Category Archives: Science in Society

Pathologically wrong: Humours and Miasma.

Humours and Miasma: Science in Society 8. Humoral theory and miasma theory: two long-lasting medical paradigms now consigned to the history of human error but which shaped our ideas about health and disease and the development of medical practice and … Continue reading

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Reading dystopias

Reading dystopias Utopia: an imagined society or state of things in which everything is perfect or close to perfect. Dystopia: an imagined society or state of things in which things are very far from perfect to a frightening extent. An … Continue reading

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Science in Society: what you need to know.

  AS Science in Society (AQA) A very condensed list of the key science concepts you need to understand well.         Infectious disease, medicines and the germ theory of disease: All living things (organisms) are composed of … Continue reading

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A few things we know about the universe. Science in Society 7

The scale, origin and future of the universe The Earth is one of the 9 known planets which orbit the Sun. It takes one year to make a complete orbit. The planets are very small compared with the distances between … Continue reading

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The germ theory of disease. Science in Society 6

Many diseases of humans, other animals and plants are caused by small organisms; microbes, such as bacteria, fungi and viruses which are present in the environment and can be passed on from already infected individuals. Bacteria or fungi may enter … Continue reading

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Homology, analogy and metaphor. Science in Society 5.

Reading ‘Much scientific argument and hypothesis-making proceeds through the use of analogy and metaphor’. Steven Rose. To help us understand a scientific process we often liken it to something we’re already familiar with. We use homology, analogy and metaphor. A … Continue reading

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Paradigm shift. Science in Society 4

Paradigm shift: the Earth moves away from the centre In Europe 500 years ago, the established paradigm of 2,000 years was built on common sense ideas about the Earth and its place in the universe. This paradigm was summed up by … Continue reading

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How we do science. Science in Society 3

Readings Developing and testing scientific explanations When we make observations we may propose a theory which accounts for them. We judge theories on the basis of the match between their predictions and what we observe. An observation is often explained … Continue reading

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Science and Poetry. Science in Society 2

Readings Peter Atkins ‘Although poets may aspire to understanding, their talents are more akin to entertaining self-deception. They may be able to emphasise delights in the world, but they are deluded if they and their admirers believe that their identification … Continue reading

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AS Science in Society: course outline and link to resources

AS Science in Society (AQA) Why study AS Science in Society? Science in Society is a distinctive post-16 course. Its main intention is to develop the knowledge and skills that you need in order to grapple with issues related to … Continue reading

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Is doubt the origin of wisdom? Science in Society 1

Science as a ‘doubt factory’ “Doubt is the first step towards knowledge” Aristotle “Doubt is the key to knowledge” Persian proverb “By doubting we come to inquiry; by inquiry we perceive the truth” Peter Abelard “Dubitum sapientiae initium” (“Doubt is … Continue reading

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