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The accepted views of science knowledge can change over time. Changes can result from new science observations, but can also be affected by social, political or religious convictions. To develop a deeper understanding, students need to investigate the context of the time in which science ideas were developed.
What you need
- Information, anecdotes and stories about scientists, astronomers or philosophers who faced opposition for their science theories or investigations.
are provided below.
- Do science explanations that are accepted as valid change over time?
- Are science ideas influenced by the views held by society?
- Why might new science ideas be opposed?
- What do we need to know about the context of the era in which a scientific idea arises, in order to understand the opposition it might meet?
The students work, in groups or individually, to research the life and ideas of a person involved in the development of a scientific theory which faced opposition from the society in which it was developed.
- What challenges or opposition did this person face in having their theories accepted?
- Do you think those challenges/opposition are still there today?
- What sort of challenges or opposition (for example, ethical or economic challenges) do you think present-day scientists face?
The students present their findings to the class in an oral, written or other format.
- How did prevailing world views affect the acceptance of scientific ideas in the past?
- How might the general world view and/or the variety of world views today influence the acceptance of science ideas now?
- Do people recognise that they have a particular way of looking at the world?
- Do you recognise that you have a particular way of looking at the world?
- What questions do you need to ask to analyse your own world view?
The story of Galileo as a scientist who faced opposition for his science theories or investigations.
(Word 28 KB)
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