Timelines and the Nature of Science

Last week I saw tweets from @biogogy and @vB_ibbio about timelines for key developments in biological thinking and major developments in cell theory, respectively. Since it’s  been a while since I have posted here, I thought this would be a good way back into writing about the Nature of Science!


Following their lead, I have constructed timelines for all the scientists and their experiments that are explicitly mentioned in the Nature of Science notes.  Because of the number of experiments that took place in the 20th-century, I had to split it up into two separate timelines.

This links us to a classic TOK idea about the changing nature of knowledge, and in fact is referenced in the Nature of Science itself for topics 3.1 and B.4: “Developments in scientific research follow improvements in technology…” We can see this of course from the number of key experiments carried out in the 20th-century – these naturally followed on from developments in technology.  From a TOK perspective we might consider the role of technology in the production of scientific knowledge.  We might also look to the future and consider – what knowledge that we hold to be certain today, could be overturned in the future due to developments in technology?  It is an interesting discussion to have with your students and allows us to consider how scientific knowledge changes and is accepted.


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