Presented at Informatics Curricula for the 1990s, IFIP Working Group 3.2 Workshop, Providence, Rhode Island, 1990 April 6.
Some of the fields of activity known as the sciences are examined. A primary issue is the high prestige of science, a consequence of the practical results obtained from insights obtained in certain fields of study. The claims that science either supports a rationalistic metaphysics, or involves truth or infallible knowledge, or that sciences such as astronomy, mathematics, and physics, are logical constructions upon foundations, are all found to be unjustified. Computing is seen as the activity of constructing models of aspects of the world from data processes. Computing involves both formal and informal issues, either of which can be taken up for scientific investigation. Very general theorems of computing are not the basis of the insight into computing, but consequences of such insight. It is concluded that teaching of computing must build upon the studentsŐ experience of realistic modelling by data processing.