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Over time, the types of science knowledge that are valued change


Some earlier models of science systems were based on ‘cause and effect’. More recent research supports more complex systems, recognising that many processes are not as straightforward as first thought.

A good example of this shift occurring is in genetics. Early models were based on one gene controlling the production of one protein. In the new science of protenomics, interactions of proteins in the cell can affect which genes are active, and therefore which proteins those genes produce. This in turn affects all other activity in the cell. The simple cause (gene is active) and effect (protein is produced) process has become more dynamic and interactive.

Teacher reflection

  • What different types of science knowledge exist?
  • Why do our ideas about the value of different types of science knowledge change over time?
  • Can we be sure that a science explanation will remain in its present form? Why or why not?