Biological science is a broad field of study that includes all topics having to do with living organisms. These sciences attempt to review, examine and provide answers to critical questions about human, animal and plant lives, including structures, functions, growth and decline, origin and birth, habitats and geographic distribution and how living organisms evolve over time. As an undergraduate major or as a graduate specialization, the study of biology and its sub-fields provide a body of knowledge required to pursue a career in medicine, health sciences, research and science journalism.
Aristotle is credited with the first attempts to study scientific zoology through observation and experimentation with plants and living organisms from the sea. Theophrastus, an Aristotle acolyte, wrote a botanical text in 300 B.C. about the structures, life cycles and potential uses of plants. Galen, a Roman physician to gladiators, used his experience with treating flesh wounds to write about surgical procedures. Leonardo da Vinci performed human dissection and created anatomical drawings based on his scientific exploration of the human body in spite of the risk of censure.
Microscopes helped scientists expand their study of microstructures. Robert Hooke used an early compound microscope to study cork structures, naming the minute units “cells” for the tiny workrooms assigned to scholarly monks. Scientists used hand-drawn illustrations to document their studies as well as share their findings with others. In 1676, Anton von Leeuwenhoek prepared the very first illustrations of single-cell organisms. Earlier in 1735, Carolus Linnaeus developed the system of binomial classification, and science illustrations proved the value of taxonomic organization in furthering studies in biological science.
The body of knowledge related to natural science expanded tremendously from the 1830s to the 1900s. Scientists from all over the world identified new species and documented their research, allowing other researchers to verify the information and emulate these models of scientific discovery. In 1859, Charles Darwin completed his book “On the Origin of Species,” which remains a seminal text in evolution by natural selection, making the case for biodiversity. By the 20th century, scientists were able to drill deeper into the study of DNA structures with the earliest research credited to Watson and Crick in 1953. Medical advances were enhanced by the availability of more in-depth information on biostructures, biochemical processes and biostatistical data.
Fundamentals of Biological Science Studies
The study of biological sciences continues to expand as new research proves or disproves previously held standards. According to Live Science, this broad field can be divided into five fundamental frameworks of study namely: cell theory; energy usage and transfer; heredity and gene theory; equilibrium as a determinant of survival and adaptation, and the study of evolution as it relates to observable changes in species over time.
Studying biological science provides knowledge for careers in medicine, education, allied health sciences and scientific research. Career pathways diverge widely as this is a broad field that can lead to various opportunities in different sectors, including pharmaceutical research, healthcare providers in different capacities and educators in various settings from elementary schools to postgraduate campuses. Since it is a field that relates directly to humans, their living conditions and all the elements that help them thrive and survive, the study of biological science will never become obsolete. Instead, advances in technology, research and learning methods will serve to expand and enhance opportunities in the field of biological science.