SciShow = natural science show?

HedvigHedvig Posts: 80 ✭✭
edited August 2013 in SciShow & SciShow Space
In some languages the word meaning "science" is used for all scientific disciplines, not only the natural sciences. I believe we non-anglophones have come to terms with the fact that you usually mean only natural sciences when you (anglophones) say "science", but I still think it rather sad. 

Is there any chance that scishow could cover non-natural sciences more?
by Hedvig


  • TeajTeaj The Kingdom of CanadaPosts: 19,071 ✭✭✭✭
    you mean political and social sciences and things like that?
  • OlleOlle Posts: 289 ✭✭✭
    Well, the word has two meanings. "Science" used on its own suggests empirical testing and scientific method, which are not always present in the political and social sciences (which often overlap more with philosophy and the humanities), but virtually always present in the natural sciences. When used in conjunction with something, like in "social science" or "natural science", it really just means "discipline".

    SciShow does occasionally (like, I can remember one or two occasions) touch on studies done in the social sciences, but mainly when the studies use scientific methods, I think. What about that episode they did on terrorism, for example?
    Stuff I make: webcomic (weekly); biology vlogs (every few months); tumblr posts (apparently)
  • HedvigHedvig Posts: 80 ✭✭
    Well, um. If a scientific method isn't applied then it isn't science. Period :).

    That's how we (many non-anglo europeans) use it. If it is a discipline, a field of study but it isn't positivist then we call it a "discipline" or a "-ology". Calling disciplines that aren't science "science" seems awfully unfruitful and messy ^^!

    There are disciplines that are sometimes included in what you call "arts" or "humanities" that aren't positivistic, sure. But then they aren't science so.. they're not what I meant in the first place. There are scientific disciplines in what we call humanities, archaeology and psychology for example. I'm not sure how you define "humanities" here since you seem to imply that there isn't any science there, but let's leave that aside for a moment (but please do keep in mind that not everyone divides research disciplines the way you do ^^).

    SciShow does occasionally touch on non-natural sciences, but very rarely. Last summer my subject was briefly discussed, linguistics. There were several errors in that story, I'm not sure if that is representative of their coverage of non-natural sciences in general. The article that was discussed was very controversial, but in the show it seemed like all linguists agreed, I found that quite troublesome to be honest. 

    It seems to me that there isn't enough competence in non-natural sciences in the SciShow-crew and that's why they don't bring it up, or it could simply be because the american audience isn't interested in non-natural sciences. I just wanted to point out that while "science" in anglophone culture is usually used as meaning "natural sciences" only this isn't the case everywhere else.

    I know that in theory "science" in English means all disciplines that employ scientific study, but that simply isn't true if you look at actual usage. Faculties of natural science is for example often called just "faculty of science" etc.

  • OlleOlle Posts: 289 ✭✭✭
    edited August 2013
    Okay, I'll amend my statement: there's a third (somewhat sloppy) meaning of the word "science", which is when it is used to refer to the natural sciences only. Also, I'm sorry for implying (unintentionally) that scientific method is never used in the humanities; I understand that you're a linguist, so that might sting a bit. I might be negatively biased toward the humanities since I took some painfully unscientific and pointless sociology classes last year.

    I'm Swedish too, by the way, so I'm used to the same sort of translation difficulties. =)
    by Olle
    Stuff I make: webcomic (weekly); biology vlogs (every few months); tumblr posts (apparently)
  • HedvigHedvig Posts: 80 ✭✭
    Yes, and it would seem to me that SciShow needn't be restricted to this rather "sloppy" definition even though it may be very prevalent in the anglo-world, I think nerdfighters aren't that restricted and the audience isn't only anglos.

    Jo, jag förstod att du var svensk, "Olle" är tyvärr inte spridd utanför den nordiska gemenskapen ^^!

  • HedvigHedvig Posts: 80 ✭✭
    Teaj said:
    you mean political and social sciences and things like that?
    Yes, for example. Mind you, the English terminology of disciplines of researcher and faculties of universities/colleges doesn'ttranslate directly into all other langs.

    Archaeology, psychology and linguistics would for example be examples that could be covered more often, more extensively and, frankly, with more careful background preparation (as they deserve).

  • TeajTeaj The Kingdom of CanadaPosts: 19,071 ✭✭✭✭
    Oh, yeah, those sciences, it would be fun to cover them, too.
Sign In or Register to comment.