Scientific method

scientific researchscientificmethodprocessresearchscientific analysisscientific processscientific investigationmethodsscientific study
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Inductivism

inductivist
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.

Science

scientificsciencesscientific knowledge
The scientific method is an empirical method of knowledge acquisition which 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.

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. Scientists generally base scientific hypotheses on previous observations that cannot satisfactorily be explained with the available scientific theories.

Francis Bacon

BaconSir Francis BaconBaconian
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.
After his death, his works remained influential in the development of the scientific method during the scientific revolution.

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.

Experiment

experimentalexperimentationexperimental science
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.

Roger Bacon

BaconBacon, RogerRogeri Bacon
(This quotation is from Alhazen's critique of Ptolemy's books Almagest, Planetary Hypotheses, and Optics as translated into English by A. Mark Smith.) Roger Bacon, and William of Ockham.
He is sometimes credited (mainly since the 19th century) as one of the earliest European advocates of the modern scientific method inspired by Aristotle and by the Arab scientist Alhazen.

Hypothetico-deductive model

hypothetico-deductive methoddeductivismhypothetico-deductive
The hypothetico-deductive model formulated in the 20th century, is the ideal although it has undergone significant revision since first proposed (for a more formal discussion, see below).
The hypothetico-deductive model or method is a proposed description of scientific method.

Branches of science

scientific disciplineField of sciencescientific fields
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 Revolution

scientificsciencescientific developments of the 17th century
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.

Ibn al-Haytham

AlhazenAlhacenIbn al-Haytham (Alhacen)
Different early expressions of empiricism and the scientific method can be found throughout history, for instance with the ancient Stoics, Epicurus, Alhazen,Alhazen argued the importance of forming questions and subsequently testing them: "How does light travel through transparent bodies? Light travels through transparent bodies in straight lines only.... We have explained this exhaustively in our Book of Optics. But let us now mention something to prove this convincingly: the fact that light travels in straight lines is clearly observed in the lights which enter into dark rooms through holes.... [T]he entering light will be clearly observable in the dust which fills the air. – Alhazen, Treatise on Light, translated into English from German by M. Schwarz, from "Abhandlung über das Licht", J. Baarmann (editor and translator from Arabic to German, 1882) Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft Vol 36 as quoted in.
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.

Karl Popper

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

Skepticism

skepticskepticalscepticism
It involves careful observation, which includes rigorous skepticism about what is observed, given that cognitive assumptions about how the world works influence how one interprets a percept.
Scientific skepticism concerns testing beliefs for reliability, by subjecting them to systematic investigation using the scientific method, to discover empirical evidence for them.

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.

Reproducibility

reproduciblereproducereplicability
If an experiment cannot be repeated to produce the same results, this implies that the original results might have been in error.
Reproducibility and replicability together are among the main beliefs of 'the scientific method'—with the concrete expressions of the ideal of such a method varying considerably across research disciplines and fields of study.

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 growing collection of methods, techniques and meta-theory about all kinds of specialized scientific modelling.

Data sharing

sharingdata-sharingdata and methods
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.

Observation

observerobservationsobserved
The purpose of an experiment is to determine whether observations agree with or conflict with the predictions derived from a hypothesis.
The scientific method requires observations of natural phenomena to formulate and test hypotheses.

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.

Pseudoscience

pseudoscientificpseudo-scientificpseudo-science
The systematic, careful collection of measurements or counts of relevant quantities is often the critical difference between pseudo-sciences, such as alchemy, and science, such as chemistry or biology.
Pseudoscience consists of statements, beliefs, or practices that are claimed to be both scientific and factual, but are incompatible with the scientific method.

Nature

naturalnatural worldphysical
(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.

Scientific community

research communityscientific communitiescommunity
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.

Natural science

natural sciencesnaturalnatural scientist
These methodological elements and organization of procedures tend to be more characteristic of natural sciences than social sciences.
The social sciences also use such methods, but rely more on qualitative research, so that they are sometimes called "soft science", whereas natural sciences, insofar as they emphasize quantifiable data produced, tested, and confirmed through the scientific method, are sometimes called "hard science".

Philosophy of science

philosopher of sciencephilosophers of sciencephilosophy
It involves careful observation, which includes rigorous skepticism about what is observed, given that cognitive assumptions about how the world works influence how one interprets a percept. The scientific community and philosophers of science generally agree on the following classification of method components.
A vocal minority of philosophers, and Paul Feyerabend (1924–1994) in particular, argue that there is no such thing as the "scientific method", so all approaches to science should be allowed, including explicitly supernatural ones.

Charles Sanders Peirce

PeirceC. S. PeirceCharles Peirce
Charles Sanders Peirce, borrowing a page from Aristotle (Prior Analytics, 2.25) described the incipient stages of inquiry, instigated by the "irritation of doubt" to venture a plausible guess, as abductive reasoning.
Today he is appreciated largely for his contributions to logic, mathematics, philosophy, scientific methodology, and semiotics, and for his founding of pragmatism.