How Science Works
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.
Misconceptions abound regarding what science is, how it works, and what scientists are like. 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.