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Introduction

Science is all about knowledge, what we know about the material world and the Universe in which our world is just a microscopic speck. The aim of scientists is to extend the frontiers of this knowledge so that we can understand more about the physical Universe and the life within it.

Scientists acquire knowledge by engaging in four fundamentally important and connected tasks. The first is observation: they observe the natural world and the space beyond it, and both describe and r
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7.2 Assessing the quality of data

Ryder points out that Cumbrian sheep farmers were required to have their sheep periodically checked by on-the-spot measurement for radioactive contamination. Here's one farmer's response to the experience of such monitoring:

We monitored quite a lot and about 13 or 14 of them failed. And he [the monitor] said, ‘now we'll do them again’ – and we got the failures down to three! It makes you wonder a bit … it
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7.1 Introduction

I now want to take forward the notion of a science curriculum for public understanding, identifying problems and opportunities. Our guide in what follows is the Beyond 2000 document, which emerged from a working group led by UK-based science educators, working collaboratively with science teachers, education researchers, professional scientists within unive
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6 The public understanding of science

The phrase ‘the public understanding of science’ touches on many of the arguments highlighted up to now. In its simplest form, this is the level of scientific knowledge and understanding displayed by lay members of the public – those who are not scientifically trained. In the next reading, there is a mention of the survey methods that have been used to gauge the level of public understanding of science. Many of these are in the form of short exam-style knowledge questions – typical ex
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References

Hartley, T.C. (1998) The Foundations of European Community Law, Oxford, Oxford University Press, pp. 11–13.
Tempest, M. (2004) ‘EU leaders sign constitution’, Guardian, 29 October.
Wright, G. and Jeffrey, S. (2004) ‘Q&A: the European constitution’, Guardian, 26 March.

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6.5 The principle of subsidiarity

This is defined in Article 5(1) EC and 5(2) EC. It requires decision-making bodies with responsibility for larger areas to perform only those functions that decision-making bodies with responsibility for smaller areas cannot fulfil themselves. For instance, the Treaty requires the Community to take action ‘only if and in so far as the objectives of the proposed action cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member States …’ and can ‘by reason of the scale or effects of the proposed act
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6.4 The principle of proportionality

This principle has been developed and refined by the ECJ and is also covered by Article 5 EC:

Any action of the Community shall not go beyond what is necessary to achieve the objectives of this Treaty.

However, given that the objectives of the Community are defined very widely in Article 2 EC, the principle of proportionality is not always the easiest tool for curbing EU legislative enthusiasm.
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5.3.4 Recommendations and opinions

These have no binding force and therefore are ineffective as Community law. However, they can have ‘persuasive authority’. If a recommendation or opinion is ignored, it may later be followed up with a stronger legislative initiative, such as a decision or directive.

Activity 4 The EU law
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5.3.3 Decisions

A decision is an individual act emanating from an EU institution and addressing particular individuals, firms or EU member states. It is a legal tool designed to allow the Community institutions to order that a measure be taken in an individual case. The decision therefore, unlike the regulation or directive, is of individual application, and is binding only upon the persons to whom it is addressed.


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5.1 EU law

The main sources of EU law are:

  • EU primary legislation, represented by the treaties

  • EU secondary legislation, in the form of regulations, directives, decisions, recommendations and opinions

  • rulings on cases brought before the European Court of Justice.

EU law is created by the legislative powers with which the EU member states have invested the EU institutions. The law created by EU institutions is also bin
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2.6 Comparing measurements

In order to compare quantities, it is best to express them in the same units.

Example 10

Three children have just measured their own heights in metric units. Isaac says ‘My height is 1098’, Jasmine says ‘My height is 112’ and Kim says ‘Mine is 1.1’. What units were
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3.2.1 Try some yourself

Activity 18

Write down the coordinates of the points A, B, C, D and E.

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2.2 Basic table layout

As Table 2.1 stands, it is hard to assimilate the information. Indeed it is not at all clear what any of the numbers mean. Even doing something as simple as giving the columns proper headings and drawing a few lines to separate the headings from the rest of the data, as in Table 2.2, make a big d
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1.2 Boxplot activity

Activity 1 Drawing a boxplot: chondrite meteors

5.10 Symmetry and skewness

For many purposes the location and dispersion of a set of data are the main features of its distribution that we might wish to summarise, numerically or otherwise. But for some purposes it can be important to consider a slightly more subtle aspect: the symmetry, or lack of symmetry, in the data.

Example 4: Fami
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3.1 Have I done the right calculation?

Once you have done a calculation, with or without the aid of a calculator, it is important that you pause for a moment to check your calculation.

You need to ask yourself some questions.

  1. Have I done the right calculation in the right order?

  2. Have I given due consideration to units of measurement?

  3. Is my answer reasonable?

  4. Did I make a rough estimate to act as a check?

Your calculation wil
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2.1.1 Try some yourself

Activity 14

Measurement of a ceiling gives a length of 6.28 m and a width of 3.91 m.

  • (a) Make a rough estimate of the area of the ceiling (the length times the width).


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2.1 Using estimations

Approximations are most useful when it comes to making rough estimates –
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1.2.1 Rounding to the nearest hundred

You will probably think to yourself that the coat shown costs about £300. £290 is considerably closer to £300 than it is to £200, so £300 is a reasonable approximation. In this case, 290 has been rounded up to 300. Similarly, 208 would be rounded down to 200 because it is closer to 200 than it is to 300. Both numbers have been rounded to the nearest hundred pounds.

When rounding to the nearest hundred, anything below fifty rounds down. So 248 rounds to 200. Anything o
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Relations

We shall use the symbol (known as tilde or twiddle) to represent a relation between two elements of a set.

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