August 17779 March 1851) was a Danish physicist A physicist is a scientist who specializes in the field of physics, which encompasses the interactions of matter and energy a ...
,
André-Marie Ampère André-Marie Ampère (, ; ; 20 January 177510 June 1836) was a French physicist A physicist is a scientist who specializes in the field of physics, which encompasses the interactions of matter and energy at all length and time scales in th ...
,
Michael Faraday Michael Faraday (; 22 September 1791 – 25 August 1867) was an English scientist who contributed to the study of electromagnetism and electrochemistry. His main discoveries include the principles underlying electromagnetic induction, ...
,
James Clerk Maxwell James Clerk Maxwell (13 June 1831 – 5 November 1879) was a Scottish mathematician and scientist responsible for the classical theory of electromagnetic radiation, which was the first theory to describe electricity, magnetism and light ...
,
Oliver Heaviside Oliver Heaviside Fellow of the Royal Society, FRS (; 18 May 1850 – 3 February 1925) was an English Autodidacticism, self-taught mathematician and physicist who invented a new technique for solving differential equations (equivalent to the La ...
, and
Heinrich Hertz Heinrich Rudolf Hertz ( ; ; 22 February 1857 – 1 January 1894) was a German physicist who first conclusively proved the existence of the electromagnetic waves predicted by James Clerk Maxwell's Maxwell's equations, equations of electrom ...
. The new theory raised questions that could not easily be answered using Newton's framework. The discovery of
X-ray An X-ray, or, much less commonly, X-radiation, is a penetrating form of high-energy electromagnetic radiation. Most X-rays have a wavelength ranging from 10 Picometre, picometers to 10 Nanometre, nanometers, corresponding to frequency, ...
s inspired the discovery of radioactivity by
Henri Becquerel Antoine Henri Becquerel (; 15 December 1852 – 25 August 1908) was a French engineer, physicist, Nobel laureate, and the first person to discover evidence of radioactivity. For work in this field he, along with Marie Skłodowska-Curie and Pier ...
and
Marie Curie Marie Salomea Skłodowska–Curie ( , , ; born Maria Salomea Skłodowska, ; 7 November 1867 – 4 July 1934) was a Polish minority in France, Polish and naturalized-French physicist and chemist who conducted pioneering research on radioact ...
in 1896, Marie Curie then became the first person to win two
Nobel prizes The Nobel Prizes ( ; sv, Nobelpriset ; no, Nobelprisen ) are five separate prizes that, according to Alfred Nobel#Nobel Prize, Alfred Nobel's will of 1895, are awarded to "those who, during the preceding year, have conferred the greatest ben ...
. In the next year came the discovery of the first subatomic particle, the
electron The electron ( or ) is a subatomic particle with a negative one elementary charge, elementary electric charge. Electrons belong to the first generation (particle physics), generation of the lepton particle family, and are generally thought t ...
.


20th century

In the first half of the century, the development of
antibiotics An antibiotic is a type of antimicrobial substance active against bacteria. It is the most important type of antibacterial agent for fighting pathogenic bacteria, bacterial infections, and antibiotic medications are widely used in the therapy, ...
and
artificial fertilizer A fertilizer (American English) or fertiliser (British English; American and British English spelling differences#-ise, -ize (-isation, -ization), see spelling differences) is any material of natural or synthetic origin that is applied to soil ...
s improved human
living standards Standard of living is the level of income, comforts and services available, generally applied to a society or location, rather than to an individual. Standard of living is relevant because it is considered to contribute to an individual's quality ...
globally. Harmful
environmental issues Environmental issues are Human impact on the environment, effects of human activity on the biophysical environment, Climate change, most often of which are harmful effects that cause environmental degradation. Environmental protection is the prac ...
such as
ozone depletion Ozone depletion consists of two related events observed since the late 1970s: a steady lowering of about four percent in the total amount of ozone in Earth, Earth's atmosphere, and a much larger springtime decrease in stratospheric ozone (the ozo ...
,
ocean acidification Ocean acidification is the reduction in the pH value of the Earth’s ocean. Between 1751 and 2021, the average pH value of the ocean surface has decreased from approximately 8.25 to 8.14. The root cause of ocean acidification is carbon dioxide ...
,
eutrophication Eutrophication is the process by which an entire body of water, or parts of it, becomes progressively enriched with minerals and nutrients, particularly Nitrogen cycle, nitrogen and Phosphorus cycle, phosphorus. It has also been defined as "nutri ...
and
climate change In common usage, climate change describes global warming—the ongoing increase in global average temperature—and its effects on Earth's climate system. Climate variability and change, Climate change in a broader sense also includes ...
came to the public's attention and caused the onset of
environmental studies Environmental studies is a multidisciplinary academic field which systematically studies human behavior, human interaction with the Natural environment, environment. Environmental studies connects principles from the physical sciences, commerce/ ...
. During this period, scientific experimentation became increasingly larger in scale and funding. The extensive technological innovation stimulated by
World War I World War I (28 July 1914 11 November 1918), often abbreviated as WWI, was List of wars and anthropogenic disasters by death toll, one of the deadliest global conflicts in history. Belligerents included much of Europe, the Russian Empire, ...
,
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a world war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved the World War II by country, vast majority of the world's countries—including all of the great power ...
, and the
Cold War The Cold War is a term commonly used to refer to a period of Geopolitics, geopolitical tension between the United States and the Soviet Union and their respective allies, the Western Bloc and the Eastern Bloc. The term ''Cold war (term), co ...
led to competitions between global powers, such as the
Space Race The Space Race was a 20th-century competition between two Cold War rivals, the United States and the Soviet Union, to achieve superior spaceflight capability. It had its origins in the ballistic missile-based nuclear arms race between the tw ...
and
nuclear arms race The nuclear arms race was an arms race competition for supremacy in nuclear warfare between the United States, the Soviet Union, and their respective allies during the Cold War. During this same period, in addition to the American and Soviet nuc ...
. Substantial international collaborations were also made, despite armed conflicts. In the late 20th century, active recruitment of women and elimination of
sex discrimination Sexism is prejudice or discrimination based on one's sex or gender. Sexism can affect anyone, but it primarily affects women and girls.There is a clear and broad consensus among academic scholars in multiple fields that sexism refers primaril ...
greatly increased the number of women scientists, but large gender disparities remained in some fields. The discovery of the
cosmic microwave background In Big Bang cosmology the cosmic microwave background (CMB, CMBR) is electromagnetic radiation that is a remnant from an early stage of the universe, also known as "relic radiation". The CMB is faint cosmic background radiation filling all space ...
in 1964 led to a rejection of the steady-state model of the universe in favor of the
Big Bang The Big Bang event is a physical theory that describes how the Expansion of the universe, universe expanded from an initial state of high Energy density, density and temperature. Various Physical cosmology, cosmological models of the Big Ba ...
theory of
Georges Lemaître Georges Henri Joseph Édouard Lemaître ( ; ; 17 July 1894 – 20 June 1966) was a Belgian Catholic The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptized Catho ...
. The century saw fundamental changes within science disciplines. Evolution became a unified theory in the early 20th-century when the
modern synthesis Modern synthesis or modern evolutionary synthesis refers to several perspectives on evolutionary biology, namely: * Modern synthesis (20th century) The modern synthesis was the early 20th-century synthesis of Charles Darwin's theory of evol ...
reconciled Darwinian evolution with
classical genetics Classical genetics is the branch of genetics based solely on visible results of reproductive acts. It is the oldest discipline in the field of genetics, going back to the experiments on Mendelian inheritance by Gregor Mendel who made it possible t ...
.
Albert Einstein Albert Einstein ( ; ; 14 March 1879 – 18 April 1955) was a German-born Theoretical physics, theoretical physicist, widely acknowledged to be one of the greatest and most influential physicists of all time. Einstein is best known for d ...
's
theory of relativity The theory of relativity usually encompasses two interrelated theories by Albert Einstein: special relativity and general relativity, proposed and published in 1905 and 1915, respectively. Special relativity applies to all physical phenomena in ...
and the development of
quantum mechanics Quantum mechanics is a fundamental Scientific theory, theory in physics that provides a description of the physical properties of nature at the scale of atoms and subatomic particles. It is the foundation of all quantum physics including qua ...
complement classical mechanics to describe physics in extreme
length Length is a measure of distance. In the International System of Quantities, length is a quantity with Dimension (physical quantity), dimension distance. In most Measurement system, systems of measurement a Base unit (measurement), base unit f ...
,
time Time is the continued sequence of existence and event (philosophy), events that occurs in an apparently irreversible process, irreversible succession from the past, through the present, into the future. It is a component quantity of various me ...
and
gravity In physics, gravity () is a fundamental interaction which causes mutual attraction between all things with mass or energy. Gravity is, by far, the weakest of the four fundamental interactions, approximately 1038 times weaker than the strong ...
. Widespread use of
integrated circuit An integrated circuit or monolithic integrated circuit (also referred to as an IC, a chip, or a microchip) is a set of electronic circuits on one small flat piece (or "chip") of semiconductor material, usually silicon. Large numbers of ti ...
s in the last quarter of the 20th century combined with
communications satellite A communications satellite is an artificial satellite that relays and amplifies radio Radio is the technology of signaling and telecommunication, communicating using radio waves. Radio waves are electromagnetic waves of frequency between ...
s led to a revolution in
information technology Information technology (IT) is the use of computers to create, process, store, retrieve, and exchange all kinds of Data (computing), data . and information. IT forms part of information and communications technology (ICT). An information te ...
and the rise of the global
internet The Internet (or internet) is the global system of interconnected computer networks that uses the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to communicate between networks and devices. It is a '' network of networks'' that consists of private, p ...
and
mobile computing Mobile computing is human–computer interaction in which a computer is expected to be transported during normal usage, which allows for the transmission of data, voice, and video. Mobile computing involves mobile communication, mobile hardware ...
, including
smartphone A smartphone is a Mobile device, portable computer device that combines Mobile phone, mobile telephone and Mobile computing, computing functions into one unit. They are distinguished from feature phones by their stronger hardware capabilities ...
s. The need for mass systematization of long, intertwined causal chains and large amounts of data led to the rise of the fields of
systems theory Systems theory is the Interdisciplinarity, interdisciplinary study of systems, i.e. cohesive groups of interrelated, interdependent components that can be natural or man-made, human-made. Every system has causal boundaries, is influenced by its c ...
and computer-assisted
scientific modeling Scientific modelling is a scientific activity, the aim of which is to make a particular part or feature of the world easier to Understanding, understand, Definition, define, quantification (science), quantify, Visual system, visualize, or Simu ...
.


