Branches of science
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The branches of science, also referred to as sciences, scientific fields or scientific disciplines, are commonly divided into three major groups: * Formal sciences: the study of formal systems, such as those under the branches of logic and
mathematics Mathematics is an area of knowledge that includes the topics of numbers, formulas and related structures, shapes and the spaces in which they are contained, and quantities and their changes. These topics are represented in modern mathematics ...
, which use an '' a priori'', as opposed to empirical, methodology. *
Natural science Natural science is one of the branches of science concerned with the description, understanding and prediction of Nature, natural Phenomenon, phenomena, based on empirical evidence from observation and experimentation. Mechanisms such as peer re ...
s: the study of natural phenomena (including cosmological, geological, physical, chemical, and biological factors of the universe). Natural science can be divided into two main branches: physical science and life science (or
biology Biology is the scientific study of life. It is a natural science with a broad scope but has several unifying themes that tie it together as a single, coherent field. For instance, all organisms are made up of Cell (biology), cells that proce ...
). * Social sciences: the study of human behavior in its social and cultural aspects. Scientific knowledge must be based on observable phenomena and must be capable of being verified by other researchers working under the same conditions. This verifiability may well vary even ''within'' a scientific discipline. Natural, social, and formal science make up the fundamental sciences, which form the basis of interdisciplinarity- and applied sciences such as
engineering Engineering is the use of scientific principles to design and build machines, structures, and other items, including bridges, tunnels, roads, vehicles, and buildings. The discipline of engineering encompasses a broad range of more specializ ...
and
medicine Medicine is the science and Praxis (process), practice of caring for a patient, managing the diagnosis, prognosis, Preventive medicine, prevention, therapy, treatment, Palliative care, palliation of their injury or disease, and Health promotion ...
. Specialized scientific disciplines that exist in multiple categories may include parts of other scientific disciplines but often possess their own terminologies and expertises.


Formal sciences

The ''formal sciences'' are the branches of science that are concerned with formal systems, such as logic,
mathematics Mathematics is an area of knowledge that includes the topics of numbers, formulas and related structures, shapes and the spaces in which they are contained, and quantities and their changes. These topics are represented in modern mathematics ...
,
theoretical computer science Theoretical computer science (TCS) is a subset of general computer science and mathematics that focuses on mathematical aspects of computer science such as the theory of computation, lambda calculus, and type theory. It is difficult to circumsc ...
, information theory, systems theory, decision theory,
statistics Statistics (from German language, German: ''wikt:Statistik#German, Statistik'', "description of a State (polity), state, a country") is the discipline that concerns the collection, organization, analysis, interpretation, and presentation of ...
. Unlike other branches, the formal sciences are not concerned with the validity of theories based on observations in the real world ( empirical knowledge), but rather with the properties of formal systems based on definitions and rules. Hence there is disagreement on whether the formal sciences actually constitute a science. Methods of the formal sciences are, however, essential to the construction and testing of scientific models dealing with observable reality, and major advances in formal sciences have often enabled major advances in the empirical sciences.


Logic

''Logic'' (from Greek: grc, λογική, label=none, lit=possessed of reason, intellectual, dialectical, argumentative, translit=logikḗ) is the systematic study of valid rules of inference, i.e. the relations that lead to the acceptance of one proposition (the conclusion) on the basis of a set of other propositions ( premises). More broadly, logic is the analysis and appraisal of arguments. It has traditionally included the classification of arguments; the systematic exposition of the logical forms; the validity and
soundness In logic or, more precisely, deductive reasoning, an argument is sound if it is both valid in form and its premises are true. Soundness also has a related meaning in mathematical logic, wherein logical systems are sound if and only if every ...
of deductive reasoning; the strength of inductive reasoning; the study of formal proofs and inference (including paradoxes and fallacies); and the study of
syntax In linguistics, syntax () is the study of how words and morphemes combine to form larger units such as phrases and sentence (linguistics), sentences. Central concerns of syntax include word order, grammatical relations, hierarchical sentence st ...
and
semantics Semantics (from grc, wikt:σημαντικός, σημαντικός ''sēmantikós'', "significant") is the study of reference, Meaning (philosophy), meaning, or truth. The term can be used to refer to subfields of several distinct discipline ...
. Historically, logic has been studied in
philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the systematized study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence, reason, knowledge, values, mind, and language. Such questions are often posed as problems to be studied or resolved. Some ...
(since ancient times) and
mathematics Mathematics is an area of knowledge that includes the topics of numbers, formulas and related structures, shapes and the spaces in which they are contained, and quantities and their changes. These topics are represented in modern mathematics ...
(since the mid-19th century). More recently, logic has been studied in cognitive science, which draws on
computer science Computer science is the study of computation, automation, and information. Computer science spans theoretical disciplines (such as algorithms, theory of computation, information theory, and automation) to Applied science, practical discipli ...
,
linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of human language. It is called a scientific study because it entails a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise analysis of all aspects of language, particularly its nature and structure. Linguis ...
, philosophy and
psychology Psychology is the science, scientific study of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the study of consciousness, conscious and Unconscious mind, unconscious phenomena, including feelings and thoughts. It is an academic discipline of immens ...
, among other disciplines.


