GSA Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, USA - 2019

Paper No. 191-1
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:30 PM


FORSMAN, Nels F., University of North Dakota, Box 8358, University of ND, Grand Forks, ND 58202

A definition must say what something is and at the same time reveal what it isn’t; it must distinguish the thing from other things. Most attempts to define science end up discussing how it functions, how it goes about doing its thing. Those turn out to not really be definitions. A definition should not be a discussion; it should be concise, with no more words than necessary. A definition of science should be valid for all the various science disciplines. It should work not only for geology, but also for chemistry, physics, biology and all the others.

A succinct definition of science will be given. The audience will be asked to critique and challenge. If not acceptable as "the" definition for science, it will be shown as still useful for teaching students what science is.