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Home Science Good Science What Is Good Science?

What Is Good Science?

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The world has become so much smaller with the advent of the internet.  We can find out what is going on all over the world.  But the problem is that there is so much data and information available it is hard to sort through it all and figure out what is correct and what is not.  You can find opinions and ideas on all sides of just about any subject.

As a researcher you have to look to the science to determine what is really true.  But after looking around a bit, you discover that the science is all over the place as well.  So, then you have to really dig in and find which science was done well and which was done poorly.

Here are the things to look for to help determine if a particular study is "Good Science".

  • Now, this may seem counter-intuitive in this day and age; the study must have a broad scope.  This does not mean that a study can't look into minute details, but if it does so, it must relate those details back out to the big picture.  The more scientific disciplines it agrees with, the better.
  • The conclusion must flow naturally from the methods and the data.  The conclusion should not be a surprise after looking at the data and the methods used to arrive at that data.
  • Basic assumptions made in the study must be considered and analyzed for possibility of error.
  • Good scientific studies always point out their weaknesses and drawbacks, and make suggestions for further studies to be done that could help to clarify the outcomes.
  • Good science is never purely mathematical.  If must be grounded in physical reality.  Can it be related back to, and be in harmony with, actual physical lab work?  This is important.
  • Does the study take into account and analyze previously known studies that may disagree with the outcome of the current study, and explain why the previous studies may have been wrong?
  • Does the study help to further explain and justify things that were already previously accepted, deduced, or discovered? It doesn't have to, but if it disagrees with previously accepted ideas, does it have good explanations for doing so?  Is it strong enough evidence to overcome previous deductions?

Studies that stand up to this type of scrutiny can reasonably be relied upon to have some validity.

Remember that no science is perfect.  Science is simply man's attempt to explain and understand the world around us.  But since it is done from man's intellect, and all men make mistakes, it can never be perfect.

One of the fun things about science is that the more we learn, the more we realize we don't know.



Last Updated on Thursday, 04 November 2010 17:46  

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