Define science. List some reasons why history of science should be studied?
Science is a organised body of knowledge consisting of facts, which are properly integrated into systematic theories and principles, which offers a systematic and regular description and explanation of the different types of events or objects. In practice, the term ‘science’ is used to refer to such branches of knowledge as Chemistry, Aeronautics, Astronomy, Ecology, Psychology etc.
Scientific knowledge represents a systematic attempt for building up a body of explanations relating to those phenomena which tend themselves to human observation and experience. The essence of scientific knowledge lies in the rigorous critical attitude and outlook that is required to probe into the mysteries of nature and the world around us and reach the bare truth. The scientific knowledge is empirically derived and it satisfies the test of empirical verification. Science deals with the generality of things and events and comprises general explanations and principles.
Reasons for Studying History of Science: The first and foremost reason for the study of history of science is to make further advancement in scientific knowledge one has to update himself with the present state of knowledge. One can know present state of knowledge of science only when proved or invented in the past by the scientists of Yester years. For example, if a scientist desirous of inventing a new type of aircraft, he has to learn about the principles on which the present day aircrafts are working. It took years together and a lot of experiments had to be conducted before the present day aircrafts were invented. If anybody wanting to further improve upon it or inventing a more sophisticated aircraft he has to abreast himself of the principles on which the aircraft technology is based.
So, one has to study the history of science relating to aviation branch of scientific knowledge. Secondly, as one knows that man has a creative mind he invented many comforts of life which influenced our society to a large extent, e.g. the use of fire, wheel and the art of cultivation. If our society wants to make further progress, it’s necessary to study the past developments in the field of science and technology.
Science has not only given comforts to man but given discomforts also. So in order to avoid any bad effects of these discomforts on our society man has to study the underlying principles of the inventions which cause discomforts. For this, he has to go into the history of science.