Data Science


Information Science


Mathematics

''Mathematics'', in the broadest sense, is just a synonym of formal science; but traditionally mathematics means more specifically the coalition of four areas:
arithmetic Arithmetic () is an elementary part of mathematics Mathematics is an area of knowledge that includes the topics of numbers, formulas and related structures, shapes and the spaces in which they are contained, and quantities and their chang ...
,
algebra Algebra () is one of the areas of mathematics, broad areas of mathematics. Roughly speaking, algebra is the study of mathematical symbols and the rules for manipulating these symbols in formulas; it is a unifying thread of almost all of mathem ...
,
geometry Geometry (; ) is, with arithmetic, one of the oldest branches of mathematics. It is concerned with properties of space such as the distance, shape, size, and relative position of figures. A mathematician who works in the field of geometry is ca ...
, and analysis, which are, to some degree, the study of quantity, structure, space, and change respectively.


Statistics

''Statistics'' is the study of the collection, organization, and interpretation of
data In the pursuit of knowledge, data (; ) is a collection of discrete values that convey information, describing quantity, quality, fact, statistics, other basic units of meaning, or simply sequences of symbols that may be further interp ...
.Dodge, Y. (2003) ''The Oxford Dictionary of Statistical Terms'', OUP. It deals with all aspects of this, including the planning of data collection in terms of the design of surveys and experiments. A statistician is someone who is particularly well versed in the ways of thinking necessary for the successful application of statistical analysis. Such people have often gained this experience through working in any of a wide number of fields. There is also a discipline called '' mathematical statistics'', which is concerned with the theoretical basis of the subject. The word ''statistics'', when referring to the scientific discipline, is singular, as in "Statistics is an art." This should not be confused with the word ''statistic'', referring to a quantity (such as
mean There are several kinds of mean in mathematics, especially in statistics. Each mean serves to summarize a given group of data, often to better understand the overall value (magnitude (mathematics), magnitude and sign (mathematics), sign) of a gi ...
or median) calculated from a set of data, whose plural is ''statistics'' ("this statistic seems wrong" or "these statistics are misleading").


Systems theory

''Systems theory'' is the transdisciplinary study of systems in general, to elucidate principles that can be applied to all types of systems in all fields of research. The term does not yet have a well-established, precise meaning, but systems theory can reasonably be considered a specialization of systems thinking and a generalization of systems science. The term originates from Bertalanffy's General System Theory (GST) and is used in later efforts in other fields, such as the action theory of Talcott Parsons and the sociological autopoiesis of Niklas Luhmann. In this context the word ''systems'' is used to refer specifically to self-regulating systems, i.e. that are self-correcting through feedback. Self-regulating systems are found in nature, including the physiological systems of our body, in local and global ecosystems, and climate.


Decision theory

''Decision theory'' (or the ''theory of choice'' not to be confused with choice theory) is the study of an agent's choices. Decision theory can be broken into two branches:
normative Normative generally means relating to an evaluative standard. Normativity is the phenomenon in human societies of designating some actions or outcomes as good, desirable, or permissible, and others as bad, undesirable, or impermissible. A Norm (ph ...
decision theory, which analyzes the outcomes of decisions or determines the optimal decisions given constraints and assumptions, and descriptive decision theory, which analyzes ''how'' agents actually make the decisions they do. Decision theory is closely related to the field of game theory and is an interdisciplinary topic, studied by economists, statisticians, psychologists, biologists, political and other social scientists, philosophers, and computer scientists. Empirical applications of this rich theory are usually done with the help of statistical and econometric methods.


