• Question: what subjects involve science that we don't know did

    Asked by Evie to Aaron, Abbey, Keith, Natalie, Pete on 13 Nov 2015.
    • Photo: Natalie Garrett

      Natalie Garrett answered on 13 Nov 2015:

      Some people are often surprised to learn that there is a lot of science behind seemingly normal and ordinary things. In history, radiocarbon dating is used to see how old things are; geography uses satellites to image the topography of the planet; in art, lasers are used to work out what paintings are forgeries and which are genuine; in linguistics, the wave forms of the sounds you make when you speak are used to analyse dialects; in sports, physics and physiology are used to work out the best and safest way of training and loading your body with weights; in psychology, MRI images are used to interpret how we respond to different experiences in our brains. There are obvious ones like IT and computing – you need advanced solid state devices to improve memory storage, and for that you need Physics.

      Basically, science is in everything!

    • Photo: Peter Burgess

      Peter Burgess answered on 14 Nov 2015:

      History was the first subject I thought of, but as Natalie says it’s perfectly possible to link science to almost anything.
      I have a friend who teaches science who sometimes teaches her lessons in French, or Spanish. Science is universal across the world so it makes sense to teach science in other languages.

      A few examples:
      History – The industrial revolution is largely the story of the steam engine. The science that explains how steam engines work is called Thermodynamics. Strangely enough, we had steam engines long before we had the laws of thermodynamics so we knew steam engines worked, we just didn’t know how.
      English literature – Writers like Mary Shelley, Philip Pullman and Kurt Vonnegut have all drawn on science in their books, often looking at the role of science in society in an interesting way.
      Sport/PE – The use of analytics in sport is exploding right now. Sports like Baseball and Cricket have generated large amounts of data for a long time, but we are now seeing these statistics being used to improve performance in other sports. At the Rugby World Cup, we saw lots of the teams have a small lump in the back of their jerseys, this contains a small sensor measuring where players are, how much they are running around, how hard they have been tackled and so on. All top football teams use software called Prozone to analyse their play. There is a movement in Ice Hockey at the moment toward using what they call ‘fancy stats’, essentially this means statistics except basic scoring which have been shown to have a measurable effect on whether a team is likely to win games.

    • Photo: Aaron Boardley

      Aaron Boardley answered on 16 Nov 2015:

      Lots of subjects involved science itself – from computer programming, to architecture, to designing racing cars.

      The skills you learn in science are useful in all walks of life though, even if you’re not using scientific knowledge itself. A good scientist asks good questions, investigates things, gather evidence, comes up with ideas, tests out their ideas, and continues to improve them. I think these are a list of skills that all employers, and teachers, would love – whether you’re a lawyer or a doctor or a journalist.