Scientific developments in the twentieth century have redefined the natural world in ways largely unforeseen by earlier generations. The impact of these developments has extended far beyond the laboratory and into nonscientific realms such as the arts, humanities, and social research. Consider, for instance, Salvador Dali's “Persistence of Memory.” Scholars point to the soft watches in this painting as representing the penetration of popular conceptions of Einsteinian relativity, time, and space in the art world. In terms of educational ideas and institutions, the impact of science and related societal-level developments has been profound. This is particularly true of advances in twentieth-century biology and physics, which highlight the interactions between science and education in relation to broad social and cultural concerns—the subject of this entry.


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