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I’m not a native English speaker and want to get a better grip on the nuances of the term science.

In my native tongue, the word I’d use for science also refers to humanities and the social sciences. However, I’ve lately been getting the feeling that some people use the term only to refer to the natural sciences (case in point: the S in STEM). With scientist referring to academics working in the natural sciences, and scholar more to academics in the humanities and social sciences.

Is my intuition correct? If so, is there an umbrella term describe everything from social science over STEM to law and what not?

1 Answer 1

Humanities cover everything that is not a "hard science" such arts and social sciences, as well as other fields, like history. The S in "STEM" is used to refer to "hard science"

Social sciences include fields that use empirical methods to consider society and human behavior, such as anthropology, archaeology, economics, education, geography, law, political science, psychology and sociology.

Some humanities are social sciences and some are not. The term "science" does encompass social sciences but does not include all humanities.