Through observation and analysis of the physical and biological world, scientists discern basic principles that explain natural phenomena and unravel many mysteries. Whether chemist, biologist, physicist, or experimental psychologist, scientists rely on theory and experimentation to test and refine understanding of our bodies, our complex environment, and the universe.
All courses in this Foundational Area focus on the nature of scientific reasoning, discovery, and invention through systematically exploring basic concepts within their historical context. Laboratory courses unite hands-on scientific experimentation, inductive reasoning, and deductive analysis with the study of such basic principles as the structure of matter, biological evolution, human behavior, and thermodynamics. More advanced courses include both traditional advanced study in each discipline as well as integrative courses, such as oceanography, earth sciences, astronomy, and human biochemistry and health.