Theoretical computer science

''Theoretical computer science'' (''TCS'') is a subset of general
computer science Computer science is the study of computation, automation, and information. Computer science spans theoretical disciplines (such as algorithms, theory of computation, information theory, and automation) to Applied science, practical discipli ...
and
mathematics Mathematics is an area of knowledge that includes the topics of numbers, formulas and related structures, shapes and the spaces in which they are contained, and quantities and their changes. These topics are represented in modern mathematics ...
that focuses on more mathematical topics of computing, and includes the theory of computation. It is difficult to circumscribe the theoretical areas precisely. The ACM's Special Interest Group on Algorithms and Computation Theory (SIGACT) provides the following description:


Natural sciences

''Natural science'' is a branch of science concerned with the description, prediction, and understanding of natural phenomena, based on empirical evidence from observation and experimentation. Mechanisms such as peer review and repeatability of findings are used to try to ensure the validity of scientific advances. Natural science can be divided into two main branches: life science and physical science. Life science is alternatively known as
biology Biology is the scientific study of life. It is a natural science with a broad scope but has several unifying themes that tie it together as a single, coherent field. For instance, all organisms are made up of Cell (biology), cells that proce ...
, and physical science is subdivided into branches:
physics Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its Elementary particle, fundamental constituents, its motion and behavior through Spacetime, space and time, and the related entities of energy and force. "Physical science is that depar ...
,
chemistry Chemistry is the scientific study of the properties and behavior of matter. It is a natural science that covers the elements that make up matter to the compounds made of atoms, molecules and ions: their composition, structure, properties ...
,
astronomy Astronomy () is a natural science that studies astronomical object, celestial objects and phenomena. It uses mathematics, physics, and chemistry in order to explain their origin and chronology of the Universe, evolution. Objects of interest ...
and Earth science. These branches of natural science may be further divided into more specialized branches (also known as fields)


Physical science

''Physical science'' is an encompassing term for the branches of natural science that study non-living systems, in contrast to the life sciences. However, the term "physical" creates an unintended, somewhat arbitrary distinction, since many branches of physical science also study biological phenomena. There is a difference between physical science and physics.


Physics

''Physics'' (from grc, φύσις, physis, nature) is a
natural science Natural science is one of the branches of science concerned with the description, understanding and prediction of Nature, natural Phenomenon, phenomena, based on empirical evidence from observation and experimentation. Mechanisms such as peer re ...
that involves the study of matter and its motion through spacetime, along with related concepts such as
energy In physics, energy (from Ancient Greek: wikt:ἐνέργεια#Ancient_Greek, ἐνέργεια, ''enérgeia'', “activity”) is the physical quantity, quantitative physical property, property that is #Energy transfer, transferred to a phy ...
and force. More broadly, it is the general analysis of
nature Nature, in the broadest sense, is the physics, physical world or universe. "Nature" can refer to the phenomenon, phenomena of the physical world, and also to life in general. The study of nature is a large, if not the only, part of science. ...
, conducted in order to understand how the universe behaves. Physics is one of the oldest academic disciplines, perhaps the oldest through its inclusion of
astronomy Astronomy () is a natural science that studies astronomical object, celestial objects and phenomena. It uses mathematics, physics, and chemistry in order to explain their origin and chronology of the Universe, evolution. Objects of interest ...
. Over the last two millennia, physics was a part of natural philosophy along with
chemistry Chemistry is the scientific study of the properties and behavior of matter. It is a natural science that covers the elements that make up matter to the compounds made of atoms, molecules and ions: their composition, structure, properties ...
, certain branches of
mathematics Mathematics is an area of knowledge that includes the topics of numbers, formulas and related structures, shapes and the spaces in which they are contained, and quantities and their changes. These topics are represented in modern mathematics ...
, and
biology Biology is the scientific study of life. It is a natural science with a broad scope but has several unifying themes that tie it together as a single, coherent field. For instance, all organisms are made up of Cell (biology), cells that proce ...
, but during the
Scientific Revolution The Scientific Revolution was a series of events that marked the emergence of modern science during the early modern period, when developments in mathematics Mathematics is an area of knowledge that includes the topics of numbers, fo ...
in the 16th century, the
natural science Natural science is one of the branches of science concerned with the description, understanding and prediction of Nature, natural Phenomenon, phenomena, based on empirical evidence from observation and experimentation. Mechanisms such as peer re ...
s emerged as unique research programs in their own right. Certain research areas are interdisciplinary, such as biophysics and quantum chemistry, which means that the boundaries of physics are not rigidly defined. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries
physicalism In philosophy, physicalism is the metaphysical thesis that "everything is physics, physical", that there is "nothing over and above" the physical, or that everything supervenience, supervenes on the physical. Physicalism is a form of ontological mo ...
emerged as a major unifying feature of the
philosophy of science Philosophy of science is a branch of philosophy concerned with the foundations, methodology, methods, and implications of science. The central questions of this study concern Demarcation problem, what qualifies as science, the reliability of s ...
as physics provides fundamental explanations for every observed natural phenomenon. New ideas in physics often explain the fundamental mechanisms of other sciences, while opening to new research areas in mathematics and philosophy.