21st century

The
Human Genome Project The Human Genome Project (HGP) was an international scientific research project with the goal of determining the base pairs that make up human DNA, and of identifying, gene mapping, mapping and DNA sequencing, sequencing all of the genes of the ...
was completed in 2003 by identifying and mapping all of the genes of the
human genome The human genome is a complete set of nucleic acid sequences for humans, encoded as DNA within the 23 chromosome pairs in cell nuclei and in a small DNA molecule found within individual Mitochondrial DNA, mitochondria. These are usually treated s ...
. The first induced pluripotent human stem cells were made in 2006, allowing adult cells to be transformed into
stem cell In multicellular organisms, stem cells are undifferentiated or partially differentiated cells that can differentiate into various types of cells and proliferate indefinitely to produce more of the same stem cell. They are the earliest type ...
s and turn to any cell type found in the body. With the affirmation of the
Higgs boson The Higgs boson, sometimes called the Higgs particle, is an elementary particle in the Standard Model of particle physics produced by the excited state, quantum excitation of the Higgs field, one of the field (physics), fields in particl ...
discovery in 2013, the last particle predicted by the
Standard Model The Standard Model of particle physics Particle physics or high energy physics is the study of Elementary particle, fundamental particles and fundamental interaction, forces that constitute matter and radiation. The fundamental particles ...
of particle physics was found. In 2015,
gravitational wave Gravitational waves are waves of the intensity of gravity generated by the accelerated masses of an orbital binary system that Wave propagation, propagate as waves outward from their source at the speed of light. They were first proposed by Oliv ...
s, predicted by
general relativity General relativity, also known as the general theory of relativity and Einstein's theory of gravity, is the differential geometry, geometric scientific theory, theory of gravitation published by Albert Einstein in 1915 and is the current descr ...
a century before, were first observed. In 2019, the international collaboration
Event Horizon Telescope The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) is a large Astronomical interferometer, telescope array consisting of a global network of radio telescopes. The EHT project combines data from several very-long-baseline interferometry (VLBI) stations around Ear ...
presented the first direct image of a
black hole A black hole is a region of spacetime where gravitation, gravity is so strong that nothing, including light or other Electromagnetic radiation, electromagnetic waves, has enough energy to escape it. The theory of general relativity predicts t ...
's
accretion disk An accretion disk is a structure (often a circumstellar disk) formed by diffuse material in orbit In celestial mechanics, an orbit is the curved trajectory of an physical body, object such as the trajectory of a planet around a star, or of ...
.


Branches

Modern science is commonly divided into three major
branch A branch, sometimes called a ramus in botany, is a woody structural member connected to the central trunk (botany), trunk of a tree (or sometimes a shrub). Large branches are known as boughs and small branches are known as twigs. The term '' ...
es:
natural science Natural science is one of the branches of science concerned with the description, understanding and prediction of Nature, natural Phenomenon, phenomena, based on empirical evidence from observation and experimentation. Mechanisms such as peer re ...

natural science
,
social science Social science is one of the branches of science, devoted to the study of society, societies and the Social relation, relationships among individuals within those societies. The term was formerly used to refer to the field of sociology, the o ...

social science
, and
formal science Formal science is a Branches of science, branch of science studying disciplines concerned with abstract structures described by formal systems, such as logic, mathematics, statistics, theoretical computer science, artificial intelligence, inform ...
. Each of these branches comprises various specialized yet overlapping scientific disciplines that often possess their own
nomenclature Nomenclature (, ) is a system of names or terms, or the rules for forming these terms in a particular field of arts or sciences. The principles of naming vary from the relatively informal conventions of everyday speech to the internationally ag ...
and expertise. Both natural and social sciences are
empirical science In philosophy, empiricism is an Epistemology, epistemological theory that holds that knowledge or justification comes only or primarily from Empirical evidence, sensory experience. It is one of several views within epistemology, along with ra ...
s, as their knowledge is based on empirical observations and is capable of being tested for its validity by other researchers working under the same conditions.


Natural science

Natural science Natural science is one of the branches of science concerned with the description, understanding and prediction of Nature, natural Phenomenon, phenomena, based on empirical evidence from observation and experimentation. Mechanisms such as peer re ...
is the study of the physical world. It can be divided into two main branches:
life science Life is a quality that distinguishes matter that has biological processes, such as Cell signaling, signaling and self-sustaining processes, from that which does not, and is defined by the capacity for Cell growth, growth, reaction to Stimu ...
and
physical science Physical science is a branch of natural science that studies non-living systems, in contrast to life science. It in turn has many branches, each referred to as a "physical science", together called the "physical sciences". Definition Phy ...
. These two branches may be further divided into more specialized disciplines. For example, physical science can be subdivided into
physics Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its Elementary particle, fundamental constituents, its motion and behavior through Spacetime, space and time, and the related entities of energy and force. "Physical science is that depar ...

physics
,
chemistry Chemistry is the scientific study of the properties and behavior of matter. It is a natural science that covers the elements that make up matter to the compounds made of atoms, molecules and ions: their composition, structure, properties ...

