The Importance of Science

Science is something that touches every facet of our lives. From the computer or smart device, you’re browsing the internet on to the complex chemistry of our bodies, which allows you to make sense of what you’re reading right now to the oceans, land, and sky, science touches virtually every aspect of our daily lives.

Yet, for as much as we know about science, many people are still working to understand what the big deal is. Is science that important? Where would we be without science? Today, we’re going to take a closer look at all the aspects of science that make it so critical for us to understand.

What is Science?

Science is an incredibly broad and far-reaching field of study that seeks to provide an understanding of the world, how the world works, and how the different pieces of the natural world fit together.

To understand just how broad the field of science is, just look around you. The computer you’re using, the pen and pad on your desk, the desk itself; science was used to create absolutely all of it, and practically anything else you can think of, for that matter.

Beyond this, science is the collection of processes by which we continue to learn about the things in the universe so that we can continue to learn and discover new things.

One of the things that makes science unique is the way we learn new things. In most other subjects, we learn by processing information and remembering it for application in the future. With science, we learn by testing new ideas based on facts and evidence we’ve gathered from the world. The results of these tests are what help us to learn new things.

As humans, we’re naturally curious, and science helps us to address these curiosities. Why is the grass green? Why is water wet? How does the zebra get their spots? Through science, we’re able to learn the answers to these questions, and of course, the answers to far more complex and nuanced questions, as well.

Science also relies heavily on community. Throughout the world, there are hundreds of thousands of scientists all working on different projects and experiments, and their results will help to inform other scientists in their work. Science uses checks and balances to make sure that the data being gleaned through different experiments increases our accuracy and understanding.

When you consider how advanced and detailed science can be, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that we’re all scientists, and every day we apply the principles of scientific understanding to our own lives to better understand and adapt to the challenges around us.

Why is Science Important?

Whether you’re an adult who stopped studying science as soon as you were able to, someone who is enthusiastic about science, or a child currently studying science in school, science is critically important for so many different reasons.

Let’s take a closer look at why science is so important to people from all walks of life.

The Importance of Science for Kids

As people, technology and science have woven themselves into the fabric of our society, and they will continue to do so in new and increasingly sophisticated ways. Scientific evidence is used each day to inform the policy decisions that are made by businesses and our government, and in the future, it’s easy to see science playing an even more significant role in our lives.

In order to succeed, our children need to be literate of these concepts in order to achieve in an increasingly scientific world.

Basic science knowledge, like an understanding of the scientific method, teaches students crucial skills, like critical thinking and how to solve problems while making decisions informed by fact.

These skills will prove integral to virtually everything the student does after their education is complete, and a strong working knowledge of science is a common trait among the most diligent and productive employees, regardless of their specializations.

Of course, science is also critical to a student’s development when they’re in school as well. Even during the student’s brief trip to school each morning, there is so much science in play.

The bus they’re riding on is the result of careful engineering, innovation, and refinement. The smartphone the student uses to pass the time on their ride to school is perhaps the most significant scientific innovation of the 21st century.

The infrastructure that the bus uses to get the student to school is also heavily steeped in science. The roads, the sidewalks, the traffic lights, the road signs, and everything else that makes up our transportation system is the product of civil engineering and planning.

If the student takes a look out the bus window, they’re sure to see trees in the process of turning sunlight into stored energy, creating oxygen for us all to breathe in the process. Virtually every aspect of the student’s day is somehow related to science in one way or another.

Science and Decision Making

Not only are there countless examples of science in the wild, affecting every aspect of a student’s life, there is also hard evidence of science being used in other facets of life, too.

Every day, we use some variation of the scientific method to reach decisions and solve problems.

Think for a moment of the scientific method. With the scientific method, we first begin with a question, then form an answer to the question based on evidence, which makes our hypothesis. Next, experiments based on the theory are conducted, and the results are evaluating, proving, or disproving the hypothesis in the process. Why is this so important?

Because it practically mirrors the way we solve any problem we come across in real life.

When we solve problems in our lives, we first identify a problem (our question), then we create a plan to solve the problem (our hypothesis) and finally, we test our method to solve the problem, and evaluate its effectiveness. Our future decisions are then informed by the results of our initial “experiment.” At this point, either the problem is solved, or we head back to the drawing board.

