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commented on July 27, 2014
How many times have we seen comments posted here that bash science?
It has been pointed out time and time again that "science" is what the "S" in IONS states for but that doesn't seem to stop the science haters.
I will offer this is due to the fact that most people have only and elementary understanding of the sciences. This essay, and the discussion, is not for targeted at those people. They are free to comment at some other discussion, but I welcome, encourage them to read the essay.
The following is a from a talk given by Jeff Tsao at the Santa Fe Institute:
WHAT IS SCIENCE?
Science, of course, is first and foremost the ideas that humanity uses to understand and control the world around it. But science, secondly, is the human social community in which those ideas exist and which has, at least for the time being, conquered the earth. Perhaps most importantly, science is widely viewed as key to humanity’s future: how we fix our energy and environment problems, and how we innovate to mitigate various “gathering storms.” Indeed, as some of you may know, the National Science Foundation is in the fifth year of a major program aimed at creating a science of science policy and ultimately at engineering an improved system of science.
• SCIENCE OF THE SYSTEM OF SCIENCE VS SCIENCE OF HOW INDIVIDUALS DO SCIENCE.
In fact, the National Science Foundation might be missing an important piece. In order to engineer an improved system of science, it’s not only important to understand in a holistic way the system of science, but to understand in a reductionist way how individual scientists within the system of science practice the art of science. Why do I think this? I think this because it’s difficult to intelligently engineer a system unless you know something about how its parts behave. It’d be like trying to intelligently engineer a system of education without knowing how people learn.