Chemistry

''Chemistry'' (the etymology of the word has been much disputed) is the
science Science is a systematic endeavor that Scientific method, builds and organizes knowledge in the form of Testability, testable explanations and predictions about the universe. Science may be as old as the human species, and some of the earli ...
of matter and the changes it undergoes. The science of matter is also addressed by
physics Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its Elementary particle, fundamental constituents, its motion and behavior through Spacetime, space and time, and the related entities of energy and force. "Physical science is that depar ...
, but while physics takes a more general and fundamental approach, chemistry is more specialized, being concerned by the composition, behavior (or reaction), structure, and properties of matter, as well as the changes it undergoes during
chemical reaction A chemical reaction is a process that leads to the IUPAC nomenclature for organic transformations, chemical transformation of one set of chemical substances to another. Classically, chemical reactions encompass changes that only involve the pos ...
s. It is a physical science which studies various substances,
atom Every atom is composed of a atomic nucleus, nucleus and one or more electrons bound to the nucleus. The nucleus is made of one or more protons and a number of neutrons. Only the most common variety of hydrogen has no neutrons. Every solid, l ...
s,
molecule A molecule is a group of two or more atoms held together by attractive forces known as chemical bonds; depending on context, the term may or may not include ions which satisfy this criterion. In quantum physics, organic chemistry, and bioche ...
s, and matter (especially carbon based). Example sub-disciplines of chemistry include: biochemistry, the study of substances found in biological organisms;
physical chemistry Physical chemistry is the study of macroscopic scale, macroscopic and Microscopic scale, microscopic phenomena in chemistry, chemical systems in terms of the principles, practices, and concepts of physics such as Motion (physics), motion, energy ...
, the study of chemical processes using physical concepts such as
thermodynamics Thermodynamics is a branch of physics that deals with heat, Work (thermodynamics), work, and temperature, and their relation to energy, entropy, and the physical properties of matter and radiation. The behavior of these quantities is governed b ...
and
quantum mechanics Quantum mechanics is a fundamental Scientific theory, theory in physics that provides a description of the physical properties of nature at the scale of atoms and subatomic particles. It is the foundation of all quantum physics including qua ...
; and analytical chemistry, the analysis of material samples to gain an understanding of their chemical composition and structure. Many more specialized disciplines have emerged in recent years, e.g. neurochemistry the chemical study of the nervous system.


Earth science

''Earth science'' (also known as ''geoscience'', ''the geosciences'' or ''the Earth sciences'') is an all-embracing term for the
science Science is a systematic endeavor that Scientific method, builds and organizes knowledge in the form of Testability, testable explanations and predictions about the universe. Science may be as old as the human species, and some of the earli ...
s related to the planet
Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbor life. While large list of largest lakes and seas in the Solar System, volumes of water can be found throughout the Solar System, only water distributi ...
. It is arguably a special case in planetary science, the Earth being the only known life-bearing planet. There are both reductionist and
holistic Holism () is the idea that various systems (e.g. physical, biological, social) should be viewed as wholes, not merely as a collection of parts. The term "holism" was coined by Jan Smuts in his 1926 book ''Holism and Evolution''."holism, n." OED Onl ...
approaches to Earth sciences. The formal discipline of Earth sciences may include the study of the atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere, and biosphere, as well as the solid earth. Typically Earth scientists will use tools from
physics Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its Elementary particle, fundamental constituents, its motion and behavior through Spacetime, space and time, and the related entities of energy and force. "Physical science is that depar ...
,
chemistry Chemistry is the scientific study of the properties and behavior of matter. It is a natural science that covers the elements that make up matter to the compounds made of atoms, molecules and ions: their composition, structure, properties ...
,
biology Biology is the scientific study of life. It is a natural science with a broad scope but has several unifying themes that tie it together as a single, coherent field. For instance, all organisms are made up of Cell (biology), cells that proce ...
,
geography Geography (from Ancient Greek, Greek: , ''geographia''. Combination of Greek words ‘Geo’ (The Earth) and ‘Graphien’ (to describe), literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, i ...
, chronology and
mathematics Mathematics is an area of knowledge that includes the topics of numbers, formulas and related structures, shapes and the spaces in which they are contained, and quantities and their changes. These topics are represented in modern mathematics ...
to build a quantitative understanding of how the Earth system works, and how it evolved to its current state.