This behavior perfectly illustrates how we use science and critical thinking as humans. The skills of problem-solving and critical thinking are paramount to the development of a well-rounded student, and they’re practical requirements for success in the professional world.

These scientific skills apply from the second they’re learned by the student. Students use these scientific inquiry principles for everything from writing a persuasive paper to learning the process for solving any math problem. Then, these are the same skills they’ll use to create budget proposals, presentations, or anything else for that matter, in their professional lives.

Getting an Early Start

Our education system tends to focus much of its STEM curriculum on intermediate and high school students. But, there’s mounting evidence that suggests there’s a world of benefit associated with teaching children the skills that STEM activities require at a much younger age.

Doing so also helps to foster a greater understanding of science as they progress through school.

By immersing children in science at an early age, you’re helping them create a foundation for the problem-solving skills they’ll be using throughout their scholastic career and beyond.

Kids also tend to form their opinion of science studies shortly after they begin school. A positive impression of the sciences will lead them towards a lifetime of curiosity and appreciation for science. Meanwhile, if the impression they form is a negative one, it’s harder to reform that opinion into a positive one.

A proper education in science is one of the most essential areas of study because the skills you learn and develop in science are applicable in so many different ways outside of the classroom. The universally applicable skills children develop in science can provide a leg up towards future success.

The Importance of Science for Adults

Of course, just because you’ve finished school doesn’t mean your education comes to an end. In fact, the concepts and skills learned through studying science become even more critical as we become adults.

The critical thinking and problem-solving skills that we learn while studying science set a framework for the “adulting” skills we need as we become responsible for things like maintaining a household or balancing a budget.

Alarmingly, many Americans don’t possess basic scientific literacy. A recent study from the California Department of Sciences revealed some interesting information about the disconnect between science and adults.

Around half of the adults surveyed answered incorrectly when asked how long it takes the earth to revolve around the sun. Nearly half the adults surveyed believe that the earliest humans existed at the same time as dinosaurs. Less than half of the survey subjects were unable to approximate how much of the earth’s surface is covered by water. Only 21% of survey participants were able to answer all three of the above questions correctly.

Meanwhile, most participants agree that science is vital to our healthcare system, national reputation, and economy.

Based on the findings in this study, it’s safe to say that our collective knowledge of science (or lack thereof) is alarming, especially when so many science-related issues are poised to shape our world in the future.

Many of these science-related topics have become highly politicized, such as climate change, human cloning, and stem cell research. In order to participate in these conversations, which are sure to shape the future of our country, basic science literacy is a practical requirement.

Further research into our scientific literacy revealed more alarming findings. When American research subjects were asked nine fact-based science questions, the average score was 5.8 out of 9, which is equivalent to a D-.

In order to understand the implications that science has in our everyday lives, basic science literacy is necessary. Without it, we aren’t in a position to engage in scientific conversation, educate ourselves on critical issues, or hold elected officials accountable for the actions they take in office.

This lack of knowledge leaves us vulnerable to being swept up by the political rhetoric that dominates many of these scientific discussions. To the contrary, by applying fact-based findings to these issues, we put ourselves in a much better position to effectively participate in these important national discussions without being caught up in the persuasive language of politics.

What is Scientific Literacy, and How Can it be Improved?

When someone is scientifically literate, they possess the basic framework that’s necessary to learn about a topic and then draw their own conclusions on a particular issue based on the available facts at hand.

To be scientifically literate, you’ll need to first understand that by nature, science is based on evidence, not conjecture. Next, you’ll need an understanding of the scientific terminology used to describe a particular topic.

From there, you can apply a healthy dose of skepticism to draw your own conclusions based on the facts at hand.

One of the aspects of scientific literacy that shouldn’t be overlooked is the need to engage in civil and productive discourse with other people. Many of the most significant science-related issues of our day are also tied to deeply personal beliefs that can color our opinions and the way we communicate with others.

Not only is it essential that we possess the knowledge to engage in these discussions, but we also need to ensure that when we engage in discussion, we’re doing so in a way that invites opposing viewpoints to the table. The goal is to reach a shared understanding, regardless of our personal thoughts on an issue. So, civility and a willingness to listen and engage with others are also quite important.

