Scientific method

scientific researchscientificmethodresearchprocessscientific methodologyscientific analysisscientific investigationscientific processmethods
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Science

scientificsciencesscientific knowledge
The scientific method is an empirical method of acquiring knowledge that has characterized the development of science since at least the 17th century.
The scientific method soon played a greater role in knowledge creation and it was not until the 19th century that many of the institutional and professional features of science began to take shape; along with the changing of "natural philosophy" to "natural science."

Inductivism

inductivistThe classical observationalist-inductivist account of science
Important debates in the history of science concern rationalism, especially as advocated by René Descartes; inductivism and/or empiricism, as argued for by Francis Bacon, and rising to particular prominence with Isaac Newton and his followers; and hypothetico-deductivism, which came to the fore in the early 19th century.
Inductivism is the traditional model of scientific method attributed to Francis Bacon, who in 1620 vowed to subvert allegedly traditional thinking.

Hypothesis

hypotheseshypotheticalhypothesized
It involves formulating hypotheses, via induction, based on such observations; experimental and measurement-based testing of deductions drawn from the hypotheses; and refinement (or elimination) of the hypotheses based on the experimental findings.
For a hypothesis to be a scientific hypothesis, the scientific method requires that one can test it.

Francis Bacon

Sir Francis BaconBaconLord Bacon
Important debates in the history of science concern rationalism, especially as advocated by René Descartes; inductivism and/or empiricism, as argued for by Francis Bacon, and rising to particular prominence with Isaac Newton and his followers; and hypothetico-deductivism, which came to the fore in the early 19th century.
His works are credited with developing the scientific method and remained influential through the scientific revolution.

Experiment

experimentalexperimentationexperiments
It involves formulating hypotheses, via induction, based on such observations; experimental and measurement-based testing of deductions drawn from the hypotheses; and refinement (or elimination) of the hypotheses based on the experimental findings.
Scientific controls are a part of the scientific method.

Inductive reasoning

inductioninductiveinductive logic
It involves formulating hypotheses, via induction, based on such observations; experimental and measurement-based testing of deductions drawn from the hypotheses; and refinement (or elimination) of the hypotheses based on the experimental findings.
Questions regarding the justification and form of enumerative inductions have been central in philosophy of science, as enumerative induction has a pivotal role in the traditional model of the scientific method.

Empiricism

empiricistempiricalempirically
Important debates in the history of science concern rationalism, especially as advocated by René Descartes; inductivism and/or empiricism, as argued for by Francis Bacon, and rising to particular prominence with Isaac Newton and his followers; and hypothetico-deductivism, which came to the fore in the early 19th century. A strong formulation of the scientific method is not always aligned with a form of empiricism in which the empirical data is put forward in the form of experience or other abstracted forms of knowledge; in current scientific practice, however, the use of scientific modelling and reliance on abstract typologies and theories is normally accepted.
It is a fundamental part of the scientific method that all hypotheses and theories must be tested against observations of the natural world rather than resting solely on a priori reasoning, intuition, or revelation.

History of science

historian of sciencemodern sciencehistory
Later examples include physicist Lee Smolin's 2013 essay "There Is No Scientific Method" and historian of science Daniel Thurs's 2015 book Newton's Apple and Other Myths about Science, which concluded that the scientific method is a myth or, at best, an idealization.
While observations of the natural world have been described since classical antiquity (for example, by Thales and Aristotle), and the scientific method has been employed since the Middle Ages (for example, by Ibn al-Haytham and Roger Bacon), modern science began to develop in the early modern period, and in particular in the scientific revolution of 16th- and 17th-century Europe.

Skepticism

skepticskepticalscepticism
It involves careful observation, applying rigorous skepticism about what is observed, given that cognitive assumptions can distort how one interprets the observation.
Scientific skepticism concerns testing beliefs for reliability, by subjecting them to systematic investigation using the scientific method, to discover empirical evidence for them.

Scientific Revolution

scientificscientific revolutionsscience
This model can be seen to underlie the scientific revolution.
In the 19th century, William Whewell described the revolution in science itself—the scientific method—that had taken place in the 15th–16th century.

