Ward's World + McGraw Hill's AccessScience

Ward's World+MGH Scientific Methods

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Scientific Methods Article by: Mario Bunge, Foundations and Philosophy of Science Unit, McGill University, Montreal, Canada. Access to this content is available to Ward's World readers for free from McGraw Hill's AccessScience, an award-winning, digital STEM resource containing exclusive articles written by expert scientists and engineers; biographies of well-known scientific figures; science news, videos, and animations; and much, much more. Instructors can use AccessScience to guide students on their research project journeys, to help students understand scientific concepts, to support distance learning efforts, in flipped classroom approaches, and in countless other ways. Ward's World and AccessScience have partnered to offer educators a no-obligation, free trial subscription to AccessScience. Request your free trial today to discover how valuable AccessScience can be for you and your students! Get your free trial now. Strategies or logical practices, often with iterative steps, used in scientific research. The process of doing science (Fig. 1) is not a "cookbook" set of rules. However, a valid scientific investigation typically involves systematic collection of data and, usually, formula- tion and testing of hypotheses based on that data. Indeed, the goal of a true scientific study is to ascertain whether a hypothesis is true to some degree. Such enquiries into the natural world may include the following steps, often collectively referred to as "the scientific method": • Identification of a problem or question about the natural world • Precise formulation or reformulation of the problem • Examination of background knowledge, including primary scientific literature, in a search for items or ideas that might help solve the problem • Statement of a testable hypothesis about the solution to the problem or answer to the question that is compatible with the bulk of existing knowledge, including enumeration of testable consequences of this hypothesis + ward ' s science Content • Experimental methods • Science versus nonscience Fig. 1: A scientific investigator examining laboratory samples. (Credit: nandyphotos/Getty Images) Key Concepts • Reliable scientific research requires the use of established procedures for conducting and evaluating experiments. • Basic steps in the scientific method include identifying a problem, stating the problem, conducting background research, forming a hypothesis, designing a test, testing the hypothesis, and evaluating the results. • Scientific methods involve a continual process that often incorporates changes to methodology in response to new information learned during experimentation. • Experiments must include experimental and control groups; variables testing; and the use of statistical analysis. • If a discipline cannot apply scientific methods to the gaining of new knowledge, then that discipline cannot be considered as a science.

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