Science at Work

We’re fortunate to live during a time where scientific breakthroughs occur on a seemingly daily basis. When scientific excellence is the norm, it’s easy to lose sight of how important science is, and how scientific breakthroughs help to improve our quality of life and the quality of life for future generations. Here are a few examples of science at work in the 21st century.

Water on Mars

In 2015, NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) was able to provide concrete evidence that liquid water flows on Mars using an imaging spectrometer. This news is a breakthrough that brings us one step closer to understanding foreign planets and whether they can sustain human life.

Successful Genome Sequencing

One of the most significant medical breakthroughs in human history occurred in 2003 when scientists were able to successfully sequence the human genetic blueprint, which illustrates the mutations that are likely to lead to cancer. This research has been critical in the development of treatments for leukemia, eczema, and certain skin cancers, and it’s now being applied to other areas of medicine as well.

The Creation of Human Organs

While still in its infancy, scientists have been able to successfully grow human organs with the assistance of stem cells. This breakthrough will allow patients in need of organ transplants to receive the care they need in the future, without needing to wait for a compatible donor that may never arrive.

Water as Fuel

The German Cleantech Company has successfully developed a machine that’s able to convert water and carbon dioxide into synthetic fuel to power machines. While still in its infancy, this breakthrough may one day allow us to power the world without the need for harmful fossil fuels.

A World of Different Sciences

Under the wide umbrella that is science, there are many different branches of science. Each of these branches studies a different aspect of the world, our environment, and beyond. Underneath these different disciplines, there are deeper subcategories that deal with specific topics in even greater detail.

If you’re still wondering about the importance of science, read on, and we’ll take a closer look at all the different kinds of sciences. All of these various sciences fall into one of two main categories: life sciences, and physical sciences, so we’ll start there.

Life Sciences

Life sciences are the areas of study that focus on living things. This includes the study of things like people, animals, or plants, and also things like microorganisms, germs, and viruses.


Biology is one of the most well known and popular life sciences, and it deals with the study of living organisms. This discipline focuses on an organism’s structure, how it’s cells interact, chemical processes, mechanisms, evolution, and development.

Within biology, there are many different complex sub-sciences. While these areas may be technical, they all have certain common concepts that unify them into a single field. The various biological sciences and what they deal with include:

  • Anatomy – the form and function of living organisms
  • Cellular biology – the cellular function of different organisms
  • Developmental biology – how living organisms develop to full growth
  • Genetics – genes, and heredity
  • Evolutionary biology – how living organisms evolve over time


Botany is the study of plants. Within the science of botany, there are several sub-sectors that deal with the fascinating details of these living beings. This field is most commonly understood to encompass the world of vascular plants and bryophytes; it can also include study on fungi and algae.

  • Bryology – moss, hornworts, and hepatics
  • Dendrology – woody plants and trees
  • Mycology – fungus which isn’t capable of photosynthesis
  • Lichenology – fungus which is capable of photosynthesis
  • Phycology – algae


This field of science focuses on how living organisms interact with the environment around them. Beneath the umbrella of ecological sciences, there are several subsects that deal with interests such as how individual organisms behave, how they behave as a species, and how that species behaves in its environment.

Different areas of ecological study include:

  • Autecology – how a species lives within its environment
  • Benthic ecology – the structure of the ocean floor
  • Conservation ecology – how to avoid extinction
  • Ecophysiology – how individuals adapt to their environment
  • Ecotoxicology – how natural and unnatural toxins affect a population
  • Macroecology – the broader patterns of ecology
  • Paleoecology – the ecology of fossils


Perhaps the most important life science of all, medicine is the science of healing. Medicine deals with concerns like cancer, disease, aging, drugs, the immune system, and the brain. Advances in medicine are shining examples of why science is so important, and how it makes the world a better place.