Roger Bacon

BaconBacon, RogerDoctor Mirabilis
He is sometimes credited (mainly since the 19th century) as one of the earliest European advocates of the modern scientific method.

Ibn al-Haytham

AlhazenAlhacenAl-Haytham
He was also an early proponent of the concept that a hypothesis must be proved by experiments based on confirmable procedures or mathematical evidence—hence understanding the scientific method five centuries before Renaissance scientists.

Hypothetico-deductive model

hypothetico-deductive methodhypothetico-deductivedeductivism
Important debates in the history of science concern rationalism, especially as advocated by René Descartes; inductivism and/or empiricism, as argued for by Francis Bacon, and rising to particular prominence with Isaac Newton and his followers; and hypothetico-deductivism, which came to the fore in the early 19th century.
The hypothetico-deductive model or method is a proposed description of the scientific method.

Scientific modelling

modelmodelingmodels
A strong formulation of the scientific method is not always aligned with a form of empiricism in which the empirical data is put forward in the form of experience or other abstracted forms of knowledge; in current scientific practice, however, the use of scientific modelling and reliance on abstract typologies and theories is normally accepted.
There is a growing collection of methods, techniques and meta-theory about all kinds of specialized scientific modelling.

Karl Popper

PopperSir Karl PopperConjectures and Refutations
Karl Popper advised scientists to try to falsify hypotheses, i.e., to search for and test those experiments that seem most doubtful.
One of the 20th century's most influential philosophers of science, Popper is known for his rejection of the classical inductivist views on the scientific method in favour of empirical falsification.

Demarcation problem

demarcationproblem of demarcationdemarcate
The term "scientific method" emerged in the 19th century, when a significant institutional development of science was taking place and terminologies establishing clear boundaries between science and non-science, such as "scientist" and "pseudoscience", appeared.
The debate continues after over two millennia of dialogue among philosophers of science and scientists in various fields, and despite a broad agreement on the basics of the scientific method.

Observation

observerobservationsobserved
The purpose of an experiment is to determine whether observations agree with or conflict with the predictions derived from a hypothesis.

Branches of science

scientific disciplineFields of scienceField of science
Although procedures vary from one field of inquiry to another, they are frequently the same from one to another.
Natural science is a branch of science that seeks to elucidate the rules that govern the natural world by applying an empirical and scientific method to the study of the universe.

Scientific theory

theoryscientific theoriestheories
If a particular hypothesis becomes very well supported, a general theory may be developed.
A scientific theory is an explanation of an aspect of the natural world that can be repeatedly tested and verified in accordance with the scientific method, using accepted protocols of observation, measurement, and evaluation of results.

Data sharing

data-sharingsharingdata
Though not typically required, they might be requested to supply this data to other scientists who wish to replicate their original results (or parts of their original results), extending to the sharing of any experimental samples that may be difficult to obtain.
Many funding agencies, institutions, and publication venues have policies regarding data sharing because transparency and openness are considered by many to be part of the scientific method.

Falsifiability

falsifiableunfalsifiablefalsification
A scientific hypothesis must be falsifiable, implying that it is possible to identify a possible outcome of an experiment or observation that conflicts with predictions deduced from the hypothesis; otherwise, the hypothesis cannot be meaningfully tested.
Declaring an unfalsifiable theory to be scientific would then be pseudoscience.

Statistical hypothesis testing

hypothesis testingstatistical teststatistical tests
A statistical hypothesis is a conjecture about a given statistical population.
Significance testing is used as a substitute for the traditional comparison of predicted value and experimental result at the core of the scientific method.

Book of Optics

Kitab al-ManazirAlhazenCamera obscura experiments
The book is also noted for its early use of the scientific method, its description of the camera obscura, and its formulation of Alhazen's problem.

Scientific community

research communityscientific communitiesscience community
The scientific community and philosophers of science generally agree on the following classification of method components.
Objectivity is expected to be achieved by the scientific method.

Nature

naturalnatural worldmaterial world
(The subjects can also be called or the unknowns.) For example, Benjamin Franklin conjectured, correctly, that St. Elmo's fire was electrical in nature, but it has taken a long series of experiments and theoretical changes to establish this.
This usage continued during the advent of modern scientific method in the last several centuries.