Science is a general knowledge or study of information which has been gained by proper methods. Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary defines science as “knowledge covering general truths of the operation of general laws, esp. as obtained and tested through scientific method.” Scientific information is collected using the scientific method utilizing observation and experimentation in order to prove something altogether as right (Science Made Simple, Inc.).
The scientific method is a collection of practices used to investigate any occurrences, gather new knowledge and information, or to prove and correct what was once thought to be true. The scientific method is based on collecting, observable, measurable, and empirical evidence subject to particular reasoning principles. It also relies on collecting data through experimentation and observation as well as the creation, testing, and verifying of hypotheses. Different branches of science may use slightly different approaches to collect the information, there are overall similarities of all experimentation using the scientific method (Science Daily).
Researchers using the scientific method make a hypothesis in order to explain something. They then design an experiment in order to test their hypothesis. The experiment must be able to be reproduced by themselves or by other researchers looking to prove the same information. If future results cannot be duplicated, then the information cannot be considered reliable and authentic. Some scientific studies will incorporate multiple hypotheses together in order to create new ideas and studies (Science Daily).
No matter how involved the study is, or what exact methods are used, all tests using the scientific method must be fair and provide unbiased results. Scientific studies must all provide documentation and data so that other scientists can review the information shared. Methodology explanations will help others to replicate the experiment. Full disclosure also allows for statistical interpretation of the results (Science Daily).
Science is more than biology, chemistry, and physics. The scientific method can be applied to social sciences as well. The application of the scientific method is almost endless when it comes to studying society and culture. Demography studies the changes and trends in populations using birth, death, and disease statistics. Development studies focus on social and economic problems that are developing and third world countries experience. Human geography analyzes the human acitivities of the world and how they impact the environment. Similarly, environmental planning, determines the best way to manage how humans interact with and change the natural systems. Economics scientists want to understand how people interact regarding the production and exchange of services and goods. Studying business and management focuses on many aspects of commerce. The Economic Research Council notes “Management and Business Studies explores a wide range of aspects relating to the activities and management of business, such as strategic and operational management, organizational psychology, employment relations, marketing, accounting, finance and logistics.” Education social scientists aim to understand how people learn and mentally develop. Social anthropologists determine how societies were structured and organize in understand them. Linguistics study human verbal communication (Polaris House).
The scientific method widely encompasses many different social scientific categories including law science, economic and social history studies, political science, international relation studies, psychology, sociology, science and technology studies, social policy studies, social work, and more (Polaris House).
Scientists use the scientific method in order to prove that their hypothesis is true or not. They utilize many different forms of experimentation in order to this. They also allow for other scientists to duplicate their work in order to prove that they their findings are accurate. Many different social sciences encompass the use of the scientific methods. From economics and anthropology to political science and management studies, all of these social sciences utilize the scientific method.
- Polaris House. (n.d.). Social science disciplines. Retrieved from Economic and Social Research Council: http://www.esrc.ac.uk/about-esrc/what-is-social-science/social-science-disciplines.aspx
- Science Daily. (n.d.). Scientific Method. Retrieved from Science Daily: http://www.sciencedaily.com/articles/s/scientific_method.htm
- Science Made Simple, Inc. (n.d.). Science Definition. Retrieved from Science Made Simple: http://www.sciencemadesimple.com/science-definition.html