Encompassing the Whole World Front Page /// Science and Technology /// Site Index

Science

Science is the way people do systematic, organised collection and dissemination of knowledge.

As the amount of knowledge got bigger, several problems have been discovered, and the various modelling techniques that we call science has evolved to solve them.

Francis Bacon advocated the collection of facts, and the basing of theories upon the analysis of those facts. This is called the Method of Induction, and was the primary method of doing science for many years. Then science got too big.

This resulted in the splitting of science into lots of specialities, and the end of the "renaissance man", who could be conversant with all of those sciences.

Around the time of the first world war, The Vienna school of logical positivism stated that science begins with the statement of theories, followed by the verification or otherwise by research.

And still it got too big. This lead sir Karl Popper to state that a theory is scientific if it is open not to being proved true, but to being proved false.

Of course, each science goes through these stages as it grows, spawning new specialities as it goes. In the late sixties and early seventies however, it was spotted that a lot of areas of science had been dealt with by scientists from more than one speciality, and they usually had different viewpoints, and thus different explanations. This lead to the use of teams of scientists from different specialities gathering together to look at their problems from an interdisciplinary science perspective.

In the mean time, the the science fiction author A E Van Vogt spotted that the trend towards ever narrowing specialities was becoming unsustainable, and therefore in his book 'The Voyage of the Space Beagle', he dramatised a new sort of scientist, the nexialist who is not necessarily a specialist in anything in particular, but is a generalist, and thus knows which science to look things up in when they need it.

A lot of people have spotted that this makes a great deal of sense, and some of them have got together to set up the Institute Of Nexialism to start doing exactly this.

See also Zyra's science page for more info about science.