= Geology

= ''Geology'' (from the
Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the following periods: Mycenaean Greek (), Greek Dark ...
γῆ, ''gē'' ("earth") and -λoγία, ''-logia'', ("study of", "discourse")) is an Earth science concerned with the solid Earth, the rocks of which it is composed, and the processes by which they change over time. Geology can also include the study of the solid features of any terrestrial planet or
natural satellite A natural satellite is, in the most common usage, an astronomical object, astronomical body that orbits a planet, dwarf planet, or small Solar System body (or sometimes another natural satellite). Natural satellites are often colloquially ref ...
such as
Mars Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun and the second-smallest planet in the Solar System, only being larger than Mercury. In the English language, Mars is named for the Roman god of war. Mars is a terrestrial planet with a thin atmosph ...
or the Moon. Modern geology significantly overlaps all other Earth sciences, including hydrology and the atmospheric sciences, and so is treated as one major aspect of integrated Earth system science and planetary science.


= Oceanography

= ''Oceanography'', or ''marine science'', is the branch of Earth science that studies the ocean. It covers a wide range of topics, including marine organisms and
ecosystem An ecosystem (or ecological system) consists of all the organisms and the physical environment with which they interact. These biotic and abiotic components are linked together through nutrient cycles and energy flows. Energy enters the syste ...
dynamics;
ocean currents An ocean current is a continuous, directed movement of sea water generated by a number of forces acting upon the water, including wind, the Coriolis effect, wave breaking, breaking waves, cabbeling, and temperature and salinity differences. De ...
, waves, and geophysical fluid dynamics; plate tectonics and the geology of the seafloor; and fluxes of various chemical substances and physical properties within the ocean and across its boundaries. These diverse topics reflect multiple disciplines that oceanographers blend to further knowledge of the world ocean and understanding of processes within it:
biology Biology is the scientific study of life. It is a natural science with a broad scope but has several unifying themes that tie it together as a single, coherent field. For instance, all organisms are made up of Cell (biology), cells that proce ...
,
chemistry Chemistry is the scientific study of the properties and behavior of matter. It is a natural science that covers the elements that make up matter to the compounds made of atoms, molecules and ions: their composition, structure, properties ...
,
geology Geology () is a branch of natural science concerned with Earth and other Astronomical object, astronomical objects, the features or rock (geology), rocks of which it is composed, and the processes by which they change over time. Modern geology ...
,
meteorology Meteorology is a branch of the atmospheric sciences (which include atmospheric chemistry and physics) with a major focus on weather forecasting. The study of meteorology dates back millennia, though significant progress in meteorology did not ...
, and
physics Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its Elementary particle, fundamental constituents, its motion and behavior through Spacetime, space and time, and the related entities of energy and force. "Physical science is that depar ...
as well as
geography Geography (from Ancient Greek, Greek: , ''geographia''. Combination of Greek words ‘Geo’ (The Earth) and ‘Graphien’ (to describe), literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, i ...
.


= Meteorology

= ''Meteorology'' is the interdisciplinary scientific study of the atmosphere. Studies in the field stretch back millennia, though significant progress in meteorology did not occur until the 17th century. The 19th century saw breakthroughs occur after observing networks developed across several countries. After the development of the computer in the latter half of the 20th century, breakthroughs in
weather forecasting Weather forecasting is the application of science and technology forecasting, to predict the conditions of the Earth's atmosphere, atmosphere for a given location and time. People have attempted to predict the weather informally for millennia a ...
were achieved.


