People have always sought to understand the environment in which they lived and what they observed in the sky. Asking and answering questions about nature is part of being human. Science, having emerged from previous ways of thinking about and knowing nature, is a human endeavor inextricably linked to the past, yet different in crucial ways from that past.
Productive questions and methods are not as straightforward as many presume. The kinds of questions and methods put forward are just two characteristics of science that make it a fascinating way of knowing that often departs from ordinary “common sense” ways of knowing.
Historically accurate stories bring scientists and science to life; showing that the undeniable success of science is not due to “the scientific method” or “objective scientists,” but to a community of experts that mitigate bias and move forward ideas that better assist in understanding nature. Accurately understanding how science works will assist in understanding and spotting characteristics of science misinformation and disinformation efforts.
What is science? How does science work? What are scientists like?
Misconceptions regarding the answers to these questions abound. Too often science comes across to students as unapproachable and devoid of human involvement. These mistaken ideas can interfere in understanding science concepts, cause students to avoid pursuing careers involving science, and result in poor social decision-making by citizens and policy makers.
Thirty stories spanning five disciplines help students explore the development of key science concepts through the eyes of the scientists who were involved. Supplemental resources are provided for teachers to help achieve the greatest impact from the stories.
Pervasive pseudoscience thinking exists among the public regarding many socioscientific issues. Pseudoscience includes both misinformation (false information) or disinformation (deliberate dissemination of misleading or biased information) regarding both the content of science and how science works. Pseudoscience both reflects and promotes distrust in science, and exacerbates the personal and societal decision-making that places all of society at greater risk.
Explore 12 stories that examine how pseudoscientific ideas undermine personal and societal decision-making.