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The water molecule

Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe.

Science may be as old as the human species, and some of the earliest archeological evidence for scientific reasoning is tens of thousands of years old. The earliest written records in the history of science come from Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia in around 3000 to 1200 BCE. Their contributions to mathematics, astronomy, and medicine entered and shaped Greek natural philosophy of classical antiquity, whereby formal attempts were made to provide explanations of events in the physical world based on natural causes. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, knowledge of Greek conceptions of the world deteriorated in Western Europe during the early centuries (400 to 1000 CE) of the Middle Ages, but was preserved in the Muslim world during the Islamic Golden Age.

The recovery and assimilation of Greek works and Islamic inquiries into Western Europe from the 10th to 13th century revived "natural philosophy", which was later transformed by the Scientific Revolution that began in the 16th century as new ideas and discoveries departed from previous Greek conceptions and traditions. The scientific method soon played a greater role in knowledge creation and it was not until the 19th century that many of the institutional and professional features of science began to take shape; along with the changing of "natural philosophy" to "natural science".

Modern science is typically divided into three major branches: natural sciences (e.g., biology, chemistry, and physics), which study the physical world; the social sciences (e.g., economics, psychology, and sociology), which study individuals and societies; and the formal sciences (e.g., logic, mathematics, and theoretical computer science), which study formal systems, governed by axioms and rules. There is disagreement whether the formal sciences are science disciplines, because they do not rely on empirical evidence. Applied sciences are disciplines that use scientific knowledge for practical purposes, such as in engineering and medicine.

New knowledge in science is advanced by research from scientists who are motivated by curiosity about the world and a desire to solve problems. Contemporary scientific research is highly collaborative and is usually done by teams in academic and research institutions, government agencies, and companies. The practical impact of their work has led to the emergence of science policies that seek to influence the scientific enterprise by prioritizing the ethical and moral development of commercial products, armaments, health care, public infrastructure, and environmental protection. (Full article...)

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The Falkirk Wheel boat lift in Scotland
Photo credit: SeanMack
The Falkirk Wheel is a rotating boat lift connecting the Forth and Clyde Canal with the Union Canal near Falkirk in central Scotland. It consists of two diametrically opposed caissons which rotate to transfer boats between the two canals through a height of 35 metres. Thanks to Archimedes' principle, the caissons always weigh the same, whether carrying up to 600 tonnes worth of canal barges, or just water. As such, the wheel is always perfectly balanced and despite its enormous mass, rotates through 180° in less than four minutes using just a few kilowatts.

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Moser c. 1980s
Meinhard Michael Moser (13 March 1924 – 30 September 2002) was an Austrian mycologist. His work principally concerned the taxonomy, chemistry, and toxicity of the gilled mushrooms (Agaricales), especially those of the genus Cortinarius, and the ecology of ectomycorrhizal relationships. His contributions to the Kleine Kryptogamenflora von Mitteleuropa series of mycological guidebooks were well regarded and widely used. In particular, his 1953 Blätter- und Bauchpilze (Agaricales und Gastromycetes) [The Gilled and Gasteroid Fungi (Agaricales and Gastromycetes)], which became known as simply "Moser", saw several editions in both the original German and in translation. Other important works included a 1960 monograph on the genus Phlegmacium (now considered part of Cortinarius) and a 1975 study of members of Cortinarius, Dermocybe, and Stephanopus in South America, co-authored with the mycologist Egon Horak.

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by Jon Lomberg

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Science News

23 August 2022 – Holocene extinction
The dugong is declared extinct in China after scientists report no verified sightings of the large marine mammal since 2000. However, dugongs still exist in the wild in parts of Southeast Asia and Australasia. (BBC News)
9 August 2022 – Discoveries of exoplanets
Radio astronomers have discovered a newborn, Jupiter-size exoplanet orbiting the star AS 209, using the Atacama Large Millimeter Array telescope in Chile. (Space.com)
28 July 2022 –
Researchers using AlphaFold have predicted the structures of 200 million proteins from 1 million species, covering nearly every known protein on the planet. (Nature)
21 July 2022 – Holocene extinction
Conservation-reliant species
The monarch butterfly is added by the International Union for Conservation of Nature to its endangered species list because of rapidly decreasing population numbers. (AP)
18 July 2022 –
Wild European bison are reintroduced to the United Kingdom for the first time in over a thousand years after three are released into a pine forest in Kent, England. (BBC News

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