Astronomy

''Space science'' is the study of everything in outer space. This has sometimes been called
astronomy Astronomy () is a natural science that studies astronomical object, celestial objects and phenomena. It uses mathematics, physics, and chemistry in order to explain their origin and chronology of the Universe, evolution. Objects of interest ...
, but recently astronomy has come to be regarded as a division of broader space science, which has grown to include other related fields, such as studying issues related to space travel and space exploration (including space medicine), space archaeology and science performed in outer space (see '' space research'').


Biology

''Life science'', also known as ''biology'', is the
natural science Natural science is one of the branches of science concerned with the description, understanding and prediction of Nature, natural Phenomenon, phenomena, based on empirical evidence from observation and experimentation. Mechanisms such as peer re ...
that studies life such as
microorganism A microorganism, or microbe,, ''mikros'', "small") and ''organism'' from the el, ὀργανισμός, ''organismós'', "organism"). It is usually written as a single word but is sometimes hyphenated (''micro-organism''), especially in olde ...
s, plants, and
animal Animals are multicellular, eukaryotic organisms in the biological kingdom Animalia. With few exceptions, animals consume organic material, breathe oxygen, are able to move, can reproduce sexually, and go through an ontogenetic stage i ...
s including human beings, – including their physical structure, chemical processes, molecular interactions, physiological mechanisms, development, and
evolution Evolution is change in the heredity, heritable Phenotypic trait, characteristics of biological populations over successive generations. These characteristics are the Gene expression, expressions of genes, which are passed on from parent to ...
.Based on definition from: Despite the complexity of the science, certain unifying concepts consolidate it into a single, coherent field. Biology recognizes the cell as the basic unit of life, genes as the basic unit of
heredity Heredity, also called inheritance or biological inheritance, is the passing on of Phenotypic trait, traits from parents to their offspring; either through asexual reproduction or sexual reproduction, the offspring cell (biology), cells or orga ...
, and
evolution Evolution is change in the heredity, heritable Phenotypic trait, characteristics of biological populations over successive generations. These characteristics are the Gene expression, expressions of genes, which are passed on from parent to ...
as the engine that propels the creation and
extinction Extinction is the termination of a kind of organism or of a group of kinds (taxon), usually a species. The moment of extinction is generally considered to be the death of the Endling, last individual of the species, although the Functional ext ...
of
species In biology, a species is the basic unit of Taxonomy (biology), classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is often defined as the largest group of organisms in which any two individuals of ...
. Living organisms are open systems that survive by transforming
energy In physics, energy (from Ancient Greek: wikt:ἐνέργεια#Ancient_Greek, ἐνέργεια, ''enérgeia'', “activity”) is the physical quantity, quantitative physical property, property that is #Energy transfer, transferred to a phy ...
and decreasing their local entropy to maintain a stable and vital condition defined as homeostasis.


Biochemistry

''Biochemistry'', or ''biological chemistry'', is the study of chemical processes within and relating to living
organism In biology, an organism () is any life, living system that functions as an individual entity. All organisms are composed of cells (cell theory). Organisms are classified by taxonomy (biology), taxonomy into groups such as Multicellular o ...
s. It is a sub-discipline of both biology and chemistry, and from a reductionist point of view it is fundamental in biology. Biochemistry is closely related to molecular biology, cell biology,
genetics Genetics is the study of genes, genetic variation, and heredity in organisms.Hartl D, Jones E (2005) It is an important branch in biology because heredity is vital to organisms' evolution. Gregor Mendel, a Moravian Augustinians, Augustinian fr ...
, and physiology.


Microbiology

''Microbiology'' is the study of
microorganism A microorganism, or microbe,, ''mikros'', "small") and ''organism'' from the el, ὀργανισμός, ''organismós'', "organism"). It is usually written as a single word but is sometimes hyphenated (''micro-organism''), especially in olde ...
s, those being unicellular (single cell), multicellular (cell colony), or acellular (lacking cells). Microbiology encompasses numerous sub-disciplines including virology, bacteriology, protistology, mycology, immunology and parasitology.