chemistry
,
astronomy Astronomy () is a natural science that studies astronomical object, celestial objects and phenomena. It uses mathematics, physics, and chemistry in order to explain their origin and chronology of the Universe, evolution. Objects of interest ...
, and
earth science Earth science or geoscience includes all fields of natural science Natural science is one of the branches of science concerned with the description, understanding and prediction of Nature, natural Phenomenon, phenomena, based on empirical evid ...
. Modern natural science is the successor to the
natural philosophy Natural philosophy or philosophy of nature (from Latin ''philosophia naturalis'') is the philosophy, philosophical study of Physics (Aristotle), physics, that is, nature and the physical universe. It was dominant before the development of mode ...
that began in
Ancient Greece Ancient Greece ( el, Ἑλλάς, Hellás) was a northeastern Mediterranean Sea, Mediterranean civilization, existing from the Greek Dark Ages of the 12th–9th centuries BC to the end of Classical Antiquity, classical antiquity ( AD 600), th ...
.
Galileo Galileo di Vincenzo Bonaiuti de' Galilei (15 February 1564 – 8 January 1642) was an Italian astronomer, physicist and engineer, sometimes described as a polymath. Commonly referred to as Galileo, his name was pronounced (, ). He was ...
, Descartes,
Bacon Bacon is a type of Curing (food preservation), salt-cured pork made from various cuts of meat, cuts, typically the pork belly, belly or less fatty parts of the back. It is eaten as a side dish (particularly in breakfasts), used as a central in ...
, and Newton debated the benefits of using approaches which were more
mathematical Mathematics is an area of knowledge that includes the topics of numbers, formulas and related structures, shapes and the spaces in which they are contained, and quantities and their changes. These topics are represented in modern mathematics ...
and more experimental in a methodical way. Still, philosophical perspectives,
conjecture In mathematics, a conjecture is a Consequent, conclusion or a proposition that is proffered on a tentative basis without Formal proof, proof. Some conjectures, such as the Riemann hypothesis (still a conjecture) or Fermat's Last Theorem (a conje ...
s, and
presupposition In the branch of linguistics known as pragmatics, a presupposition (or PSP) is an implicit assumption about the world or background belief relating to an utterance whose truth is taken for granted in discourse. Examples of presuppositions include ...
s, often overlooked, remain necessary in natural science. Systematic data collection, including discovery science, succeeded natural history, which emerged in the 16th century by describing and classifying plants, animals, minerals, and so on. Today, "natural history" suggests observational descriptions aimed at popular audiences.


Social science

Social science Social science is one of the branches of science, devoted to the study of society, societies and the Social relation, relationships among individuals within those societies. The term was formerly used to refer to the field of sociology, the o ...
is the study of human behavior and functioning of societies. It has many disciplines that include, but are not limited to
anthropology Anthropology is the scientific study of humanity, concerned with human behavior, human biology, cultures, societies, and linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of human language. It is called a scientific study because i ...
,
economics Economics () is the social science that studies the Production (economics), production, distribution (economics), distribution, and Consumption (economics), consumption of goods and services. Economics focuses on the behaviour and intera ...

economics
,
history History (derived ) is the systematic study and the documentation of the human activity. The time period of event before the invention of writing systems is considered prehistory. "History" is an umbrella term comprising past events as we ...
,
human geography Human geography or anthropogeography is the branch of geography that studies spatial relationships between human communities, cultures, economies, and their interactions with the environment. It analyzes spatial interdependencies between social i ...
,
political science Political science is the science, scientific study of politics. It is a social science dealing with systems of governance and power, and the analysis of politics, political activities, political thought, political behavior, and associated c ...
,
psychology Psychology is the science, scientific study of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the study of consciousness, conscious and Unconscious mind, unconscious phenomena, including feelings and thoughts. It is an academic discipline of immens ...

psychology
, and
sociology Sociology is a social science that focuses on society, human social behavior, patterns of Interpersonal ties, social relationships, social interaction, and aspects of culture associated with everyday life. It uses various methods of Empirical ...
. In the social sciences, there are many competing theoretical perspectives, many of which are extended through competing
research program A research program (British English British English (BrE, en-GB, or BE) is, according to Oxford Dictionaries, " English as used in Great Britain, as distinct from that used elsewhere". More narrowly, it can refer specifically to the Engl ...
s such as the functionalists, conflict theorists, and interactionists in sociology. Due to the limitations of conducting controlled experiments involving large groups of individuals or complex situations, social scientists may adopt other research methods such as the
historical method Historical method is the collection of techniques and guidelines that historian A historian is a person who studies and writes about the past and is regarded as an authority on it. Historians are concerned with the continuous, methodical n ...
,
case studies A case study is an in-depth, detailed examination of a particular case (or cases) within a real-world context. For example, case studies in medicine Medicine is the science and Praxis (process), practice of caring for a patient, managing the di ...
, and
cross-cultural studies Cross-cultural studies, sometimes called holocultural studies or comparative studies, is a specialization in anthropology and sister sciences such as sociology, psychology, economics, political science that uses field data from many Society, soci ...
. Moreover, if quantitative information is available, social scientists may rely on statistical approaches to better understand social relationships and processes.


Formal science

Formal science Formal science is a Branches of science, branch of science studying disciplines concerned with abstract structures described by formal systems, such as logic, mathematics, statistics, theoretical computer science, artificial intelligence, inform ...
is an area of study that generates knowledge using
formal system A formal system is an abstract structure used for inferring theorems from axioms according to a set of rules. These rules, which are used for carrying out the inference of theorems from axioms, are the logical calculus of the formal system. A form ...
s. A formal system is an
abstract structure An abstract structure is an abstraction that might be of the geometric Geometry (; ) is, with arithmetic, one of the oldest branches of mathematics. It is concerned with properties of space such as the distance, shape, size, and relative posit ...
used for inferring
theorem In mathematics, a theorem is a statement (logic), statement that has been Mathematical proof, proved, or can be proved. The ''proof'' of a theorem is a logical argument that uses the inference rules of a deductive system to establish that the th ...
s from
axiom An axiom, postulate, or assumption is a statement (logic), statement that is taken to be truth, true, to serve as a premise or starting point for further reasoning and arguments. The word comes from the Ancient Greek word (), meaning 'that whi ...

axiom
s according to a set of rules. It includes
mathematics Mathematics is an area of knowledge that includes the topics of numbers, formulas and related structures, shapes and the spaces in which they are contained, and quantities and their changes. These topics are represented in modern mathematics ...

mathematics
,
systems theory Systems theory is the Interdisciplinarity, interdisciplinary study of systems, i.e. cohesive groups of interrelated, interdependent components that can be natural or man-made, human-made. Every system has causal boundaries, is influenced by its c ...
, and
theoretical computer science Theoretical computer science (TCS) is a subset of general computer science and mathematics that focuses on mathematical aspects of computer science such as the theory of computation, lambda calculus, and type theory. It is difficult to circumsc ...

theoretical computer science
. The formal sciences share similarities with the other two branches by relying on objective, careful, and systematic study of an area of knowledge. They are, however, different from the empirical sciences as they rely exclusively on deductive reasoning, without the need for empirical evidence, to verify their abstract concepts. The formal sciences are therefore ''a priori'' disciplines and because of this, there is disagreement on whether they constitute a science. Nevertheless, the formal sciences play an important role in the empirical sciences.
Calculus Calculus, originally called infinitesimal calculus or "the calculus of infinitesimals", is the mathematics, mathematical study of continuous change, in the same way that geometry is the study of shape, and algebra is the study of generalizati ...
, for example, was initially invented to understand
motion In physics, motion is the phenomenon in which an object changes its Position (geometry), position with respect to time. Motion is mathematically described in terms of Displacement (geometry), displacement, distance, velocity, acceleration, speed ...
in physics. Natural and social sciences that rely heavily on mathematical applications include
mathematical physics Mathematical physics refers to the development of mathematics, mathematical methods for application to problems in physics. The ''Journal of Mathematical Physics'' defines the field as "the application of mathematics to problems in physics and t ...
,
chemistry Chemistry is the scientific study of the properties and behavior of matter. It is a natural science that covers the elements that make up matter to the compounds made of atoms, molecules and ions: their composition, structure, properties ...
,
biology Biology is the scientific study of life. It is a natural science with a broad scope but has several unifying themes that tie it together as a single, coherent field. For instance, all organisms are made up of Cell (biology), cells that proce ...
,
finance Finance is the study and discipline of money, currency and capital assets. It is related to, but not synonymous with economics, the study of Production (economics), production, Distribution (economics), distribution, and Consumption (economics) ...
, and
economics Economics () is the social science that studies the Production (economics), production, distribution (economics), distribution, and Consumption (economics), consumption of goods and services. Economics focuses on the behaviour and intera ...
.


