Please note that the content of this book primarily consists of articles available from Wikipedia or other free sources online. The sociology and philosophy of science, as well as the entire field of science studies, have in the 20th century been preoccupied with the question of large-scale patterns and trends in the development of science, and asking questions about how science "works" both in a philosophical and practical sense. Science as a social enterprise has been developing exponentially for the past few centuries. In antiquity, the few people who were able to engage in natural inquiry were either wealthy themselves, had rich benefactors, or had the support of a religious community. In contrast, today there are more scientists alive now than have lived in all previous times. Scientific research has tremendous government support and also ongoing support from the private sector. Available methods of communication have improved tremendously over time.