Written by: Saima Batool
What comes to mind when you think of a scientist? It may be picture of one who is engrossed in all sorts of tangible and intangible queries. One who is obsessed with arcane experiments and trying to make head or tail out of incomprehensible, unfathomable thoughts or figures! How did the Science as a field evolve? Let’s try to unravel this query.
Science has come in vogue in just past few centuries. Before that if a thought crossed mind of someone, all he had to do was to seek the knowledge or wisdom of the local Wiseman. And the Wiseman depending upon his own experiences would guide him in the direction that he would see befitting.
One of the earliest scientist, or, probably the earliest scientist in the recorded history is known to be Aristotle, the Greek Wiseman who guided Alexander the great. And then a lot of others followed him, which it would be difficult to name all of them. Pythagoras who solved the mystery of angles and light reflection.
One thing which is of utmost importance while trying to understand Scientists is their obsession of treading into unknown. They develop a hypotheses, with further thinking develop a theory and then if the theory is confirmed in various situations or experiments, they come out and declare it to be a fact. At various times they challenge what is known as the general understanding of the phenomena. For this they may even be ostracized or incarcerated. They may have to challenge the prevailing religious thought, and may have to suffer for it. Yet they are the people who need to be celebrated as they help the human thought progress. Humanity owes all of its progress, all of the use of technology which has become integral part of our lives to these mad hatter scientists who challenged the status quo, picked up the human thought from down trodden grooves and set it free.
Thinking of great scientists Galileo comes to mind who in year 1600 started a new method or approach to thinking. He started trying things out to see what happen, in others words, he “experimented” little by little, more people trying things out and writing down what they had observed. As more facts became known, it was found that some of the facts were related to one another. These relationships were then summarized into scientific principles and were used as guide for other experiments.
In this way body of knowledge called Science began to grow rapidly. As it grew, the natural relationship between facts broke up the larger field of science into smaller dimensions, today there are different dimensions of knowledge in science.
The natural science deals with our natural surroundings, the “social sciences” are subject that give information about the way human beings act and live together. All these sciences are basic or pare sciences. They are concerned with facts and principles in the “applied” sciences. These facts and principles are to doing and making things. Pharmacy, medicine, forestry, electronics and civil engineering are example of applied sciences. The world “Scientist” entered in the English Language in 1834 by William Whewell who was historian and philosopher in Cambridge University.