Applied science

Applied science Applied science is the use of the scientific method and knowledge obtained via conclusions from the method to attain practical goals. It includes a broad range of disciplines such as engineering and medicine. Applied science is often contrasted ...
is the use of the
scientific method The scientific method is an Empirical evidence, empirical method for acquiring knowledge that has characterized the development of science since at least the 17th century (with notable practitioners in previous centuries; see the article hist ...

scientific method
and knowledge to attain practical goals and includes a broad range of disciplines such as
engineering Engineering is the use of scientific principles to design and build machines, structures, and other items, including bridges, tunnels, roads, vehicles, and buildings. The discipline of engineering encompasses a broad range of more specializ ...

engineering
and
medicine Medicine is the science and Praxis (process), practice of caring for a patient, managing the diagnosis, prognosis, Preventive medicine, prevention, therapy, treatment, Palliative care, palliation of their injury or disease, and Health promotion ...

medicine
. Engineering is the use of scientific principles to invent, design and build machines, structures and technologies. Science may contribute to the development of new technologies. Medicine is the practice of caring for patients by maintaining and restoring
health Health, according to the World Health Organization, is "a state of complete physical, Mental health, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity".World Health Organization. (2006)''Constitution of the World H ...
through the prevention,
diagnosis Diagnosis is the identification of the nature and cause of a certain phenomenon. Diagnosis is used in many different academic discipline, disciplines, with variations in the use of logic, analytics, and experience, to determine "causality, cause a ...
, and treatment of
injury An injury is any physiological damage to living tissue caused by immediate physical stress. An injury can occur intentionally or Accident, unintentionally and may be caused by blunt trauma, penetrating trauma, burning, Toxin, toxic exposure, asp ...
or
disease A disease is a particular abnormal condition that negatively affects the structure or function (biology), function of all or part of an organism, and that is not immediately due to any external injury. Diseases are often known to be medica ...
. The applied sciences are often contrasted with the
basic science Basic research, also called pure research or fundamental research, is a type of scientific research with the aim of improving scientific theory, theories for better understanding and prediction of natural or other phenomena. In contrast, applied ...
s, which are focused on advancing scientific theories and laws that explain and predict events in the natural world. & "Technology" in
Computational science Computational science, also known as scientific computing or scientific computation (SC), is a field in mathematics that uses advanced computing Computing is any goal-oriented activity requiring, benefiting from, or creating computer, comput ...
applies computing power to simulate real-world situations, enabling a better understanding of scientific problems than formal mathematics alone can achieve. The use of
machine learning Machine learning (ML) is a field of inquiry devoted to understanding and building methods that 'learn', that is, methods that leverage data to improve performance on some set of tasks. It is seen as a part of artificial intelligence. Machine ...
and
artificial intelligence Artificial intelligence (AI) is intelligence—perceiving, synthesizing, and inferring information—demonstrated by machines, as opposed to intelligence displayed by animal cognition, animals and human intelligence, humans. Example tasks in ...
is becoming a central feature of computational contributions to science for example in
agent-based computational economics Agent-based computational economics (ACE) is the area of computational economics Computational Economics is an interdisciplinary research discipline that involves computer science, economics, and management science.''Computational Economics''."Ab ...
,
random forest Random forests or random decision forests is an ensemble learning method for statistical classification, classification, regression analysis, regression and other tasks that operates by constructing a multitude of decision tree learning, dec ...
s,
topic model In statistics and natural language processing, a topic model is a type of statistical model for discovering the abstract "topics" that occur in a collection of documents. Topic modeling is a frequently used text-mining tool for discovery of hidden ...
ing and various forms of prediction. However, machines alone rarely advance knowledge as they require human guidance and capacity to reason; and they can introduce bias against certain social groups or sometimes underperform against humans.


Interdisciplinary science

Interdisciplinary science involves the combination of two or more disciplines into one, such as
bioinformatics Bioinformatics () is an interdisciplinary field that develops methods and software tools for understanding biological data, in particular when the data sets are large and complex. As an interdisciplinary field of science, bioinformatics combi ...
, a combination of biology and computer science. The concept has existed since the ancient Greek and it became popular again in the 20th century.


Scientific research

Scientific research can be labeled as either basic or applied research.
Basic research Basic research, also called pure research or fundamental research, is a type of scientific research with the aim of improving scientific theory, theories for better understanding and prediction of natural or other phenomena. In contrast, applied ...
is the search for knowledge and
applied research Applied science is the use of the scientific method and knowledge obtained via conclusions from the method to attain practical goals. It includes a broad range of disciplines such as engineering and medicine. Applied science is often contrasted ...
is the search for solutions to practical problems using this knowledge. Most understanding comes from basic research, though sometimes applied research targets specific practical problems. This leads to technological advances that were not previously imaginable.


Scientific method

Scientific research involves using the
scientific method The scientific method is an Empirical evidence, empirical method for acquiring knowledge that has characterized the development of science since at least the 17th century (with notable practitioners in previous centuries; see the article hist ...

scientific method
, which seeks to objectively explain the events of
nature Nature, in the broadest sense, is the physics, physical world or universe. "Nature" can refer to the phenomenon, phenomena of the physical world, and also to life in general. The study of nature is a large, if not the only, part of science. ...
in a reproducible way. Scientists usually take for granted a set of basic assumptions that are needed to justify the scientific method: there is an
objective reality In philosophy, objectivity is the concept of truth independent from individual subjectivity (bias caused by one's perception, emotions, or imagination). A proposition is considered to have objective truth when its truth conditions are met withou ...
shared by all rational observers; this objective reality is governed by
natural law Natural law ( la, ius naturale, ''lex naturalis'') is a system of law based on a close observation of human nature, and based on values intrinsic to human nature that can be Deductive reasoning, deduced and applied independently of positive law ( ...
s; these laws were discovered by means of systematic
observation Observation is the active acquisition of information from a primary source. In living beings, observation employs the senses. In science, observation can also involve the perception and recording of data (information), data via the use of scienti ...
and
experiment An experiment is a procedure carried out to support or refute a hypothesis, or determine the efficacy or likelihood of something previously untried. Experiments provide insight into cause-and-effect by demonstrating what outcome occurs wh ...
ation.
Mathematics Mathematics is an area of knowledge that includes the topics of numbers, formulas and related structures, shapes and the spaces in which they are contained, and quantities and their changes. These topics are represented in modern mathematics ...
is essential in the formation of
hypotheses A hypothesis (plural hypotheses) is a proposed explanation for a phenomenon A phenomenon (plural, : phenomena) is an observable event. The term came into its modern Philosophy, philosophical usage through Immanuel Kant, who contrasted i ...
,
theories A theory is a rational Rationality is the Quality (philosophy), quality of being guided by or based on reasons. In this regard, a person Action (philosophy), acts rationally if they have a good reason for what they do or a belief is rational ...
, and laws, because it is used extensively in quantitative modeling, observing, and collecting
measurements Measurement is the quantification (science), quantification of variable and attribute (research), attributes of an object or event, which can be used to compare with other objects or events. In other words, measurement is a process of determi ...
.
Statistics Statistics (from German language, German: ''wikt:Statistik#German, Statistik'', "description of a State (polity), state, a country") is the discipline that concerns the collection, organization, analysis, interpretation, and presentation of ...
is used to summarize and analyze data, which allows scientists to assess the reliability of experimental results. In the scientific method, an explanatory
thought experiment A thought experiment is a hypothetical situation in which a hypothesis, theory, or principle is laid out for the purpose of thinking through its consequences. History The ancient Greek ''deiknymi'' (), or thought experiment, "was the most anci ...
or hypothesis is put forward as an explanation using parsimony principles and is expected to seek
consilience In science Science is a systematic endeavor that Scientific method, builds and organizes knowledge in the form of Testability, testable explanations and predictions about the universe. Science may be as old as the human species, and som ...
 – fitting with other accepted facts related to an observation or scientific question. This tentative explanation is used to make
falsifiable Falsifiability is a standard of evaluation of scientific theories and hypotheses that was introduced by the philosopher of science Karl Popper in his book '' The Logic of Scientific Discovery'' (1934). He proposed it as the cornerstone of a ...
predictions, which are typically posted before being tested by experimentation. Disproof of a prediction is evidence of progress. Experimentation is especially important in science to help establish causal relationships to avoid the correlation fallacy, though in some sciences such as astronomy or
geology Geology () is a branch of natural science concerned with Earth and other Astronomical object, astronomical objects, the features or rock (geology), rocks of which it is composed, and the processes by which they change over time. Modern geology ...
, a predicted observation might be more appropriate. When a hypothesis proves unsatisfactory, it is modified or discarded. If the hypothesis survived testing, it may become adopted into the framework of a
scientific theory A scientific theory is an explanation of an aspect of the natural science, natural world and universe that has been reproducibility, repeatedly tested and corroborated in accordance with the scientific method, using accepted protocol (science), p ...
, a logically reasoned, self-consistent model or framework for describing the behavior of certain natural events. A theory typically describes the behavior of much broader sets of observations than a hypothesis; commonly, a large number of hypotheses can be logically bound together by a single theory. Thus a theory is a hypothesis explaining various other hypotheses. In that vein, theories are formulated according to most of the same scientific principles as hypotheses. Scientists may generate a
model A model is an informative representation of an object, person or system. The term originally denoted the Plan_(drawing), plans of a building in late 16th-century English, and derived via French and Italian ultimately from Latin ''modulus'', a mea ...
, an attempt to describe or depict an observation in terms of a logical, physical or mathematical representation and to generate new hypotheses that can be tested by experimentation. While performing experiments to test hypotheses, scientists may have a preference for one outcome over another. Eliminating the bias can be achieved by transparency, careful
experimental design The design of experiments (DOE, DOX, or experimental design) is the design of any task that aims to describe and explain the variation of information under conditions that are hypothesized to reflect the variation. The term is generally associ ...
, and a thorough
peer review Peer review is the evaluation of work by one or more people with similar competencies as the producers of the work ( peers). It functions as a form of self-regulation by qualified members of a profession within the relevant field. Peer revie ...
process of the experimental results and conclusions. After the results of an experiment are announced or published, it is normal practice for independent researchers to double-check how the research was performed, and to follow up by performing similar experiments to determine how dependable the results might be. Taken in its entirety, the scientific method allows for highly creative problem solving while minimizing the effects of subjective and
confirmation bias Confirmation bias is the tendency to search for, interpret, favor, and recall information in a way that confirms or supports one's prior beliefs or values. People display this bias when they select information that supports their views, ignoring ...
. Intersubjective verifiability, the ability to reach a consensus and reproduce results, is fundamental to the creation of all scientific knowledge.


