From time to time, major shifts occur in the scientific view of how things work. More often, however, the changes that take place in the body of scientific knowledge are small modifications of prior knowledge. Continuity and change are persistent features of science.
Learning Goal 3bc
In science, the testing, revising, and occasional discarding of theories, new and old, never ends. This ongoing process leads to a better understanding of how things work in the world but not to absolute truth.
For Grades: 9-12
Learning Goal 1
Investigations are conducted for different reasons, including to explore new phenomena, to check on previous results, to test how well a theory predicts, and to compare theories.
Learning Goal 7
New ideas in science are limited by the context in which they are conceived; are often rejected by the scientific establishment; sometimes spring from unexpected findings; and usually grow slowly, through contributions from many investigators.
The Scientific Enterprise
For Grades: 9-12
Learning Goal 2
Progress in science and invention depends heavily on what else is happening in society.
Learning Goal 3
History often involves scientific and technological developments.
Learning Goal 5b
When applications of research could pose risks to society, scientists' decisions to participate in that research are based on personal as well as professional ethics.
Learning Goal 8
Funding influences the direction of science by virtue of the decisions that are made on which research to support. Research funding comes from various federal government agencies, industry, and private foundations.
Learning Goal 10
Because science is a human activity, what is valued in society influences what is valued in science.
Learning Goal 12
The dissemination of scientific information is crucial to its progress. Some scientists present their findings and theories in papers that are delivered at meetings or published in scientific journals. Those papers enable scientists to inform others about their work, to expose their ideas to criticism by other scientists, and, of course, to stay abreast of scientific developments around the world.