Science is the organized art of trying to understand something that we find, observe, or experience in life. Its applications are very broad so, as you may have guessed, the types of science cover every category imaginable.
Subsets of science focus their studies on everything from ancient fossils (known as paleontologists) and ancient structures (known as archaeologists) to the more obscure, such as the study of sound (known as acoustical science).
It’d be impossible to cover every single scientific discipline at such a pinpointed level, but if you’re looking to better understand how scientists understand things, here’s an overview of the three branches of science and some of the popular subsets within each.
1. Life Sciences
Life sciences are all about better understanding living organisms, and subsets include some of the most well-known areas of scientific study.
Biology is a type of life science that looks into anatomy, cell biology, chronobiology, developmental biology, genetics, histology, evolutionary biology, and photobiology.
AnatomyLearn how humans, animals, and plants are constructed and how things work within.
Cell BiologyLearn how the cells that make up humans, animals, and plants work at the cellular level.
ChronobiologyLearn how cyclical phenomena within living organisms interacts with the environment.
Developmental BiologyLearn how organisms go from zygote to complete structure
GeneticsLearn about genes and heredity. Sub-disciplines include genomics and epigenetics.
HistologyLearn about the anatomy of tissues and cells within plants and animals.
Evolutionary BiologyLearn how species originated and change over time.
PhotobiologyLearn how light and living things interact.
A subset of life science, botany is the scientific study of plant organisms.
BryologyStudy moss, hornworts, and hepatics.
DendrologyStudy woody plants.
LichenologyStudy linchens (symbiotic fungi).
MycologyStudy fungi and other plants that reproduce using spores.
PalynologyStudy pollen and spores.
Ecology is focused on how organisms interact with the environment around them.
AutoecologyStudy a single species within its environment.
Benthic EcologyStudy the zone on the bottom of the ocean.
Conservation EcologyStudy how extinction can be avoided.
EcophysiologyStudy how organisms adapt to their environments.
EcotoxicologyStudy how toxins effect different populations.
MacroecologyTake a broad perspective to find patterns.
MicroecologyTake a localized perspective to ecology.
Microbial EcologyStudy the environment of microbes.
Molecular EcologyUse genetic data to understand ecology.
SynecologyStudy the interactions between coexisting species.
PaleoecologyStudy fossils to understand history and nature.
Restoration EcologyLearn how to restore damaged habitat.
Everyone is familiar with the concept of medical science, but you may not be so familiar with its may subsets.
EndocrinologyLearn how to diagnose and treat diseases that impact the endocrine system.
EpidemiologyStudy the cause and distribution of diseases.
GerontologyStudy how organisms age overtime.
ImmunologyLearn how the immune system functions and responds.
NeuroscienceStudy the structure of the nervous system.
OncologyLearn about cancer and how it spreads.
PathologyStudy the cause, nature, and development of diseases.
PharmacologyStudy how drugs and medications impact organisms.
NutritionStudy how food substances are metablolised by the body, it's role in the human diet and eating frameworks like Intermittent Fasting
Microbiology studies individual organisms, most of which are extremely small and impossible to see with the human eye.
AerobiologyStudy airborne biological particles and how they impact an environment.
BacteriologyStudy bacteria and go on to learn how drugs can be used to treat bacterial infections.
Molecular BiologyStudy molecular processes with heavy overlap into the spaces of genetics and biochemistry.
VirologyStudy viruses and how they can be prevented and treated.
In simple terms, zoology is the study of animals other than humans.
CetologyStudy whales, dolphins, and porpoises.
HerpetologyStudy amphibians and reptiles.
ParasitologyStudy parasites and their hosts.
2. Physical Sciences
As you may have guessed, physical sciences study things that are not living. As with life sciences, many subsets exist that focus on different facets of physical science.
The study of stars, planets, space, and non-Earthly phenomena is summed up in the study of astronomy. However, people further specialize by delving into subsets like the following.
AeronauticsStudy the science of flight.
AstrobiologyStudy life in the universe.
AstrochemistryStudy how chemicals are found in space.
AstrodynamicsStudy orbital trajectory.
Astronautics:Learn how to design and spend vehicles to space.
AstrophysicsStudy how stars, planets, and other objects birth, exist, and die within the universe.
Forensic AstronomyUse astronomy to solve crimes or create testimonies in criminal cases.
Space ArchaeologyCombine archaeology with astrology.
Space MedicineLearn how to keep astronauts healthy in space.