Scientific literature

Scientific research is published in a range of literature.
Scientific journal In academic publishing, a scientific journal is a periodical publication intended to further the progress of science, usually by reporting new research. Content Articles in scientific journals are mostly written by active scientists such ...
s communicate and document the results of research carried out in universities and various other research institutions, serving as an archival record of science. The first scientific journals, '' Journal des sçavans'' followed by ''
Philosophical Transactions ''Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society'' is a scientific journal In academic publishing, a scientific journal is a periodical publication intended to further the progress of science, usually by reporting new research. Cont ...
'', began publication in 1665. Since that time the total number of active periodicals has steadily increased. In 1981, one estimate for the number of scientific and technical journals in publication was 11,500. Most scientific journals cover a single scientific field and publish the research within that field; the research is normally expressed in the form of a
scientific paper : ''For a broader class of literature, see Academic publishing.'' Scientific literature comprises scholarly publications that report original Empirical evidence, empirical and theoretical work in the natural science, natural and social science ...
. Science has become so pervasive in modern societies that it is considered necessary to communicate the achievements, news, and ambitions of scientists to a wider population.


Challenges

The
replication crisis The replication crisis (also called the replicability crisis and the reproducibility crisis) is an ongoing methodological crisis in which the results of many scientific studies are difficult or impossible to reproducibility, reproduce. Because ...
is an ongoing methodological crisis that affects parts of the
social Social organisms, including human(s), live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it or not, and whether the exchange is voluntary or not. Etymology The word "social" derives from ...
and
life science Life is a quality that distinguishes matter that has biological processes, such as Cell signaling, signaling and self-sustaining processes, from that which does not, and is defined by the capacity for Cell growth, growth, reaction to Stimu ...
s. In subsequent investigations, the results of many scientific studies are proven to be unrepeatable. The crisis has long-standing roots; the phrase was coined in the early 2010s as part of a growing awareness of the problem. The replication crisis represents an important body of research in
metascience Metascience (also known as meta-research) is the use of scientific methodology to study science itself. Metascience seeks to increase the quality of scientific research while reducing inefficiency. It is also known as "''research on research''" ...
, which aims to improve the quality of all scientific research while reducing waste. An area of study or speculation that masquerades as science in an attempt to claim a legitimacy that it would not otherwise be able to achieve is sometimes referred to as
pseudoscience Pseudoscience consists of statements, beliefs, or practices that claim to be both scientific and factual but are incompatible with the scientific method. Pseudoscience is often characterized by contradictory, exaggerated or falsifiability, unfa ...
,
fringe science Fringe science refers to ideas whose attributes include being highly speculative or relying on premises already Objection (argument), refuted. Fringe science theories are often advanced by persons who have no traditional academic science backgroun ...
, or
junk science The expression junk science is used to describe scientific data In the pursuit of knowledge, data (; ) is a collection of discrete values that convey information, describing quantity, quality, fact, statistics, other basic units of ...
. Physicist
Richard Feynman Richard Phillips Feynman (; May 11, 1918 – February 15, 1988) was an American theoretical physicist, known for his work in the path integral formulation of quantum mechanics, the theory of quantum electrodynamics, the physics of the superflu ...
coined the term "
cargo cult science Cargo cult science is a pseudoscientific Pseudoscience consists of statements, beliefs, or practices that claim to be both scientific and factual but are incompatible with the scientific method. Pseudoscience is often characterized by contra ...
" for cases in which researchers believe and at a glance looks like they are doing science, but lack the honesty allowing their results to be rigorously evaluated. Various types of commercial advertising, ranging from hype to fraud, may fall into these categories. Science has been described as "the most important tool" for separating valid claims from invalid ones. There can also be an element of political or ideological bias on all sides of scientific debates. Sometimes, research may be characterized as "bad science," research that may be well-intended but is incorrect, obsolete, incomplete, or over-simplified expositions of scientific ideas. The term " scientific misconduct" refers to situations such as where researchers have intentionally misrepresented their published data or have purposely given credit for a discovery to the wrong person.


