Talk:Fundamental science

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Proposed merger[edit]

I would like to merge the basic science (psychology) article to the subsection on psychology here. For now it could be covered in a similar way to "In medicine" subsection on this page. ----Action potential discuss contribs 06:44, 1 May 2010 (UTC)

I vote to keep basic science (psychology) right where it is, and not merge it into the fundamental science page. The term basic science (psychology) dovetails better with the term applied psychology. This idea is in keeping with the division in the psychology sidebar. I think another argument against such a merger is that psychology will be amount to an afterthought given that the page is largely devoted to medicine.Iss246 (talk) 16:51, 5 May 2010 (UTC)

I also vote to keep each article separate. The Basic science (psychology) page provides a nice complement to the applied psychology page. I think the fundamental science page should actually leave off detailed sections about psychology AND medicine. It is much more effective as a philosophy of science article than as a synopsis of basic science in every conceivable field with countless links. Osubuckeyeguy (talk) 03:15, 18 June 2010 (UTC)

I'm not sure that the test for what constitutes fundamental science is “if the researcher adheres to the same scientific methods common to these other [basic scientific] fields”. There are many pursuits that apply the scientific method (for instance, some approaches to marketing) that could not, under any sensible definition, be construed as fundamental science. Whether or not something can be categorised as fundamental science has more to do with the subject under study than the method used to study it (for shouldn't any kind of scientific endeavour, fundamental or otherwise, apply the scientific method?). Is the thing (property/process/problem/etc) being studied more or less a fixture on Earth or in the universe or does it have relevance only in the short term? If the answer is the former, then it's probably fundamental, and if the latter, it's probably applied/practical, or not science at all (though the process that led to the existence and demise of the thing being studied might be a candidate for fundamental science). Note also, that whilst theories about particular things being studied in fundamental science might change over time, the things themselves persist. Rickyrobinson (talk) 04:51, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

I have a question for Osubuckeyeguy and others interested in this entry. If a team conducting applied research uses the best scientific methods, does that make the applied research fundamental research? I don't think it does. The sentence Osubuckeyeguy added may require further editing. The phrase "in some circumstances" is not enough of a qualifier. I already deleted the part of the sentence referring to the motivation of the researcher. Iss246 (talk) 16:01, 16 July 2010 (UTC)

looking the fundamental science page, it doesn't seem a good fit for the (copious) information in the basic research in psychology page. Tim bates (talk) 16:43, 15 April 2011 (UTC)

I don't think we disagree about this at all. I can understand why you removed the statement about motivation, and though the qualifier was added to address the above comments, I agree it doesn't do a good enough job of making the point clear. I added the part about motivation because people don't seem to agree on whether topics under investigation fit under the umbrella of basic science. Here's the rub: not everyone who thinks they are doing basic science is actually doing so, and people can do basic science without intentionally setting out to do so. It really does come down to the contribution of the work, but this is inherently subjective. In my own field, psychology, it would be considered basic science if a person uses experimental methods to study human thought and behavior, and draws general conclusions from the results about human functioning. But, a person with a physics background might argue that this isn't basic science because cognition cannot be reduced to absolute physical laws. It is hard to determine who is right because the meaning of basic science is being interpreted differently. I am amenable to further changes to this page, but feel that statements about social and behavioral science should not be removed because there is now broad consensus that these disciplines contribute to a basic understanding of the world.Osubuckeyeguy (talk) 18:04, 16 July 2010 (UTC)

To begin with, the article "Basic science (psychology)" is incorrectly titled. It ought to be titled "Psychology (basic)" versus "Psychology (applied)", or "Basic psychology" versus "Applied psychology", or simply "Psychology" with "Basic psychology" and "Applied psychology" sections, or simply "Psychology" versus "Applied psychology". In sum, there are a number of ways to correctly represent it, but not "Basic science (psychology)". For instance, the article on basic philosophy is titled "Philosophy", not "Basic humanities (philosophy)". The articles on applied philosophy are titled "Philosophy of science" or "Philosophy of mind" or "Philosophy of law", and so on. — Occurring (talk) 00:46, 14 March 2014 (UTC)

This is kind of silly[edit]

The distinction between "basic" and "applied" science is not at all clear, as any scientist or historian can tell you. It is amazing to me that a hard difference is postulated here, and reasoned through in the most ad hoc manner, with the only reference being a 1917 AAAS publication and an 1885 Google books publication. Guys, this is ludicrous. Embarrassing, even. Given that the distinction only became paramount in matters of speeches, public funding of science, etc. in the postwar era, this is just absurd.