Within medicine, there are many subsciences that deal with specific areas of the field, such as:

  • Epidemiology – what causes a disease and how disease is transmitted
  • Immunology – the function and behavior of the immune system
  • Neuroscience – how the brain behaves and functions
  • Gerontology – the science of aging
  • Pathology – the processes, development, and nature of disease
  • Oncology – the study of cancer
  • Pharmacology- the preparation and usage of drugs


As the name suggests, zoology is the science of animals. This science deals with how animals are classified, as well as their makeup, development, and behavior. In zoology, each class of animal has its own subscience, and the most popular zoological studies include:

  • Cetology – whales, dolphins, and porpoises
  • Carcinology – crustaceans
  • Herpetology – lizards and amphibians
  • Ichthyology – fish
  • Primatology – primates
  • Ornithology – birds
  • Malacologists – mollusks
  • Mammalogy – mammals

Physical Sciences

Now that we know the basics of the different sciences that study living organisms, you may be wondering about things that aren’t alive. These things make up the physical sciences, which are a collection of studies that deal with how the earth, space, chemistry, and so much more. Under the banner of physical sciences, there are many subgroups.

Earth Science

As the name suggests, earth science is the study of the earth and its neighboring bodies, like the moon. Within earth science, there are multiple subcategories that focus on specific phenomena, like our climate, the atmosphere, and more. Some of the most popular subsets of earth science include:

  • Pedology – the study of the soil
  • Meteorology – studies the earth’s atmosphere and weather
  • Glaciology – studies the formation and behavior of glaciers
  • Climatology – studies the earth’s climate


Chemistry is one of the most well-known sciences, and it’s usually a favorite amongst students. Chemistry involves the study of matter and how it reacts with energy or other substances. Within the field of chemistry, there are multiple subsets, including:

  • Organic chemistry – the study of the properties, form, structure, and reactions of organic compounds
  • Inorganic chemistry – studies the same attributes, but with inorganic compounds
  • Analytical chemistry – analyzes materials to better understand their composition and structure
  • Thermochemistry – examines the amount of heat that is lost or absorbed during chemical reactions


Another fascinating science, astronomy deals with the elements of our solar system, including the stars, sun, and planets. Typically, the study of the earth and earthly bodies is covered by earth science. Astronomy also deals with fields like flight and space travel, which are especially interesting to most students. Some of the most well know astronomy sciences include:

  • Aeronautics – studies how airplanes fly
  • Astrodynamics – studies trajectory and how objects fly through space
  • Astrochemistry – explores the chemicals and reactions that occur in space
  • Astrobiology – studies the lifeforms that are found in space
  • Astronautics – the study of and design of vehicles that exit our atmosphere, i.e., spaceships
  • Astrophysics – the application of the laws of physics to explain the universe’s phenomena


This science deals with the physical, chemical, and biological properties of the oceans. Oceanographers typically focus on identifying and classifying new species of marine life, and they’re also tasked with creating solutions to difficult problems, like how to clean up an oil spill.

Some of the more well-known areas of oceanography include:

  • Marine biology – the study of various aquatic organisms
  • Marine chemistry – studies the chemical composition and chemical processes of the ocean
  • Limnology – is the study of inland water systems and how they interact with drainage basins
  • Marine geology – studies the geology of the ocean floor, with particular attention paid to plate tectonics
  • Physical oceanography – studies the physical composition and behavior of the ocean, which includes things like waves, tides, and erosion


Physics is a high-level science that deals with matter and energy and how they interact with one another. Underneath the banner of physics, there are several other popular sciences, such as:

  • Acoustics – studies soundwaves, SONAR, ultrasound, and how these different waves interact with their environment
  • Aerodynamics – is the study of how an object moves through the air
  • Classical physics – physics based upon Newton’s laws of motion, which predate quantum physics
  • Quantum physics – deals with the movement of the atom and subatomic particles
  • Electromagnetism – studies the forces generated by electrically charged particles

Final Word

Whether you’re a science whiz or someone who has trouble grasping the concepts associated with science, the fact of the matter is that science is everywhere, and it affects everything we do. Even if you don’t enjoy science in the scholastic sense, it’s still easy to appreciate science and the way it applies to everything we do.

Considering how many critical functions science touches on, the importance of science cannot be understated. Not only does science play such a critical role in our daily lives, but it also plays a central role in the most significant concerns of our time. From climate change to the cure for cancer and everything in between, science will continue to be a central force in everything we do.

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