Philosophy of science

There are different schools of thought in the
philosophy of science Philosophy of science is a branch of philosophy concerned with the foundations, methodology, methods, and implications of science. The central questions of this study concern Demarcation problem, what qualifies as science, the reliability of s ...
. The most popular position is
empiricism In philosophy, empiricism is an Epistemology, epistemological theory that holds that knowledge or justification comes only or primarily from Empirical evidence, sensory experience. It is one of several views within epistemology, along with ra ...
, which holds that knowledge is created by a process involving observation; scientific theories generalize observations. Empiricism generally encompasses inductivism, a position that explains how general theories can be made from the finite amount of empirical evidence available. Many versions of empiricism exist, with the predominant ones being Bayesianism and the hypothetico-deductive method. Empiricism has stood in contrast to
rationalism In philosophy, rationalism is the epistemology, epistemological view that "regards reason as the chief source and test of knowledge" or "any view appealing to reason as a source of knowledge or justification".Lacey, A.R. (1996), ''A Dictionary o ...
, the position originally associated with Descartes, which holds that knowledge is created by the human intellect, not by observation.
Critical rationalism Critical rationalism is an epistemological Epistemology (; ), or the theory of knowledge, is the branch of philosophy concerned with knowledge. Epistemology is considered a major subfield of philosophy, along with other major subfields ...
is a contrasting 20th-century approach to science, first defined by Austrian-British philosopher
Karl Popper Sir Karl Raimund Popper (28 July 1902 – 17 September 1994) was an Austrian-British philosopher, academic and social commentator. One of the 20th century's most influential philosophers of science, Popper is known for his rejection of the cl ...
. Popper rejected the way that empiricism describes the connection between theory and observation. He claimed that theories are not generated by observation, but that observation is made in the light of theories: that the only way theory A can be affected by observation is after theory A were to conflict with observation, but theory B were to survive the observation. Popper proposed replacing verifiability with
falsifiability Falsifiability is a standard of evaluation of scientific theories and hypotheses that was introduced by the Philosophy of science, philosopher of science Karl Popper in his book ''The Logic of Scientific Discovery'' (1934). He proposed it as t ...
as the landmark of scientific theories, replacing induction with falsification as the empirical method. Popper further claimed that there is actually only one universal method, not specific to science: the negative method of criticism,
trial and error Trial and error is a fundamental method of problem-solving characterized by repeated, varied attempts which are continued until success, or until the practicer stops trying. According to W.H. Thorpe, the term was neologism, devised by C. Lloyd ...
, covering all products of the human mind, including science, mathematics, philosophy, and art. Another approach,
instrumentalism In philosophy of science and in epistemology, instrumentalism is a methodological view that ideas are useful instruments, and that the worth of an idea is based on how effective it is in explaining and predicting phenomena. According to instrumenta ...
, emphasizes the utility of theories as instruments for explaining and predicting phenomena. It views scientific theories as black boxes with only their input (initial conditions) and output (predictions) being relevant. Consequences, theoretical entities, and logical structure are claimed to be something that should be ignored. Close to instrumentalism is
constructive empiricism In philosophy of science, constructive empiricism is a form of empiricism. While it is sometimes referred to as an empiricist form of structuralism, its main proponent, Bas van Fraassen, has consistently distinguished between the two views. Ove ...
, according to which the main criterion for the success of a scientific theory is whether what it says about observable entities is true.
Thomas Kuhn Thomas Samuel Kuhn (; July 18, 1922 – June 17, 1996) was an American philosophy of science, philosopher of science whose 1962 book ''The Structure of Scientific Revolutions'' was influential in both academic and popular circles, introduci ...
argued that the process of observation and evaluation takes place within a paradigm, a logically consistent "portrait" of the world that is consistent with observations made from its framing. He characterized ''normal science'' as the process of observation and "puzzle solving" which takes place within a paradigm, whereas ''revolutionary science'' occurs when one paradigm overtakes another in a
paradigm shift A paradigm shift, a concept brought into the common lexicon by the American physicist and philosopher Thomas Kuhn, is a fundamental change in the basic concepts and experimental practices of a :Scientific disciplines, scientific discipline. Even ...
. Each paradigm has its own distinct questions, aims, and interpretations. The choice between paradigms involves setting two or more "portraits" against the world and deciding which likeness is most promising. A paradigm shift occurs when a significant number of observational anomalies arise in the old paradigm and a new paradigm makes sense of them. That is, the choice of a new paradigm is based on observations, even though those observations are made against the background of the old paradigm. For Kuhn, acceptance or rejection of a paradigm is a social process as much as a logical process. Kuhn's position, however, is not one of
relativism Relativism is a family of philosophical views which deny claims to Objectivity (philosophy), objectivity within a particular domain and assert that valuations in that domain are relative to the perspective of an observer or the context in whic ...
. Finally, another approach often cited in debates of
scientific skepticism Scientific skepticism or rational skepticism (also spelled scepticism), sometimes referred to as skeptical inquiry, is a position in which one questions the veracity of claims lacking empirical evidence Empirical evidence for a proposition i ...
against controversial movements like "
creation science Creation science or scientific creationism is a pseudoscience, pseudoscientific form of Young Earth creationism which claims to offer scientific arguments for certain Biblical literalism, literalist and Biblical inerrancy, inerrantist interpret ...
" is
methodological naturalism In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the systematized study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence, reason, knowledge, values, mind, and language. Such questions are often posed as problems to be studied ...
. Naturalists maintain that a difference should be made between natural and supernatural, and science should be restricted to natural explanations. Methodological naturalism maintains that science requires strict adherence to
empirical Empirical evidence for a proposition is evidence, i.e. what supports or counters this proposition, that is constituted by or accessible to sense experience or experimental procedure. Empirical evidence is of central importance to the sciences and ...
study and independent verification.


Scientific community

The
scientific community The scientific community is a diverse network of interacting scientists. It includes many "working group, sub-communities" working on particular scientific fields, and within particular institutions; interdisciplinary and cross-institutional acti ...
is a network of interacting scientists who conducts scientific research. The community consists of smaller groups working in scientific fields. By having
peer review Peer review is the evaluation of work by one or more people with similar competencies as the producers of the work ( peers). It functions as a form of self-regulation by qualified members of a profession within the relevant field. Peer revie ...
, through discussion and debate within journals and conferences, scientists maintain the quality of research methodology and objectivity when interpreting results.


Scientists

Scientist A scientist is a person who conducts Scientific method, scientific research to advance knowledge in an Branches of science, area of the natural sciences. In classical antiquity, there was no real ancient analog of a modern scientist. Instead, ...
s are individuals who conduct scientific research to advance knowledge in an area of interest. In modern times, many professional scientists are trained in an academic setting and upon completion, attain an
academic degree An academic degree is a qualification awarded to students upon successful completion of a course of study in higher education, usually at a college A college (Latin: ''collegium'') is an educational institution or a University sy ...
, with the highest degree being a
doctorate A doctorate (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally a dialect spoken in the lower Tiber area (then known as Latium) around pr ...
such as a
Doctor of Philosophy A Doctor of Philosophy (PhD, Ph.D., or DPhil; Latin: or ') is the most common Academic degree, degree at the highest academic level awarded following a course of study. PhDs are awarded for programs across the whole breadth of academic fields ...
or PhD. Many scientists pursue careers in various sectors of the economy such as
academia An academy (Attic Greek Attic Greek is the Greek language, Greek dialect of the regions of ancient Greece, ancient region of Attica, including the ''polis'' of classical Athens, Athens. Often called classical Greek, it was the prestige (socio ...
,
industry Industry may refer to: Economics * Industry (economics), a generally categorized branch of economic activity * Industry (manufacturing), a specific branch of economic activity, typically in factories with machinery * The wider industrial sect ...
,
government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state. In the case of its broad associative definition, government normally consists of legislature, executive, and judiciary. Government ...
, and
nonprofit organization A nonprofit organization (NPO) or non-profit organisation, also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or nonprofit institution, is a legal entity organized and operated for a collective, public or social benefit, in co ...
s. Scientists exhibit a strong curiosity about
reality Reality is the sum or aggregate of all that is real or existent within a system, as opposed to that which is only Object of the mind, imaginary. The term is also used to refer to the ontological status of things, indicating their existence. In ...
and a desire to apply scientific knowledge for the benefit of health, nations, the environment, or industries. Other motivations include recognition by their peers and prestige. In modern times, many scientists have advanced degrees in an area of science and pursue careers in various sectors of the economy such as
academia An academy (Attic Greek Attic Greek is the Greek language, Greek dialect of the regions of ancient Greece, ancient region of Attica, including the ''polis'' of classical Athens, Athens. Often called classical Greek, it was the prestige (socio ...
,
industry Industry may refer to: Economics * Industry (economics), a generally categorized branch of economic activity * Industry (manufacturing), a specific branch of economic activity, typically in factories with machinery * The wider industrial sect ...
,
government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state. In the case of its broad associative definition, government normally consists of legislature, executive, and judiciary. Government ...
, and nonprofit environments.'''' Science has historically been a male-dominated field, with notable exceptions. Women in science faced considerable discrimination in science, much as they did in other areas of male-dominated societies. For example, women were frequently being passed over for job opportunities and denied credit for their work. The achievements of women in science have been attributed to the defiance of their traditional role as laborers within the domestic sphere. Lifestyle choice plays a major role in female engagement in science; female graduate students' interest in careers in research declines dramatically throughout graduate school, whereas that of their male colleagues remains unchanged.


