What is Verbing Science!?
1. What is “Verbing Science!”?
Calvin: "I like to verb words."
Calvin: "I take nouns and adjectives and use them as verbs. Remember when 'access' was a thing? Now it's something you DO. It got verbed."
(From Calvin & Hobbes by Bill Watterson: https://www.gocomics.com/calvinandhobbes/1993/01/25)
In a time when scientific topics dominate the headlines, Jocelyn Bosley is on a mission to change how people think about what science means and how it works. Drawing on her expertise as a historian of science and her experience as a science educator and communicator, she finds the real magic of science comes from diverse people and perspectives converging on a solution, rather than everyone following a rigid, uniform method. Science isn’t just a process. It’s a whole universe of processes. In this six-part video series, Jocelyn chats with some extraordinary scientists who show that the journey to scientific discovery much more complex and creative than textbooks typically let on. We’ll also explore some habits of mind that will make you a better scientist – habits you can cultivate by practicing the arts and humanities.
In other words, science is about to get verbed.
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[00:00:07.680]Stand back, I'm going to try science.
[00:00:11.940]What do you picture in your mind when you hear that?
[00:00:14.730]Someone mixing flasks of mysterious, bubbling liquids,
[00:00:18.780]dissecting a cow's eye, building a laser maze or a catapult
[00:00:23.370]or probably something that requires eye protection, right?
[00:00:27.480]Science is all of those things, and it's a lot more too.
[00:00:30.870]The key is that whatever you pictured, it was an action.
[00:00:36.780]Science is a verb.
[00:00:39.090]Now, before you go report me to your English teacher,
[00:00:41.580]I realize that science isn't technically a verb,
[00:00:44.550]although it can be fun to use it that way,
[00:00:46.440]as in I'm going to take this super cool insect home
[00:00:49.140]and science it.
[00:00:50.460]But science is a process.
[00:00:52.830]It's not just about the answers we find,
[00:00:54.870]but about the new questions that every answer raises.
[00:00:58.380]Each one the seed of an opportunity to learn more.
[00:01:01.380]When you think of science as a process,
[00:01:02.970]maybe you think of the scientific method.
[00:01:05.880]I mean, sure, the scientific method you learn in school;
[00:01:08.610]observation, hypothesis, experiment, analysis, conclusion,
[00:01:12.600]contains some important information
[00:01:14.220]about how science works.
[00:01:15.750]But saying that science uses the scientific method
[00:01:18.360]is a little like saying music uses notes.
[00:01:21.630]That's true and all,
[00:01:22.980]and it helps you understand the difference between
[00:01:24.660]music and other sounds that aren't music,
[00:01:27.390]but it doesn't tell you anything about
[00:01:28.860]how notes form different melodies and harmonies,
[00:01:32.340]how styles of music differ,
[00:01:34.260]what makes some songs sound happy while their sounds sad,
[00:01:37.320]how the same note sounds different
[00:01:38.940]when different instruments play it and on and on.
[00:01:41.490]The same is true of the scientific method.
[00:01:43.980]Hey, see what I did there?
[00:01:45.270]I used an analogy between science and music
[00:01:47.940]to make a point about how science works.
[00:01:50.070]Analogies are something you usually learn about
[00:01:51.840]in English class,
[00:01:53.100]but scientist uses analogies all the time
[00:01:55.290]to help them make sense of new information
[00:01:57.210]by relating it to something they already know.
[00:01:59.250]But you don't see draw analogies
[00:02:00.870]listed anywhere in the scientific method.
[00:02:02.970]Science isn't just a process,
[00:02:05.040]it's a whole universe of processes.
[00:02:07.943]Verbing Science is about curiosity, creativity,
[00:02:12.390]and community in action.
[00:02:14.700]Art, music, poetry, and other creative work
[00:02:17.970]helps us to develop these capacities
[00:02:20.100]and apply them in new ways to understand the natural world.
[00:02:23.130]The most important scientific achievements
[00:02:24.990]address human needs.
[00:02:26.850]History, language, and literature equip us
[00:02:28.890]with tools to understand these problems
[00:02:30.750]and develop effective solutions.
[00:02:32.790]Verbing Science is about connecting ideas and people.
[00:02:36.210]In the six part podcast series,
[00:02:37.980]we'll explore some habits of mind
[00:02:39.540]that will make you a better scientist.
[00:02:41.820]Habits you can cultivate by practicing
[00:02:43.830]the arts and humanities
[00:02:45.570]through interviews with working scientists.
[00:02:48.120]And I think you'll agree that these scientists
[00:02:50.220]are pretty verbing awesome.
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