Botany

''Botany'', also called ''plant science(s)'', ''plant biology'' or ''phytology'', is the
science Science is a systematic endeavor that Scientific method, builds and organizes knowledge in the form of Testability, testable explanations and predictions about the universe. Science may be as old as the human species, and some of the earli ...
of plant life and a branch of
biology Biology is the scientific study of life. It is a natural science with a broad scope but has several unifying themes that tie it together as a single, coherent field. For instance, all organisms are made up of Cell (biology), cells that proce ...
. Traditionally, botany has also included the study of
fungi A fungus (plural, : fungi or funguses) is any member of the group of Eukaryote, eukaryotic organisms that includes microorganisms such as yeasts and Mold (fungus), molds, as well as the more familiar mushrooms. These organisms are classified ...
and algae by mycologists and phycologists respectively, with the study of these three groups of organisms remaining within the sphere of interest of the International Botanical Congress. Nowadays, botanists (in the strict sense) study approximately 410,000
species In biology, a species is the basic unit of Taxonomy (biology), classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is often defined as the largest group of organisms in which any two individuals of ...
of land plants of which some 391,000 species are vascular plants (including approximately 369,000 species of flowering plants), and approximately 20,000 are
bryophyte The Bryophyta s.l. are a proposed taxonomic division containing three groups of non-vascular land plants (embryophytes): the liverworts, hornworts and moss Mosses are small, non-vascular flower A flower, sometimes known as a bloo ...
s.


Zoology

''Zoology'' () is the branch of
biology Biology is the scientific study of life. It is a natural science with a broad scope but has several unifying themes that tie it together as a single, coherent field. For instance, all organisms are made up of Cell (biology), cells that proce ...
that studies the animal kingdom, including the structure, embryology,
evolution Evolution is change in the heredity, heritable Phenotypic trait, characteristics of biological populations over successive generations. These characteristics are the Gene expression, expressions of genes, which are passed on from parent to ...
, classification, habits, and distribution of all
animal Animals are multicellular, eukaryotic organisms in the biological kingdom Animalia. With few exceptions, animals consume organic material, breathe oxygen, are able to move, can reproduce sexually, and go through an ontogenetic stage i ...
s, both living and extinct, and how they interact with their ecosystems. The term is derived from
Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the following periods: Mycenaean Greek (), Greek Dark ...
ζῷον, ''zōion'', i.e. "
animal Animals are multicellular, eukaryotic organisms in the biological kingdom Animalia. With few exceptions, animals consume organic material, breathe oxygen, are able to move, can reproduce sexually, and go through an ontogenetic stage i ...
" and λόγος, ''logos'', i.e. "knowledge, study". Some branches of zoology include: anthrozoology, arachnology, archaeozoology, cetology, embryology, entomology, helminthology, herpetology,
histology Histology, also known as microscopic anatomy or microanatomy, is the branch of biology which studies the microscopic anatomy of biological tissue (biology), tissues. Histology is the microscopic counterpart to gross anatomy, which looks at larg ...
, ichthyology, malacology, mammalogy, morphology, nematology, ornithology, palaeozoology,
pathology Pathology is the study of the causal, causes and effects of disease or injury. The word ''pathology'' also refers to the study of disease in general, incorporating a wide range of biology research fields and medical practices. However, when us ...
, primatology, protozoology, taxonomy, and zoogeography.


Ecology

''Ecology'' (from el, οἶκος, "house", or "environment"; el, -λογία, label=none, "study of"), meaning "dwelling place, distributional area" —quoted from Stauffer (1957). is a branch of
biology Biology is the scientific study of life. It is a natural science with a broad scope but has several unifying themes that tie it together as a single, coherent field. For instance, all organisms are made up of Cell (biology), cells that proce ...
concerning interactions among
organism In biology, an organism () is any life, living system that functions as an individual entity. All organisms are composed of cells (cell theory). Organisms are classified by taxonomy (biology), taxonomy into groups such as Multicellular o ...
s and their biophysical environment, which includes both biotic and abiotic components. Topics of interest include the biodiversity, distribution,
biomass Biomass is plant-based material used as a fuel A fuel is any material that can be made to react with other substances so that it releases energy as thermal energy or to be used for work (physics), work. The concept was originally applied ...
, and
population Population typically refers to the number of people in a single area, whether it be a city A city is a human settlement of notable size.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, ...
s of organisms, as well as cooperation and competition within and between
species In biology, a species is the basic unit of Taxonomy (biology), classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is often defined as the largest group of organisms in which any two individuals of ...
. Ecosystems are dynamically interacting systems of organisms, the communities they make up, and the non-living components of their environment. Ecosystem processes, such as primary production, pedogenesis, nutrient cycling, and niche construction, regulate the flux of energy and matter through an environment. These processes are sustained by organisms with specific life history traits.


