What is Science and Characteristics of Science

The word Science comes from the Latin word “scientia” meaning knowledge. Modern science is typically divided into three major branches that consist of the natural sciences biology, chemistry, and physics. which study nature in the broadest sense, the social sciences is the study of economics, psychology, and sociology.

Science is based on research, which is commonly conducted in academic and research institutions as well as in government agencies and companies. The practical impact of scientific research has led to the emergence of science policies that seek to influence the scientific enterprise by prioritizing the development of commercial products, armaments, health care, and environmental protection.

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Characteristics of Science

1. Objectivity: Objectivity simple means the ability to see and accept facts as they are, not as one might wish them to be. To be objective, one has to guard against his own biases, beliefs, wishes, values and preferences. Objectivity demands that one must set aside all sorts of the subjective considerations and prejudices.

3. Ethical NeutralityScience is ethically neutral. It only seeks knowledge. How this knowledge is to be used, is determined by societal values. Knowledge can be put to differing uses. Knowledge about atomic energy can be used to cure diseases or to wage atomic warfare.

Ethical neutrality does not mean that the scientist has no values. It here only means that he must not allow his values to distort the design and conduct of his research. Thus, scientific knowledge is value-neutral or value- free.

5. Reliability: Scientific knowledge must occur under the prescribed circumstances not once but repeatedly. It is reproducible under the circumstances stated anywhere and anytime. Conclusions based on casual recollec­tions are not very reliable.

7. Accuracy: A physician, like a common man, will not say that the patient has slight temperature or having very high temperature but after measuring with the help of thermometer, he will pronounce that the patient is having 101.2 F temperature. Accuracy simply means truth or correctness of a statement or describing things in exact words as they are without jumping to unwarranted conclusions.

8. AbstractnessScience proceeds on a plane of abstraction. A general scientific principle is highly abstract. It is not interested in giving a realistic picture.

9. PredictabilityScientists do not merely describe the phenomena being studied, but also attempt to explain and predict as well. It is typical of social sciences that they have a far lower predictability compared to natural sciences. The most obvious reasons are the complexity of the subject matter and inadequacy at control etc.