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August 29, 2014

Homework Help: Env Science

Posted by Anonymous on Monday, July 9, 2007 at 2:38pm.

Discuss the importance of each step in the scientific method. Why do you think scientists utilize this type of experimentation and reasoning?

This is my answer but I am not sure if it is what my instructor is looking for.

Ask a question: The scientific method starts when you ask a question about something that you observe: How, What, When, Who, Which, Why, or Where?
Collect data: Data can be collected by reading about research that other scientists have done, read about the techniques and instruments other scientists have used and study the process.
Formulate a Hypothesis: A hypothesis is an educated guess about how things work. You must state your hypothesis in a way that you can easily measure your hypothesis should be constructed in a way to help you answer your original question.

Test Your Hypothesis by Doing an Experiment: Your experiment tests whether your hypothesis is true or false. It is important for your experiment to be a fair test. You conduct a fair test by making sure that you change only one factor at a time while keeping all other conditions the same.
You should also repeat your experiments several times to make sure that the first results weren't just an accident.

Analyze Your Data and Draw a Conclusion: Once your experiment is complete, collect your measurements and analyze them to see if your hypothesis is true or false. Scientists often find that their hypothesis was false, and in such cases they will construct a new hypothesis starting the entire process of the scientific method over again. Even if they find that their hypothesis was true, they may want to test it again in a new way.

Communicate Your Results: To complete your science fair project you will communicate your results to others in a final report and/or a display board. Professional scientists do almost exactly the same thing by publishing their final report in a scientific journal or by presenting their results on a poster at a scientific meeting

About "Ask a question"

You wrote: "You must state your hypothesis in a way that you can easily measure your hypothesis should be constructed in a way to help you answer your original question."

This is not a requirement. It is true, though, that your hypothesis must be falsifiable in principle. I.e. it must be possible, at least in principle, to do an experiment and, depending on the outcome of the experiment, find that the theory is flase.

If it is found that the experimental resuls are consistent with the hypothesis, then you don't know for sure if it is true or false.

In the section "Test Your Hypothesis by Doing an Experiment" you should say that the experimental results can falsify the hypothesis or the results can be consistent with the hypothesis.

It is not possible in practice to prove that an hypothesis is correct. The reason is that you would then have to falsify all possible alternative hypotheses.

Another thing is that you don't need to do experiments. In many cases it is impossible to directly test the theory in an ideal way as you describe. Nevertheless, such theories can be tested using predictions they make for experiments that have already been done.


At "Communicate Your Results"

"...or by presenting their results on a poster at a scientific meeting" Also mention giving talks at conferences and meetings. Most scientists will prefer to give a talk instead of presenting a poster. :)

Thank you for the help!

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