In the Age of Information, we have the answers to virtually any question at our fingertips. With the tap of a finger, we have access to more information at much faster speeds than at any other time in history. The downside, however, is that not all that information is the source of proper scientific research. What does constitute as proper scientific research, though?
In order for research to be considered proper scientific research, it has to follow the 8 steps of scientific research as defined by Aristotle. In addition, credible scientists who specialize in the field in question must also conduct it. It must also be tested and verified more than once; running an experiment once and calling it research isn’t enough! But why is this form of research important?
The base importance is of course, increasing our knowledge. Better understanding of things lead to breakthroughs and discoveries that can help benefit the entire planet. Scientific research is especially important here because jumping to conclusions based on haphazard research, or unsupported conjecture can actually do more harm to people than good.
Identifying Fake “Science”
From flat Earthers to anti-vaccers, we are plagued on all sides by people who are using either misinformation or information being spread by people who don’t specialize in the fields in question (and often times seem to have a poor understanding of the field). Proper scientific research generates the data that’s needed to help protect people from the misinformation being spread today.
Planning For The Future
One key element in scientific research is studying the effects of said research and discoveries. This means that responsibility is taken for the results of the research. Why is this important? Because scientific ethics should not stop at “can we”, but should extend to “should we”. Proper scientific research helps guide scientist in determining what next steps should be taken to benefit the world as a whole.
What practical applications have you found for scientific research in your life? It can be as simple as the step-by-step experimentation to getting the perfect ratio of ingredients for the perfect cookie, to the careful research done to determine the best way to get stains out of a shirt. Let us know!