Civic Ecology‎ > ‎

Nature of Science (NOS)

Civic Ecology explicitly supports a Nature of Science approach 
through an emphasis on connecting the psychology of science to real-world issues.

Science is a Way of Knowing

  • Science is both a body of knowledge that represents a current understanding of natural systems and the processes used to refine, elaborate, revise, and extend this knowledge.
  • Science is a unique way of knowing and there are other ways of knowing.
  • Science distinguishes itself from other ways of knowing through use of empirical standards, logical arguments, and skeptical review.
  • Science knowledge has a history that includes the refinement of, and changes to, theories, ideas, and beliefs over time.

Science is a Human Endeavor

  • Scientific knowledge is a result of human endeavor, imagination, and creativity.
  • Individuals and teams from many nations and cultures have contributed to science and to advances in engineering. 
  • Scientists’ backgrounds, theoretical commitments, and fields of endeavor influence the nature of their findings.
  • Technological advances have influenced the progress of science and science has influenced advances in technology. 
  • Science and engineering are influenced by society and society is influenced by science and engineering. 

Science Addresses Questions About the Natural and Material World

  • Not all questions can be answered by science.
  • Science and technology may raise ethical issues for which science, by itself, does not provide answers and solutions.
  • Science knowledge indicates what can happen in natural systems—not what should happen. The latter involves ethics, values, and human decisions about the use of knowledge.
  • Many decisions are not made using science alone, but rely on social and cultural contexts to resolve issues.
The PEAR Lab's simplified NOS venn-diagram conveys the essential overlapping elements of the most widely recognized NOS education