Social sciences

''Social science'' is the branch of science devoted to the study of
societies A society is a Social group, group of individuals involved in persistent Social relation, social interaction, or a large social group sharing the same spatial or social territory, typically subject to the same Politics, political authority an ...
and the relationships among individuals within those societies. The term was formerly used to refer to the field of
sociology Sociology is a social science that focuses on society, human social behavior, patterns of Interpersonal ties, social relationships, social interaction, and aspects of culture associated with everyday life. It uses various methods of Empirical ...
, the original "science of society", established in the 19th century. In addition to sociology, it now encompasses a wide array of academic disciplines, including
anthropology Anthropology is the scientific study of humanity, concerned with human behavior, human biology, cultures, societies, and linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of human language. It is called a scientific study because i ...
,
archaeology Archaeology or archeology is the scientific study of human activity through the recovery and analysis of material culture. The archaeological record consists of artifacts, architecture, biofacts or ecofacts, sites, and cultural landscapes ...
,
economics Economics () is the social science that studies the Production (economics), production, distribution (economics), distribution, and Consumption (economics), consumption of goods and services. Economics focuses on the behaviour and intera ...
, human geography,
linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of human language. It is called a scientific study because it entails a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise analysis of all aspects of language, particularly its nature and structure. Linguis ...
, political science, and
psychology Psychology is the science, scientific study of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the study of consciousness, conscious and Unconscious mind, unconscious phenomena, including feelings and thoughts. It is an academic discipline of immens ...
. Positivist social scientists use methods resembling those of the
natural science Natural science is one of the branches of science concerned with the description, understanding and prediction of Nature, natural Phenomenon, phenomena, based on empirical evidence from observation and experimentation. Mechanisms such as peer re ...
s as tools for understanding society, and so define science in its stricter modern sense. Interpretivist social scientists, by contrast, may use social critique or symbolic interpretation rather than constructing empirically falsifiable theories. In modern academic practice, researchers are often eclectic, using multiple methodologies (for instance, by combining both quantitative and qualitative research). The term " social research" has also acquired a degree of autonomy as practitioners from various disciplines share in its aims and methods.


Applied sciences

''Applied science'' is the use of existing scientific knowledge to achieve practical goals, like technology or inventions. Within
natural science Natural science is one of the branches of science concerned with the description, understanding and prediction of Nature, natural Phenomenon, phenomena, based on empirical evidence from observation and experimentation. Mechanisms such as peer re ...
, disciplines that are basic science develop basic ''
information Information is an Abstraction, abstract concept that refers to that which has the power to Communication, inform. At the most fundamental level information pertains to the Interpretation (logic), interpretation of that which may be sensed. ...
'' to explain and perhaps predict phenomena in the natural world. Applied science is the use of scientific processes and knowledge as the means to achieve a particularly practical or useful result. This includes a broad range of applied science-related fields, including
engineering Engineering is the use of scientific principles to design and build machines, structures, and other items, including bridges, tunnels, roads, vehicles, and buildings. The discipline of engineering encompasses a broad range of more specializ ...
and
medicine Medicine is the science and Praxis (process), practice of caring for a patient, managing the diagnosis, prognosis, Preventive medicine, prevention, therapy, treatment, Palliative care, palliation of their injury or disease, and Health promotion ...
. Applied science can also apply formal science, such as
statistics Statistics (from German language, German: ''wikt:Statistik#German, Statistik'', "description of a State (polity), state, a country") is the discipline that concerns the collection, organization, analysis, interpretation, and presentation of ...
and probability theory, as in
epidemiology Epidemiology is the study and analysis of the distribution (who, when, and where), patterns and risk factor, determinants of health and disease conditions in a defined population. It is a cornerstone of public health, and shapes policy decision ...
. Genetic epidemiology is an applied science applying both biological and statistical methods.


Relationships between the branches

The relationships between the branches of science are summarized by the table


Visualizations and metascience

OpenAlex and Scholia can be used to visualize and explore scientific fields and research topics. Metascience refers to or includes a field of science that is about science itself.


See also

* Index of branches of science * List of words ending in ology * Outline of science ** Exact sciences ** Basic research ** Hard and soft science * Branches of philosophy **
Philosophy of science Philosophy of science is a branch of philosophy concerned with the foundations, methodology, methods, and implications of science. The central questions of this study concern Demarcation problem, what qualifies as science, the reliability of s ...
* Engineering physics * Human science


Notes


References


Footnotes


Works cited

* * * {{Refend


External links


Branches of Science
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