The term "science" defines a domain of human knowledge and activity within which scientists seek the systematic organisation of knowledge about the composition and functioning of the universe. Scientists attempt to acquire and organise knowledge about the universe and its parts and to explain, through the formulation of laws and theories describing natural processes, the interaction and interrelationship of those parts. Amoung the characteristics that distinguish science from other fields of human endeavour are the goal of explaining, with ever increasing precision, the nature of the universe in terms of uniform natural physical processes and relationships, and the commitment to the testing of proposed explanations by means of empirical observation and experimentation.
From the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, given in a brief to the Supreme Court during a Creationist case in December 1986. Quoted from Highlights in Science, Edited by Prof. Harry Messel, Pergamon Press 1987.
on a lighter note...
Hack placidly amidst the noisy printers and remember what prizes there may be in Science. As fast as possible get a good terminal on a good system. Enter your data clearly but always encrypt your results. And listen to others, even the dull and ignorant, for they may be your customers. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, for they are sales reps.
If you compare your outputs with those of others, you may be surprised, for always there will be greater and lesser numbers than you have crunched. Keep others interested in your career, and try not to fumble; it can be a real hassle and could change your fortunes in time.
Exercise system control in your experiments, for the world is full of bugs. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for linearity and everywhere papers are full of approximations. Strive for proportionality. Especially, do not faint when it occurs. Neither be cyclical about results; for in the face of all data analysis it is sure to be noticed.
Take with a grain of salt the anomalous data points. Gracefully pass them on to the youth at the next desk. Nurture some mutual funds to shield you in times of sudden layoffs. But do not distress yourself with imaginings -- the real bugs are enough to screw you badly. Murphy's Law runs the Universe -- and whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt (Curl)B*n dS = 0.
Therefore, grab for a piece of the pie, with whatever proposals you can conceive of to try. With all the crashed disks, skewed data, and broken line printers, you can still have a beautiful secretary. Be linear. Strive to stay employed.
-- Technolorata, "Analog"
You may also find "Desiderata" an interesting read. It's easily findable using any web search engine.
The Royal Society of New South WalesI currently typeset the Journal and Proceedings of the Royal Society of NSW and run their website. The Royal Society of NSW is Australia's oldest scientific society. The Society's lecture series for this year is topical and varied - have a look at their Web site for the latest Lectures.