"What is Science?"

(Adopted by Council on November 14, 1999)

Science extends and enriches our lives, expands our imagination and liberates us from the bonds of ignorance and superstition. The American Physical Society affirms the precepts of modern science that are responsible for its success.

Science is the systematic enterprise of gathering knowledge about the universe and organizing and condensing that knowledge into testable laws and theories.

The success and credibility of science are anchored in the willingness of scientists to:

  1. Expose their ideas and results to independent testing and replication by others. This requires the open exchange of data, procedures and materials.
  2. Abandon or modify previously accepted conclusions when confronted with more complete or reliable experimental or observational evidence.

Adherence to these principles provides a mechanism for self-correction that is the foundation of the credibility of science.