Unformatted text preview: new data. Must be able to predict related phenomena.
Model must be refined if data does not conform. HYPOTHESIS
Tentative explanation THEORY
Experimentally tested explanation
Explains “why” Hypothesis must be verified
through experimentation. EXPERIMENTS
Test the hypothesis LAW
Does not explain “why” Experiments are successfully
confirmed by others. APPLICATIONS
Science, industry, technology Scientific method is quite dynamic because you can never prove a theory for sure; one can
only take the theory to be true until new findings disprove it.
• As is often the case, just when we think that our models have finally put everything
together, some scientist comes along with a new insight and completely changes the
current models and our world.
Scientific discoveries fall intro three general categories1:
1. Charge: scientist solves a known problem (e.g., develop a drug to lower cholesterol).
2. Challenge: scientist provides a new concept or theory to explain unexplained facts and
observations (e.g., Einstein explained the constant speed of light with special relativity).
Challenge requires originality in perception of the problem, as well as coming up with a
solution. 1 Adapted from “The Cha-Cha-Cha Theory of Scientific Discovery” by Koshland. Science. Vol 317. August 2007. 9 Copyright © 2007 by Concise Books Publishing LLC. Visit us at www.concisechem.com to download other free chapters from "The Concise Guide to Chemistry." CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION TO CHEMISTRY 3. Chance: discovery by scientist is serendipitous (e.g., discovery of ). Even a
chance discovery doesn’t happen entirely by chance; one has to be very knowledgeable
about the area of research, and be able to recognize the importance of the discovery.
Discoveries in all fields of science can be quite challenging, so a high level of knowledge,
curiosity and commitment are a prerequisite. A scientist should also have an unwavering
desire for truth and should never allow for misconceptions to interfere with the
interpretation of results. Peer review makes sure of that by providing the additional set of
eyes to prevent hasty conclusions at first sight of encouraging results. Inquisitive Chemist 1.4: Quotes about science and scientific method.
“Happy is he who gets to know the reasons for things.” - Virgil
‘The most incomprehensible thing about our universe is that it can be comprehended.” - Albert Einstein
“The joy of discovery is certainly the liveliest that the mind of man can ever feel.” - Claude Bernard
“Every experiment proves something. If it doesn't prove what you wanted it to prove, it proves
something else.” - Anonymous
“Theory guides. Experiment decides.” - Anonymous
“It is a capital mistake to theorise before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit
theories instead of theories to suit facts.” - Sherlock Holmes
‘There ain't no rules around here! We're trying to accomplish something!” - Th...
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