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What is science to you?

Science is a complicated word to explain.

We start off thinking it is one subject taught to us in elementary school and from there it explodes into a universe of endless discovery.

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Even defining science is a difficult task. I really like the one used by the Science Council “Science is the pursuit and application of knowledge and understanding of the natural and social world following a systematic methodology based on evidence.” My personal development is far more fact driven than anything else (read that as emotions are hard to deal with!) Of course I’m a very emotional person but when making decisions about purchases, travel, what direction in life to go I try to think on the rational/logical side. Sometimes too much.

I’m proud to say that I have a STEM degree, it’s a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resources with an emphasis in management from Oregon State. I’m also getting a minor in business and entrepreneurship so there’s some math in there. However, I do love the social sciences. Anthropology, psychology, sociology, and political science are all courses I also included in my college career. I took a long time to get through school because I couldn’t decide what I wanted to invest my money in. I started as a biology major, realized I wasn’t particularly fond of the job outlook, left school, moved to California, adventured, got a job in the Watershed Stewards Program (a phenomenal AmeriCorp program) and moved to the wild west aka the Klamath River area in northern CA. It was there that I really felt connected to the sciences.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI was essentially a field grunt but it was one of the best years of my life. I learned skills which ranged from cutting open salmon skulls to gather their otoliths for data collection, identifying and removing invasive weeds, and putting together science education classes. It was physically demanding but the hands on experience chance to be immersed in such a different culture was eye opening for me. Northern California is home to a number of Native American tribes and being able to interact in their communities and go into their schools was a privilege. These learning opportunities are why science is so important.

Without science we wouldn’t learn about culture or fish anatomy. Two vastly different examples but each essential in their own way. Science isn’t meant to be something that tears apart communities. It is a complex system that helps humans understand our would in a physical, mental, and emotional way. This could be why people don’t like it. It’s simply overwhelming. People dedicate their lives to certain subjects and that level of knowledge can make it hard for other people to be receptive to their ideas especially if its more of a personal matter, such as politics, or food. The beauty of science is, as I am learning, that it is not black and white. There is a lot of muddling in there.

I love when things are tested by the scientific method, proved, then peer reviewed but this can’t be applied to all aspects of life. I strive to provide the most honest and educated information in my posts but I have biases and the subjects I really love learning about don’t have a huge data bank of science backed facts that I can just access anytime I like. There are some things that you must judge based on what knowledge you do have plus values, perceptions, and instincts.

There is no way that every product created could have a full scientific review of whether it really works, is good for you in the long term, or just how much environmental damage it really causes. In my love for the environment and wanting to have a cleaner and more eco-friendly home I am especially realizing that researching clean products or DIY ingredients is exceedingly difficult as an average consumer. So my point here is that science is fundamental to my life and I always seek to be as informed as possible so I can share my knowledge with the world but I also see the need for balance in realizing I can’t always find a research paper to answer my questions about life.

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