The Science and Culture Initiative (SCI)

  • SCI promotes public understanding of science: People who understand science and the scientific process will be better prepared to make critical science-related decisions affecting society as a whole as well as those affecting their own lives.

  • SCI promotes scientific thinking: People who embrace scientific thinking – not accepting something just because someone says so but because it is supported by evidence and is consistent with other known things – will make better decisions whether they involve science or not. 

  • SCI promotes the view that all forms of human culture, from the arts and humanities to the sciences, are just different ways of explaining things, stemming from the innate drive to explain that is the signature characteristic of our species:
    • Science is about explaining things in the external, physical world. 
    • The arts and humanities are about explaining things in the internal, mental world.  

    Scientific explanations differ from other kinds in a very important way: 

    • Scientific explanations have to be consistent with the way the world actually is. 
    • Other kinds of explanations do not.  

    But whether the explanations are scientific or not, if their creators communicate them to others, they become part of human culture.

Check out the side bar at left for links to programs overseen by SCI, to the science departments at UNF, and to places where you can find out more about the connections between scientific and non-scientific aspects of human culture.