Geology is about studying the earth we live on, including its history, materials, and processes. Climate change is one focus of geologists, but so is predicting earthquakes, finding underground water, and locating good mining locations using various technologies.
GeochemistryStudy the chemical elements within rocks and minerals.
GeophysicsStudy earth using various methods to help build dams and other structures.
SedimentologyStudy sediment, like sand, mud, and dirt.
VolcanologyStudy volcanoes to help predict eruptions.
The ocean is an incredible thing, and oceanologists study its biological, physical, and chemical properties. They want to solve problems, like learn how to clean up oil spills, while also helping keep the ocean and its species healthy by learning about its many micro systems.
Limnology:Study inland water systems, such as lakes and rivers.
Marine BiologyStudy marine organisms within their environment.
Marine ChemistryStudy chemical composition and processes within the ocean.
Marine GeologyStudy the geology of the ocean floor.
Physical OceanographyStudy the ocean's physical processes and conditions.
Want to better understand how energy and matter interact? Physics is the field of science for you.
AcousticsStudy sound and how it interferes in the areas of music, architecture, and other spaces such as SONAR technology.
AerodynamicsStudy the motion of air.
Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics (AMO)Study how matter and light interact with one another.
Classical PhysicsBased on Newton's laws of motion, Classical Physics predates quantum mechanics.
CryogenicsStudy very low temperatures and how things behave in such environments.
DynamicsStudy causes and change of motion.
ElectromagnetismStudy the interactions between electrically charged particles.
MechanicsStudy the behavior of physical bodies when subject to displacement or force.
ThermodynamicsLearn how heat and mechanical energy interact.
Nuclear PhysicsUnderstand quakes and gluons.
OpticsStudy how light interacts with matter.
Quantum PhysicsStudy movement on the atomic and subatomic level.
The study of matter and its properties along with how it interacts with other energy and substances is the basis of chemistry. Some of the most common types of chemical studies include the following.
Analytical ChemistryAnalyze material samples to understand their structure.
CalorimetryStudy heat in physical and chemical processes.
Inorganic ChemistryStudy the properties and reactions of inorganic compounds.
Organic ChemistryStudy the properties, reactions, and mechanics of organic compounds.
Organometallic ChemistryStudy compounds that contain a bond between a metal and a carbon.
SpectroscopyStudy the interaction between matter and radiated energy.
ThermochemistryStudy the relationship of heat generated and chemical action.
Earth science is the study of earth and its surroundings.
BiogeochemistryStudy the physical, biological, chemical, and geological processes that govern a natural environment.
ClimatologyStudy the earth's climates, especially relating to how global warming and other issues can be mitigated.
GlaciologyStudy glaciers and how they move and change overtime.
HydrologyStudy the earth's water systems, with a focus on the availability, volume, and quality of water.
MeteorologyStudy the earth's atmosphere and how it impacts weather within a given system.
PedologyStudy soil for various reasons, including to help date archeological dig sites or identify toxins, chemicals, and debris within an urban area.
3. Social Sciences
When you think of social science you probably think of Civics (or social studies), but it’s much broader and comprehensive than that. It also includes many facets of everyday life in our modern world
The study of humans throughout time
ArchaeologyStudy of ancient cultures
Creative expression through its various forms including;
CulinaryCooking, preparing, and presenting food
LiteratureWritten works considered to be works of art due to artistic or intellectual value
Performing ArtsThe use of voice, body, or objects for artistic endevours
Visual ArtsSculpture, painting, drawing, photography. All the stuff you think of as “art”
Study of the many facets of business including;
AccountingThe measurement, recording and reporting of financial and economic information
FinanceThe study of investments including theories of risk and return
MarketingThe study of promoting products and services
CivicsPertains to citizenship and the rights and duties to each other, and the government
The study of how orgnisations allocate scarce resources
MacroeconomicsTstudy of the whole economy and its factors
MicroeconomicsThe study of the decision making of households and their allocation of limited resources
Behavioral EconomicsHow do human traits like mood, group think, and other emotional, social and psychological factors affect the economic decisions of individuals and institutions
Teaching accumulated human knowledge to others
The study of the Earth, and it's land forms.
Documenting, researching and teaching things and events of the past
The study and application of rules and principles in which society is governed
Thinking about general and fundamental problems across every aspect of life including existence, knowledge, reason, values and mind
So there you have it, the types of science including the 3 branches of science of Life, Physical and Social Science and an overview of the topics they cover.