Science Senses

The Science Senses

 A PDF transcript of the video is available here.

Use this link to download the video for offline viewing (right-click or command-click and choose to save the file).

In general, Science Sense is…

  • being able to distinguish science from non-science
  • the ability to recognize how people collect and process facts into knowledge
  • the ability to recognize how a collection of facts becomes knowledge
  • being able to question and evaluate information that is presented as scientific
  • being an informed consumer, evaluator, and practitioner of science

More specifically, the skills that help to develop Science Sense fall into three broad categories: Number Sense, Data Sense, and Knowledge Sense. Note that the list below is just a sample of the kinds of skills that fall into each category. For a more extensive, but still not exhaustive, list download the pdf linked here: Science Sense Definition 2014



Number Sense includes…
  • Scales and orders of magnitude
  • Estimates and approximations
  • Measurements and units of measurement


Data Sense includes…
  • Graphical interpretation and visualization
  • Sample size, relevance and statistical analysis
  • Identifying and correcting for bias
  • Proxies


Knowledge Sense includes…
  • The nature and limits of science and scientific questions
  • Designing experiments
  • Scientific ethics and applying science
  • Communicating science

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