Science is not a collection of facts to be memorized. It is a process of refining our understanding of nature through continual questioning and active investigation. After reading this chapter, you should understand:
- That thinking about environmental issues involves thinking scientifically.
- That scientific knowledge is acquired through observations of the natural world that can be tested through additional observations and experiments.
- The difference between deductive and inductive reasoning and how both are used in scientific thinking.
- That every measurement involves some degree of approximation - that is uncertainty - and that a measurement without a statement about its degree of uncertainty is meaningless.
- That scientific discovery involves a number of processes, including the scientific method, and that science and scientists are too diverse to be described by just one method.
- That technology is not science but science and technology interact.
- That decision making about environmental issues involves society, politics, culture, economics, and values as well as scientific information.