03 Apr The Many Paths In Science
As with many other subjects, there is more to science than meets the eye. Primary and secondary school students, having only been exposed to basic concepts, may be unaware that science governs almost all aspects of our daily lives.
Though the wonders of science may not always be easily demonstrated, the study of the three sciences opens up many pathways to other exciting fields and vocations.
Biology is the study of living organisms and their processes – from microscopic organisms, flora and fauna, including humans, to the evolution of natural life on earth.
Secondary school students have the chance to study biology and be exposed to the foundation of the subject which can eventually lead to careers in biology-related fields such as:
Medicine is the science of diagnosing, treating and preventing diseases in humans. The field of medicine has been around since we began to explore how to heal and prevent sickness.
With the advancement in human knowledge and technology, medicine has become one of the most rigorous and respected fields of study today.
Modern medicine has made boundless leaps in the fight against disease, increasing both life expectancy, and the quality of peoples’ lives. Thanks to medical advancements, people afflicted with diseases such as cancer and diabetes are now able to manage otherwise debilitating symptoms and lead fulfilling lives.
Similar to medicine, veterinary medicine deals with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of diseases in animals. It addresses the medical requirements of animals of all species: domesticated ones such as cats and dogs, wild animals, as well as marine animals such as fish, crustaceans and whales.
Another important role of veterinary medicine is to safeguard the health of humans by preventing the cross-transmission of zoonotic diseases such as rabies, Ebola, bird flu and Covid-19, which is currently sweeping the globe.
These diseases present an ever more pressing challenge for the many fields of science. Such challenges will inevitably continue to appear and the world of science will undoubtedly rise to the challenge and continue to protect our world and its people.
Chemistry is the discipline of physical science that looks into the compositions, properties and reactions of substances. Students may come across topics such as physical chemistry which deals with inorganic substances, like sodium chloride that is present in households as common table salt, and sulfuric acid which is used to make fertilizers.
Students will also learn about organic chemistry, which is the study of compounds containing carbon. It is these carbon compounds that form the basic building blocks of life itself.
Some examples of specialised fields in chemistry are:
Biochemistry is a cross-disciplinary branch of science that deals with the chemical processes that occur within living organisms. Biochemistry focuses on things at a molecular level, including cell development.
Amongst other things, biochemists have the task of discovering how cells function and studying the factors affecting their development. Their work is essential to the field of medicine as biochemists are equipped with the skills and knowledge required to investigate the causes and cures for many types of diseases.
Industrial chemistry focuses largely on the processing of raw substances and materials into usable items for mass production and ultimately human consumption. Industrial chemistry involves the in-depth study of the chemical reactions in these processes to maximise output efficiently.
Some sectors that stem from industrial chemistry are oil and gas, food and beverage, pharmaceuticals and many more. Industrial chemists are always in demand as it is a field that drives the global economy. So long as the cycle of supply and demand continues, industrial chemistry will always be in business.
Physics is the study of forces, motion and energy, which are the main quantities involved in all physical interactions within our universe. Physics allows scientists to better understand the underlying processes in the world we live in, and to use that knowledge to engineer solutions for our benefit.
Areas of study requiring an extensive knowledge of physics include:
Robotics brings together branches of engineering and science that stem from a common foundation in physics. Robotics is a complex field that combines mechanical, computer and electronic engineering to design, create and operate complex machines.
The demand for robots across industries is steadily increasing. Industries involved in mass manufacturing have been increasingly integrating robotics into their line of production. Robotic automation enables industries to increase production rates which directly leads to growth in revenues.
Apart from manufacturing, other sectors that have started using robots include the automobile and medical industries. In these areas, robots are used to execute work that is beyond human capacity. For example, in medicine, robots can perform delicate surgical work through the input of a trained surgeon, which would otherwise have been impossible to execute by hand. Within the automobile industry, much progress has been made in the development of autonomous vehicles, which opens up new possibilities in the way we commute.
Astrophysics and Cosmology
Cosmology is a branch of science that digs deep into the origins of the universe, and its eventual fate. ‘The Big Bang Theory’ is a pioneering theory by modern day cosmologists that theorises that the universe evolved from a state of high density and high temperature. This has led to the popular belief that the universe originated from an expansion of cataclysmic proportions to form the observable – and unobservable – universe today.
Cosmologists work tirelessly to explore the known and unknown universe by using sophisticated probes to gather data and come up with models to understand and explain how the universe works to the best of their ability.
The work of cosmologists is not devoid of practical applications either. The laws of General Relativity, upon which much of cosmology is derived, have helped in making sure that data from the popularly used Global Positioning System (GPS) is accurate.
Although the many branches of science can be highly specialised, many others require one to bridge concepts from across these three areas. Foundational science is, of course, the path that connects students to all the many marvellous fields of scientific study.
Here at TSA, students are provided with quality science tuition and science enrichment where they can gain priceless scientific knowledge and develop their foundation in the sciences beyond a classroom setting.