The mysteries of the universe are among humanity’s constant preoccupations. The rational mind delights in finding solutions to mysteries, and science is the name we give to many of the activities which help us in this quest. Among science’s most important aspects are its discoveries of natural laws that ‘govern’ our lives and the life of the universe itself. To understand these laws on an intellectual level will give us insight to the functioning of the world, at the same time providing at an abstract level an often unconscious understanding of even more mysterious forces.

For example, the understanding that matter cannot be destroyed is useful in understanding various concepts in chemistry, but at the same time can lead to a different comprehension of our destinies as human beings.

Science cannot betray itself, but scientists have often betrayed science in shameful ways. Mahatma Gandhi said that among the seven things which have the capacity to destroy us is ‘science without humanity’. Our desire to solve mysteries does not give us the right to proceed without regard to moral laws. All lessons in science must be based on a solid foundation of humanity and integrity, and this must be explicit and implicit from the earliest years.

For example, it is not ethical for science students to kill creatures in order to study them.

Science is always about truth, and the full energies of teachers and students should be devoted to the pursuit of truth. A study of the lives of scientists who have acted with integrity, from the Curies to Florey, from Newton to Pasteur and Einstein and Feynman, contrasted with the complexities faced by other scientists such as Galileo, can be powerful aids in helping students come to an understanding of the nobility of the quest for truth, and the obligations contained therein.

Truth in not just the natural world but also the chemical and the physical is to be explored. It is all too easy for the primary school curriculum, in particular, to be skewed too far towards the natural world, due often to a lack of teacher confidence in teaching other disciplines.

Candlebark offers obvious advantages in the study of the natural world; less obvious perhaps, but equally fortunate, are the advantages it offers in the study of the physical and chemical. The spectacular night sky gives wonderful opportunities for studies of astronomy, just as the nocturnal activities of animals and birds allow unique opportunities for the study of biology. We provide frequent overnight camps for students so that they can explore these phenomena.