NSES Content Standard G 
History and Nature of Science: History of science
Grades 5-8, page 171

Many individuals have contributed to the traditions of science. Studying some of these individuals provides further understanding of scientific inquiry, science as a human endeavor, the nature of science, and the relationships between science and society.

Science for All Americans Historical Perspectives:
Chapter 10, page 145
There are two principal reasons for including some knowledge of history among the recommendations. One reason is that generalizations about how the scientific enterprise operates would be empty without concrete examples. Consider, for example, the proposition that new ideas are limited by the context in which they are conceived; are often rejected by the scientific establishment; sometimes spring from unexpected findings; and usually grow slowly, through contributions from many different investigators. Without historical examples, these generalizations would be no more than slogans, however well they might be remembered. For this purpose, any number of episodes might have been selected.