Do you know everything about science?

Indeed you think you know a lot about science… Enough to overcome this challenge? Check if you are a true expert on the matter. If something is for sure, it is that you will finish this Science At Home being a little more of a scientist than you were before.

Some tools to face the challenge

We are not going to tell you what science is or give you a definition, you will have to face that question in the test… but we will tell you that the word ‘science’ comes from the Latin scientĭa, which means ‘knowledge’. You could already imagine that knowledge is a key part of science. Also, a part of the word scientĭa comes from scindere, which means ‘to divide’. Why should the word ‘science’ contain something that means ‘to divide’? The reason is that science is responsible for ‘separating’ or ‘dividing’ knowledge to fulfill its function.

Classic representation of Ramón Llull’s tree of knowledge. Source: El Español.

The tree of science and its branches

How is this division expressed? Does the expression ‘branches of science’ or ‘tree of science’ sound familiar to you? You will already know that science is not a single thing, there are many different sciences, like ‘families’ that deal with very different topics. These groups are called the ‘branches’ of science and are sometimes pictured all together as the branches of one great tree, the tree of science. This symbol was invented by the scientific communicator, writer, and theologian Ramón Llull in the Middle Ages. Since then, the tree of science has been one of the most famous symbols to represent science. In fact, in Santiago de Compostela there is a sculpture dedicated to this tree, in which undecided students perform a ritual to choose a career: they turn around three times and then point, backward, to one of the branches of the tree, which would be their future career. Nowadays, the building where the statue is located is the headquarters in Galicia of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC). In fact, the tree has been the CSIC symbol since its foundation in 1939.

It is the moment of truth!

Surely thinking about the image of the tree of science and the origin of the word help you better understand how science works. Now that you have some clues about what it is and its branches, you have plenty of tools to face the challenge and come out victorious. Do you think you will get the diploma? If you don’t get it on the first try, don’t worry. Sometimes science needs many attempts to be successful, but in the end, it succeeds!

This challenge has been designed by Núria Falcó Moreno, student of the Máster de Historia de la Ciencia y Comunicación Científica (UMH-UV-UA).

With the collaboration of Fundación Española para la Ciencia y la Tecnología-Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación

Did you like these activities? You have many more available, for young and old, in the special ‘Science in your living room’

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