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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The history of science is no longer an isolated discipline inhabited by scientists flattering themselves by ennobling their past. Nor any longer is it a pasture for grazing philosophers treating scientists (or natural philosophers) and their ideas as if they existed in a vacuum, apart from the rest of society. But it would be a mistake to suppose, simply because historical studies of scientific ideas and events now conform better to the norms of scholarship elsewhere in history, that the discipline has become fully a part of history proper. Despite the success of the efforts made since the 1960s to incorporate historical studies of scientific activity into the rest of history, the history of science as a discipline remains separate (presumably, therefore, for reasons other than the body of material upon which it focuses). Arguably, it is the very success of the efforts made since the 1960s that, paradoxically, has caused the history of science to remain unincorporated. In any event, the present state and outlook of, and regard for, the history of science cannot be defined without referring to its recent past. - See more at: