The Science and Culture Initiative (SCI)
SCI promotes public understanding of science. People who understand the scientific process make better science-related decisions affecting their own lives as well as society as a whole.
SCI promotes scientific thinking—not accepting something just because someone says so but because it is supported by evidence and is consistent with other known things. People who embrace scientific thinking make better decisions whether they involve science or not.
SCI promotes the idea that there is a deep link between science and other forms of culture. Our view is that all aspects of human culture come from people expressing themselves by creating explanations—which may or may not involve words—of things they have seen or imagined. Science and some nonscientific disciplines such as religion and philosophy use words to offer explanations of things observed in the physical world (although science is unique in discarding explanations that are not consistent with the way the world actually is). Other forms of culture are explanations of things in the mental world, and may very well not involve words—music and art, for example. But whether they are scientific or not, and whether they involve words or not, we believe the explanations arise from networks in our brains transformed by evolution from originally enabling our shrew-like ancestors to navigate through their environment to now enabling us to navigate through the creation of cultural masterpieces as diverse as the Mona Lisa, “Like a Rolling Stone”, Finnegan’s Wake, and general relativity theory. These networks thus embody the deepest of connections between all forms of human culture.
See the side bar at left for links to programs overseen by SCI, to the science departments at UNF, and to some places where connections between scientific and non-scientific expressions of human culture are on full display.