Scientists differ greatly in what phenomena they study and how they go about their work.
Learning Goal 1b
Scientific investigations usually involve the collection of relevant data, the use of logical reasoning, and the application of imagination in devising hypotheses and explanations to make sense of the collected data.
Learning Goal 2c
Collaboration among investigators can often lead to research designs that are able to deal with situations where it is not possible to control all of the variables.
Learning Goal 3cd
Scientists know about the danger of prior expectations to objectivity and take steps to try and avoid it when designing investigations and examining data. One safeguard is to have different investigators conduct independent studies of the same questions.
For Grades: 9-12
Learning Goal 1
Investigations are conducted for different reasons, including to explore new phenomena, to check on previous results, to test how well a theory predicts, and to compare theories.
Learning Goal 4
There are different traditions in science about what is investigated and how, but they all share a commitment to the use of logical arguments based on empirical evidence.
Learning Goal 5
Scientists in any one research group tend to see things alike, so even groups of scientists may have trouble being entirely objective about their methods and findings. For that reason, scientific teams are expected to seek out the possible sources of bias in the design of their investigations and in their data analysis. Checking each other's results and explanations helps, but that is no guarantee against bias.
Learning Goal 7
New ideas in science are limited by the context in which they are conceived; are often rejected by the scientific establishment; sometimes spring from unexpected findings; and usually grow slowly, through contributions from many investigators.