Imagine not knowing how gravity works. Or how disease is spread. Or what Earth looks like from space. All of this was once the case, and not all that long ago.
Studying the history of science allows you to have a glimpse into both the history of the world and into just how we discovered everything we know about the world. Those moments of discovery may seem anti-climactic to us now, but imagine not having discovered them at all. Imagine living without that knowledge.
The history of science does matter. Here are 3 reasons why I think it does. Feel free to share your own reasons in the comments.
1. We learn what the world was like before we had our current understanding. People used to think the world was flat, and that the stars and the sun revolved around the Earth, and that earthquakes were messages from the gods.
2. As we learn how other people made new discoveries, we learn new ways of thinking that might allow us to make our own new discoveries. We see things every day. Tricks of the light, or strange movements of the ground. We don’t often think enough about why or how those things happen.
3. As we learn about the history of science, we learn about great men and women who thought outside the box and often went against convention. As a refreshing break from the bombardment of people who are famous just for being famous, learning about formal and informal scientists helps us learn about great thinkers.
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