Science is a body of knowledge that helps people to make sense of processes, phenomena, and their environment in general. It offers testable hypothesis and explanations about the universe – the structure of atoms, cells and organs, chemical reactions, laws of nature, and a lot more. There are different branches of science: biology, microbiology, geology, chemistry, physics, astronomy, and others.
Social Sciences - The social sciences focus on personal development, interpersonal relationships, society and different ethnic and socio-economic groups. There are many branches – sociology, psychology, politics, anthropology, criminal justice, archeology, and others. Linguistics, cultural and area studies, and philosophy are also branches. Psychology has human behaviors, interactions, personality types, and mental functions as its main focus. It deals with concepts such as self-confidence, emotions, recognition, motivation, attention, and others. Sociology, on the other hand, is the study of social groups and phenomena, the structure of society, institutions, mobilization, and social stratification. Anthropology focuses on the present and past of humankind and can be divided into four sub-branches – anthropological linguistics, archeology, and social and physical anthropology. The design of choice is based on the type of study and can be either qualitative or quantitative.
Natural Sciences - The natural sciences use scientific methods to develop hypotheses and create models and scientific theories. Branches include mathematics, glaciology, hydrology, ecology, geodesy and geophysics, and others. They focus on processes, phenomena, and physical objects, including earthquakes, volcanoes, plate tectonics, tsunamis, the Solar system, etc. Biology, for example, is the study of humans, animal and plant species, and other organisms, including their evolution, growth, function, and more. Chemistry focuses on matter, chemical reactions and bonds, molecules, compounds, and elements. Physics involves the study of force, energy, motion, and other processes and concepts. Major topics include optics, light, magnetism, mechanics, and others. There are different branches that study energy and matter, including atomic physics, astrophysics, biophysics, computational and chemical physics, Chaos theory, crystallography and cryophysics, and others. They focus on electromagnetic and gravitational forces, interactions between energy and matter, aerodynamics and hydrodynamics, etc. Astronomy is the study of celestial bodies and objects such as galaxies, solar systems, stars, moons, planets, and other objects. Astronomy also focuses on phenomena and bodies such as gamma ray bursts, super novas, black holes, and others. Astrophysics is a sub-branch that studies the interaction between different objects. The focus is on concepts such as thermodynamics, electromagnetism, gravitational forces, density and temperature, and others. Cosmology is another field that deals with the future and origin of the universe. This branch studies concepts such as expansion, wormholes, black holes, dark matter, the Big Bang, and others. There are other fields such as high energy physics, fluid dynamics, meteorology, mechanics, quantum gravity and optics, and so on. The natural sciences are also known as the hard sciences and rely on scientific methods and quantifiable and experimental data. Research is usually based on quantitative methods and not qualitative designs. The social sciences use qualitative designs and data collection more often, including ethnography, storytelling, ground theory, and others.
Interdisciplinary Studies - Branches such as geophysics, biochemistry, astrophysics, and others are considered cross-disciplinary or interdisciplinary studies. Other examples include chemical physics, marine biology and physical oceanography. Oceanography, for example, deals with marine species, processes, phenomena such as currents and waves, marine dynamics, and others. It can be subdivided into different branches and has related disciplines such as glaciology, environmental science, hydrology, and so on.