The word “science” probably brings to mind many different pictures: a fat textbook, white lab coats and microscopes, an astronomer peering through a telescope, a naturalist in the rainforest, Einstein’s equations scribbled on a chalkboard, the launch of the space shuttle, bubbling beakers. All of those images reflect some aspect of science, but none of them provides a full picture because science has so many facets
Science is both a body of knowledge and a process.
In school, science may sometimes seem like a collection of isolated and static facts listed in a textbook, but that’s only a small part of the story. Just as importantly, science is also a process of discovery that allows us to link isolated facts into coherent and comprehensive understandings of the natural world.
Science is exciting.
Science is a way of discovering what’s in the universe and how those things work today, how they worked in the past, and how they are likely to work in the future. Scientists are motivated by the thrill of seeing or figuring out something that no one has before.
Science is useful.
The knowledge generated by science is powerful and reliable. It can be used to develop new technologies, treat diseases, and deal with many other sorts of problems.
Science is ongoing.
Science is continually refining and expanding our knowledge of the universe, and as it does, it leads to new questions for future investigation. Science will never be “finished”.
Science is a global human endeavor.
People all over the world participate in the process of science. And you can too!
Science aims to explain and understand
Science as a collective institution aims to produce more and more accurate natural explanations of how the natural world works, what its components are, and how the world got to be the way it is now. Classically, science’s main goal has been building knowledge and understanding, regardless of its potential applications—for example, investigating the chemical reactions that an organic compound undergoes in order to learn about its structure. However, increasingly, scientific research is undertaken with the explicit goal of solving a problem or developing a technology, and along the path to that goal, new knowledge and explanations are constructed. For example, a chemist might try to produce an antimalarial drug synthetically and in the process, discover new methods of forming bonds that can be applied to making other chemicals. Either way (so-called “pure” or “applied” research), science aims to increase our understanding of how the natural world works. The knowledge that is built by science is always open to question and revision. No scientific idea is ever once-and-for-all “proved.” Why not? Well, science is constantly seeking new evidence, which could reveal problems with our current understandings.
Ideas that we fully accept today may be rejected or modified in light of new evidence discovered tomorrow. For example, up until 1938, paleontologists accepted the idea that coelacanths (an ancient fish) went extinct at the time that they last appear in the fossil record—about 80 million years ago. But that year, a live coelacanth was discovered off the coast of South Africa, causing scientists to revise their ideas and begin to investigate how this animal survives in the deep sea. Despite the fact that they are subject to change, scientific ideas are reliable. The ideas that have gained scientific acceptance have done so because they are supported by many lines of evidence. These scientific explanations continually generate expectations that hold true, allowing us to figure out how entities in the natural world are likely to behave (e.g., how likely it is that a child will inherit a particular genetic disease) and how we can harness that understanding to solve problems (e.g., how electricity, wire, glass, and various compounds can be fashioned into a working light bulb). For example, scientific understandings of motion and gases allow us to build airplanes that reliably get us from one airport to the next. Though the knowledge used to design airplanes is technically provisional, time and time again, that knowledge has allowed us to produce airplanes that fly. We have good reason to trust scientific ideas: They work.
Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the Universe. In an older and closely related meaning, "science" also refers to this body of knowledge itself, of the type that can be rationally explained and reliably applied. -Wikipedia.