Learned societies

Learned societies A learned society (; also learned academy, scholarly society, or academic association) is an organization that exists to promote an discipline (academia), academic discipline, profession, or a group of related disciplines such as the arts and s ...
for the communication and promotion of scientific thought and experimentation have existed since the Renaissance. Many scientists belong to a learned society that promotes their respective scientific discipline,
profession A profession is a field of work that has been successfully '' professionalized''. It can be defined as a disciplined group of individuals, '' professionals'', who adhere to ethical standards and who hold themselves out as, and are accepted b ...
, or group of related disciplines. Membership may either be open to all, require possession of scientific credentials, or conferred by election. Most scientific societies are
non-profit organization A nonprofit organization (NPO) or non-profit organisation, also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or nonprofit institution, is a legal entity organized and operated for a collective, public or social benefit, in co ...
s, and many are
professional association A professional association (also called a professional body, professional organization, or professional society) usually seeks to advocacy, further a particular profession, the interests of individuals and organisations engaged in that professio ...
s. Their activities typically include holding regular
conferences A conference is a meeting A meeting is when two or more Homo sapiens, people come together to discuss one or more topics, often in a formal or business setting, but meetings also occur in a variety of other environments. Meetings can be used ...
for the presentation and discussion of new research results and publishing or sponsoring
academic journal An academic journal or scholarly journal is a periodical publication in which Scholarly method, scholarship relating to a particular list of academic disciplines, academic discipline is published. Academic journals serve as permanent and transpar ...
s in their discipline. Some societies act as professional bodies, regulating the activities of their members in the public interest or the collective interest of the membership. The professionalization of science, begun in the 19th century, was partly enabled by the creation of national distinguished
academies of sciences An academy (Attic Greek Attic Greek is the Greek language, Greek dialect of the regions of ancient Greece, ancient region of Attica, including the ''polis'' of classical Athens, Athens. Often called classical Greek, it was the prestige (socio ...
such as the Italian in 1603, the British
Royal Society The Royal Society, formally The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, is a learned society and the United Kingdom's national academy of sciences. The society fulfils a number of roles: promoting science and its benefits, ...
in 1660, the
French Academy of Sciences The French Academy of Sciences (French: ''Académie des sciences'') is a learned society, founded in 1666 by Louis XIV of France, Louis XIV at the suggestion of Jean-Baptiste Colbert, to encourage and protect the spirit of French Scientific me ...
in 1666, the American
National Academy of Sciences The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) is a United States nonprofit, NGO, non-governmental organization. NAS is part of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, along with the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) and the ...
in 1863, the German
Kaiser Wilhelm Society The Kaiser Wilhelm Society for the Advancement of Science (German: ''Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Wissenschaften'') was a German scientific institution established in the German Empire The German Empire (),Herbert Tuttle ...
in 1911, and the
Chinese Academy of Sciences The Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS); ), known by Academia Sinica in English until the 1980s, is the national academy of the People's Republic of China for natural sciences. It has historical origins in the Academia Sinica during the Republic ...
in 1949. International scientific organizations, such as the
International Science Council The International Science Council (ISC) is an international non-governmental organization that unites scientific bodies at various levels across the social and natural sciences. The ISC was formed with its inaugural general assembly on 4 July 201 ...
, are devoted to international cooperation for science advancement.


Awards

Science awards are usually given to individuals or organizations that have made significant contributions to a discipline. They are often given by prestigious institutions, thus it is considered a great honor for a scientist receiving them. Since the early Renaissance, scientists are often awarded medals, money, and titles. The
Nobel Prize The Nobel Prizes ( ; sv, Nobelpriset ; no, Nobelprisen ) are five separate prizes that, according to Alfred Nobel#Nobel Prize, Alfred Nobel's will of 1895, are awarded to "those who, during the preceding year, have conferred the greatest ben ...
, a widely regarded prestigious award, is awarded annually to those who have achieved scientific advances in the fields of
medicine Medicine is the science and Praxis (process), practice of caring for a patient, managing the diagnosis, prognosis, Preventive medicine, prevention, therapy, treatment, Palliative care, palliation of their injury or disease, and Health promotion ...

medicine
,
physics Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its Elementary particle, fundamental constituents, its motion and behavior through Spacetime, space and time, and the related entities of energy and force. "Physical science is that depar ...

physics
, and
chemistry Chemistry is the scientific study of the properties and behavior of matter. It is a natural science that covers the elements that make up matter to the compounds made of atoms, molecules and ions: their composition, structure, properties ...

chemistry
.


Society


Funding and policies

Scientific research is often funded through a competitive process in which potential research projects are evaluated and only the most promising receive funding. Such processes, which are run by government, corporations, or foundations, allocate scarce funds. Total research funding in most
developed countries A developed country (or industrialized country, high-income country, more economically developed country (MEDC), advanced country) is a sovereign state that has a high quality of life, developed economy and advanced technological infrastruct ...
is between 1.5% and 3% of
GDP Gross domestic product (GDP) is a money, monetary Measurement in economics, measure of the market value of all the final goods and services produced and sold (not resold) in a specific time period by countries. Due to its complex and subjec ...
. In the
OECD The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD; french: Organisation de coopération et de développement économiques, ''OCDE'') is an intergovernmental organization, intergovernmental organisation with 38 member countries ...
, around two-thirds of
research and development Research and development (R&D or R+D), known in Europe as research and technological development (RTD), is the set of innovative activities undertaken by corporations or governments in developing new services or products, and improving existi ...
in scientific and technical fields is carried out by industry, and 20% and 10% respectively by
universities A university () is an educational institution, institution of higher education, higher (or Tertiary education, tertiary) education and research which awards academic degrees in several Discipline (academia), academic disciplines. Universities ty ...
and government. The government funding proportion in certain fields is higher, and it dominates research in social science and
humanities Humanities are List of academic disciplines, academic disciplines that study aspects of human society and culture. In the Renaissance, the term contrasted with Divinity (academic discipline), divinity and referred to what is now called classi ...
. In the lesser-developed nations, government provides the bulk of the funds for their basic scientific research. Many governments have dedicated agencies to support scientific research, such as the
National Science Foundation The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent agency of the United States government that supports fundamental research and education Education is a purposeful activity directed at achieving certain aims, such as transmitti ...
in the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...
, the
National Scientific and Technical Research Council National may refer to: Common uses * Nation A nation is a community of people formed on the basis of a combination of shared features such as language, history, ethnicity, culture and/or society. A nation is thus the collective Identity (so ...
in Argentina, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization in Australia,
National Centre for Scientific Research The French National Centre for Scientific Research (french: link=no, Centre national de la recherche scientifique, CNRS) is the French state research organisation and is the largest fundamental science agency in Europe. In 2016, it employed 31,637 ...
in France, the
Max Planck Society The Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science (german: Max-Planck-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Wissenschaften e. V.; abbreviated MPG) is a formally independent non-governmental and non-profit association of Germany, German research ins ...
in Germany, and National Research Council in Spain. In commercial research and development, all but the most research-oriented corporations focus more heavily on near-term commercialization possibilities rather than research driven by curiosity.
Science policy Science policy is concerned with the allocation of resources for the conduct of science towards the goal of best serving the public interest. Topics include the funding of science Research funding is a term generally covering any funding for sc ...
is concerned with policies that affect the conduct of the scientific enterprise, including research funding, often in pursuance of other national policy goals such as technological innovation to promote commercial product development, weapons development, health care, and environmental monitoring. Science policy sometimes refers to the act of applying scientific knowledge and consensus to the development of public policies. In accordance with public policy being concerned about the well-being of its citizens, science policy's goal is to consider how science and technology can best serve the public. Public policy can directly affect the funding of
capital equipment A fixed asset, also known as long-lived assets or property, plant and equipment (PP&E), is a term used in accounting for assets and property that may not easily be converted into cash. Fixed assets are different from current assets, such as cash ...
and intellectual infrastructure for industrial research by providing tax incentives to those organizations that fund research.


Education and awareness

Science education Science education is the teaching and learning of science to school children, college students, or adults within the general public. The field of science education includes work in science content, science process (the scientific method), some ...
for the general public is embedded in the school curriculum, and is supplemented by online pedagogical content (for example, YouTube and Khan Academy), museums, and science magazines and blogs. Scientific literacy is chiefly concerned with an understanding of the
scientific method The scientific method is an Empirical evidence, empirical method for acquiring knowledge that has characterized the development of science since at least the 17th century (with notable practitioners in previous centuries; see the article hist ...

scientific method
, units and methods of
measurement Measurement is the quantification (science), quantification of variable and attribute (research), attributes of an object or event, which can be used to compare with other objects or events. In other words, measurement is a process of determi ...
,
empiricism In philosophy, empiricism is an Epistemology, epistemological theory that holds that knowledge or justification comes only or primarily from Empirical evidence, sensory experience. It is one of several views within epistemology, along with ra ...
, a basic understanding of
statistics Statistics (from German language, German: ''wikt:Statistik#German, Statistik'', "description of a State (polity), state, a country") is the discipline that concerns the collection, organization, analysis, interpretation, and presentation of ...
(
correlations In statistics, correlation or dependence is any statistical relationship, whether causality, causal or not, between two random variables or bivariate data. Although in the broadest sense, "correlation" may indicate any type of association, in ...
, qualitative versus quantitative observations, aggregate statistics), as well as a basic understanding of core scientific fields, such as
physics Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its Elementary particle, fundamental constituents, its motion and behavior through Spacetime, space and time, and the related entities of energy and force. "Physical science is that depar ...

