New Perspectives in Science Education

Edition 13

Accepted Abstracts

Scientific Inquiry in the Digital Age

Ilya Levin, Tel Aviv University (Israel)

Dina Tsybulsky, Mofet Institute (Israel)


Global society has transitioned into the Digital Era. This shift represents a revolution in human history – the so-called digital revolution. This revolution changes peoples’ understanding of their place in the world, as people no longer merely consider humanity a part of the nature, but also a part of the artificial world that humans have created. The digital revolution changes peoples’ perception of society. In the digital society, people have unlimited and ubiquitous access to desirable information, which, in turn, becomes personalized and context-cognizant.

Obviously, the above transformations involving such fundamental features of the human being (the emergence of the informational abundance, transforming ways of observation of the world, and a changing view on the nature of surrounding objects) could not possibly leave unchanged key components of human culture such as scientific inquiry.

The paper deals with a new research field that has arisen at the intersection of scientific experiment and emerging digital technologies. This new field deals with the nature of experimental science, the nature of digital technology, as well as the interrelations between experimental science and digital technologies. The classical triad of experimental research ‘subject-instrument-object’ is in the focus of the paper. The triad is studied in its evolution to a so-called digital triad, which corresponds to the experimental science of digital society. In the digital triad, each of the three components of the classical one are transformed: (1) the knowing subject - researcher is transformed to the digital scholar; (2) an experimental instrument is transformed on the base of emerging technologies; and (3) a new research objects – a hybrid natural-artificial object emerges. Digital transformations in science education corresponding to the digital triad are manifested in a number of presented in the paper pioneer projects of inquiry-based science education.


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