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What constitutes the enterprise of Modern Science?


SN Arseculeratne

Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya., LK
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This essay is addressed to young people at the beginning of their careers in scientific research, as much as to those concerned with education and governance in science. It considers the question- what is science, what are the processes of scientific discovery, and what pathways did science take to reach its status as the greatest intellectual achievement of Man? It emphasizes the dichotomy between Moral Philosophy and Natural Philosophy while pointing out that it is Natural Philosophy that is now known as Modern Science. It highlights the lack of knowledge of some critical areas in scientists of the country, notably the philosophy of modern science that characterizes a practitioner as a literate scientist and not as a mere technician. The essay also considers some historical aspects that underlie the growth of Modern Science, and the limitations of science which again seem to be missing from the education in science that is present in our country. Of particular interest are the determinants of the growth of science, an awareness of which is necessary for our education in science if we are to take meaningful steps towards its growth; these include the establishment of a scientific attitude especially in young people, the methodologies that a practitioner should engage in, and the state's support for science through relevant and effective policies, and their implementation.

Keywords: Modern Science, scientific enterprise, scientific literacy.  


Journal of the National Science Foundation of Sri Lanka 36 (4) 257-266

How to Cite: Arseculeratne, S., 2008. What constitutes the enterprise of Modern Science?. Journal of the National Science Foundation of Sri Lanka, 36(4), pp.257–266. DOI:
Published on 30 Dec 2008.
Peer Reviewed


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