physics
,
chemistry Chemistry is the scientific study of the properties and behavior of matter. It is a natural science that covers the elements that make up matter to the compounds made of atoms, molecules and ions: their composition, structure, properties ...

chemistry
,
biology Biology is the scientific study of life. It is a natural science with a broad scope but has several unifying themes that tie it together as a single, coherent field. For instance, all organisms are made up of Cell (biology), cells that proce ...

biology
,
ecology Ecology () is the study of the relationships between living organisms, including humans, and their biophysical environment, physical environment. Ecology considers organisms at the individual, population, community (ecology), community, ecosy ...
,
geology Geology () is a branch of natural science concerned with Earth and other Astronomical object, astronomical objects, the features or rock (geology), rocks of which it is composed, and the processes by which they change over time. Modern geology ...
and
computation Computation is any type of arithmetic or non-arithmetic calculation that follows a well-defined model (e.g., an algorithm). Mechanical or electronic devices (or, History of computing hardware, historically, people) that perform computations are ...
. As a student advances into higher stages of
formal education Education is a purposeful activity directed at achieving certain aims, such as transmitting knowledge or fostering skills and character traits. These aims may include the development of understanding, rationality, kindness, and honesty. Vari ...
, the
curriculum In education, a curriculum (; plural, : curricula or curriculums) is broadly defined as the totality of student experiences that occur in the educational process. The term often refers specifically to a planned sequence of instruction, or to ...
becomes more in depth. Traditional subjects usually included in the curriculum are natural and formal sciences, although recent movements include social and applied science as well. The
mass media Mass media refers to a diverse array of media (communication), media technology, technologies that reach a large audience via mass communication. The technologies through which this communication takes place include a variety of outlets. Bro ...
face pressures that can prevent them from accurately depicting competing scientific claims in terms of their credibility within the scientific community as a whole. Determining how much weight to give different sides in a scientific debate may require considerable expertise regarding the matter. Few journalists have real scientific knowledge, and even beat reporters who are knowledgeable about certain scientific issues may be ignorant about other scientific issues that they are suddenly asked to cover. Science magazines such as ''
New Scientist ''New Scientist'' is a magazine A magazine is a periodical literature, periodical publication, generally published on a regular schedule (often weekly or monthly), containing a variety of content (media), content. They are generally financ ...
'', ''
Science & Vie ''Science & Vie'' (; ''Science and Life'') is a monthly List of science magazines, science magazine published in France. Its headquarters is in Paris. History and profile The magazine was started in 1913 with the name ''La Science et la Vie''. In ...
'', and ''
Scientific American ''Scientific American'', informally abbreviated ''SciAm'' or sometimes ''SA'', is an American popular science magazine. Many famous scientists, including Albert Einstein and Nikola Tesla, have contributed articles to it. In print since 1845, it i ...
'' cater to the needs of a much wider readership and provide a non-technical summary of popular areas of research, including notable discoveries and advances in certain fields of research.
Science fiction Science fiction (sometimes shortened to Sci-Fi or SF) is a genre of speculative fiction which typically deals with imagination, imaginative and futuristic concepts such as advanced science and technology, space exploration, time travel, Paral ...
genre, primarily
speculative fiction Speculative fiction is a term that has been used with a variety of (sometimes contradictory) meanings. The broadest interpretation is as a category of fiction encompassing genres with elements that do not exist in reality, recorded history, nat ...
, can transmit the ideas and methods of science to the general public. Recent efforts to intensify or develop links between science and non-scientific disciplines, such as
literature Literature is any collection of Writing, written work, but it is also used more narrowly for writings specifically considered to be an art form, especially prose fiction, drama, and poetry. In recent centuries, the definition has expanded to ...
or
poetry Poetry (derived from the Greek '' poiesis'', "making"), also called verse, is a form of literature that uses aesthetic and often rhythmic qualities of language − such as phonaesthetics, sound symbolism, and metre The metre (Brit ...
, include the ''Creative Writing Science'' resource developed through the Royal Literary Fund.


Anti-science attitudes

While the scientific method is broadly accepted in the scientific community, some fractions of society reject certain scientific positions or are skeptical about science. Examples are the common notion that
COVID-19 Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a contagious disease caused by a virus, the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The first known case was COVID-19 pandemic in Hubei, identified in Wuhan, China, in December ...
is not a major health threat to the US (held by 39% of Americans in August 2021) or the belief that
climate change In common usage, climate change describes global warming—the ongoing increase in global average temperature—and its effects on Earth's climate system. Climate variability and change, Climate change in a broader sense also includes ...
is not a major threat to the US (also held by 40% of Americans, in late 2019 and early 2020).
Psychologist A psychologist is a professional who practices psychology and studies mental states, perceptual, cognitive, emotional, and social processes and behavior. Their work often involves the experimentation, observation, and interpretation of how indi ...
s have pointed to four factors driving rejection of scientific results: * Scientific authorities are sometimes seen as inexpert, untrustworthy, or biased. * Some marginalized
social groups In the social sciences, a social group can be defined as two or more people who interact with one another, share similar characteristics, and collectively have a sense of unity. Regardless, social groups come in a myriad of sizes and varieties ...
hold anti-science attitudes, in part because these groups have often been exploited in unethical experiments. * Messages from scientists may contradict deeply-held existing beliefs or
morals Morality () is the differentiation of intention Intentions are mental states in which the agent commits themselves to a course of action. Having the plan to visit the zoo tomorrow is an example of an intention. The action plan is the ''con ...
. * The ''delivery'' of a scientific message may not be appropriately targeted to a recipient's learning style. Anti-science attitudes seem to be often caused by fear of rejection in social groups. For instance, climate change is perceived as a threat by only 22% of Americans on the right side of the political spectrum, but by 85% on the left. That is, if someone on the left would not consider climate change as a threat, this person may face contempt and be rejected in that social group. In fact, people may rather deny a scientifically accepted fact than lose or jeopardize their social status.


Politics

Attitudes towards science are often determined by political opinions and goals.
Government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state. In the case of its broad associative definition, government normally consists of legislature, executive, and judiciary. Government ...
,
business Business is the practice of making one's living or making money by producing or Trade, buying and selling Product (business), products (such as goods and Service (economics), services). It is also "any activity or enterprise entered into for pr ...
and
advocacy group Advocacy groups, also known as interest groups, special interest groups, lobbying groups or pressure groups use various forms of advocacy in order to influence public opinion and ultimately policy. They play an important role in the developm ...
s have been known to use legal and economic pressure to influence scientific researchers. Many factors can act as facets of the
politicization of science The politicization of science for political gain occurs when government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state. In the case of its broad associative definition, governmen ...
such as
anti-intellectualism Anti-intellectualism is hostility to and mistrust of intellect, intellectuals, and intellectualism, commonly expressed as deprecation of education and philosophy and the dismissal of art, literature, and science as impractical, politically mot ...
, perceived threats to religious beliefs, and fear for business interests. Politicization of science is usually accomplished when scientific information is presented in a way that emphasizes the uncertainty associated with the scientific evidence. Tactics such as shifting conversation, failing to acknowledge facts, and capitalizing on doubt of
scientific consensus Scientific consensus is the generally held judgment, position, and opinion of the majority or the supermajority of scientists in a Scientific discipline, particular field of study at any particular time. Consensus is achieved through scholarly com ...
have been used to gain more attention for views that have been undermined by scientific evidence. Examples of issues that have involved the politicization of science include the global warming controversy,
health effects of pesticides Health effects of pesticides may be acute or delayed in those who are exposed. Acute effects can include pesticide poisoning A pesticide poisoning occurs when pesticides, chemicals intended to control a pest (animal), pest, affect non-target or ...
, and
health effects of tobacco Tobacco use has predominantly negative effects on human health and concern about health effects of tobacco has a long history. Research has focused primarily on cigarette smoking. Tobacco smoke contains more than list of cigarette smoke carci ...
.


See also

* Anti-science * Index of branches of science * List of scientific occupations * List of years in science * Outline of science


Notes


References

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