The whole entry has an uninformed, amateurish quality. Even a very brief perusal of the academic literature on basic vs. applied science would come up with a better one. I hope someone out there eventually takes the time to do a proper job on this! --Mr.98 (talk) 00:45, 18 December 2010 (UTC)

And it is really silly: "and so chemistry is special science. For bridging physical sciences to biological sciences via biochemistry, however, chemistry has been viewed as the central science." — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:22, 24 September 2013 (UTC)

A long-running chemistry textbook identifies chemistry as the central science [Theodore E Brown, H Eugene LeMay et al, Chemistry: The Central Science, 12th edn (Upper Saddle River NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2012)]. Burguete summarizes, "Considering the extent that chemical methodology has contributed to other disciplines, it is tempting to take the charge that chemistry is in danger of losing its identity, or, to turn it around and proclaim instead that chemistry—today more than ever before—is the 'central science' " [Maria Burguete, ch 7 "History and philosophy of science: Towards a new epistemology", 7.3 "History of contemporary chemistry", in Maria Burguete & Liu Lam, eds, Science Matters: Humanities As Complex Systems (Singapore: World Scientific Publishing, 2008), p 139]. — Occurring (talk) 01:14, 14 March 2014 (UTC)

I edited the article to correct severe errors.[edit]

After I edited the article to correct severe errors, it was reverted under the claim "Greater concision"; I undid the reversion and commented, "See my version, vet citations. 'Greater concision' with utter [errors] and confusion is not a virtue" [diff]. (I mistyped what ought to have been the word errors.)

The article as I found it was so filled with errors and naive, erroneous tangents—musings about the nature of scientific laws, about scientific method, and about theory development—that it is not merely a matter of taste which article version to favor. If the interest is greater concision, then it ought be far more concise than the article as I found, and be accurate, not misleading. I took the time to explain the distinctions, since obviously the distinctions are a source of confusion.

The greatest point is that in the most conventional use today, the term fundamental science refers only to fundamental physics—modeling fundamental interactions—as distinguished from all other sciences, called special sciences, such as chemistry, optics, biology, and cognitive science. The term fundamental science can be synonym to pure science, also called basic science, but that is an uncommon use today, although my version of the article actually noted such usage and cited it (if with a 1954 article). (talk) 20:57, 12 January 2013 (UTC)

I have tried to balance concerns in my further edits. (talk) 21:17, 12 January 2013 (UTC)

"Theoretical science" ought to not redirect to this page[edit]

Theoretical physics and theoretical biology are major disciplines. Theoretical physics is not quite fundamental science, which is fundamental physics. Theoretical physics is the discipline dedicated to developing new fundamental physics. And relative to fundamental physics—fundamental science—any biology is special science. Theoretical biologists have been Charles Darwin, James Watson, and Francis Crick. (talk) 09:24, 19 January 2013 (UTC)

Handling of citations[edit]

This entry concerns my 23 Sep 2013 version versus the version that I found today, 13 Mar 2014 [difference]. As I do not think Wikipedia compels their use, I avoid Wikipedia's citation forms. Still, not owning articles, I am not a stickler to revert when someone switches my citations to Wikipedia's citation forms. I find it troublesome, however, since to me it does not seem to ease editing a Wikipedia article—in my opinion, it somewhat toughens it—but it does seem to toughen browsing and especially vetting citations. Some useful information is often lost, usually the authors' first names and specific article sections or pages that I had identified and perhaps hyperlinked to. Yet this time, I think it gone too far by also ungrouping citations.

To start with, Wikipedia's citation forms are clumsy—conflating two, differing citation styles—and sometimes obstructive. They are suited to parenthetic citation: Jack and Jill went to the store on Tuesday (Jackson 2009, Robinson 2003): one finds in the bibliography each source by author surname and publication year: Jackson JT (2009)... and Robinson MC (2003)... That citation style omits footnotes. Here at Wikipedia, citations are usually footnotes: Jack and Jill went to the store on Tuesday [1][2]: the page's very bottom, or now also Wikipedia's mouse-over graphic, shows the source, no need to find it on a list via surname and year. So it is useless to format footnotes to open Jackson JT (2009)... or Robinson MC (2003)....

In any event, Wikipedia endorses grouping of citations such that Jack and Jill went to the store on Tuesday [1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8] may become Jack and Jill went to the store on Tuesday [1], while citation #1 condenses citations #1 through #8. That is how publications usually treat footnotes. Atop improving readability, it permits grouping of sources collectively cited toward a particular statement. Today, I find this Wikipedia article's citations converted to Wikipedia's citation forms—replacing authors' first names with initials, and deleting specific sections identified—and also ungrouped.

And as if neglecting to even vet, someone added to my writing a tag speculating "improper synthesis?": "Common, populist errors mistake medicine, technology, and their uses for science.[6][7][12][13][14] They can be grouped: STM (science, technology & medicine); STS (science, technology & society). Yet, though interrelated and influencing each other,[9][10][11][15][16] they publish in different journals and have divergent aims, cultures, methods, principles, standards, and knowledge.[improper synthesis?][7][12][15][16][17][18][19][20][21][22][23][24][25][26][27][28][29][30]"

The sources mostly address specifically the variances, gaps, and conflicts among sciences, medicine, and technology. The particular sources that draw parallels do so in explicit modification of general agreement among historians and philosophers of science who conventionally draw distinctions, rather. Thus removing the tag, my edit carried a note fully stating, "Removing the preposterous tag '[improper synthesis?]'. Do the sources confirm populist belief that medicine, science, and technology share unified journals and 'aims, cultures, methods, principles, standards, and knowledge'? Come on now" [1]. Please, let us use more discretion, case by case, rather than universally impose common forms and beliefs. — Occurring (talk) 22:35, 13 March 2014 (UTC)