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Scientific Concepts and Research Design

Writing a Good Research Question

Uploaded 26 Jul 2017

The following unit will discuss the basics of how to develop a good research questions and will provide examples of well-designed questions. Developing a good research question is one of the first critical steps in the research process. The research question, when appropriately written, will guide the research project and assist in the construction of a logical argument.  The research question should be a clear, focused question that summarizes the issue that the researcher will investigate.

Scientific Concepts and Research Design

Australian Government: National Health and Medical Research Council. Strategic Plan 2013–2015

Uploaded 26 Jul 2017

This Strategic Plan includes NHMRC priorities, the major health issues identified for 2013-2015, how NHMRC will deal with these issues and a strategy for medical research and public health research. NHMRC priorities include creating new knowledge through support of discovery research; accelerating research translation; building Australia’s future capability for research and translation; setting high standards in ethics in health care and research; working with partners – States and Territories, health bodies, health industries and community and consumers groups.

Scientific Concepts and Research Design

Richard Feynman on Pseudoscience

Uploaded 26 Jul 2017

In this video, Richard Feynman discusses pseudoscience as a science which is not a science. He claims that pseudosciences follow the forms of science such as collecting data, but they dont have laws so they cannot be a science. 

Scientific Concepts and Research Design

In Defence of the Naive Inductivist: As Well as Some of Their Not-so-Naive Brethren

Uploaded 26 Jul 2017

Alan Chalmers, in What Is This Thing Called Science?, presents inductivism as a naïve view of science which has been disproved. However, the arguments he bases this conclusion on either depend upon a stilted view of inductivism or affect a very broad range of positions, including Chalmers' own. Konrad Talmont-Kaminski argues that a broadly inductivist view of science, including its observational base, is precisely the approach required.

Scientific Concepts and Research Design

A Family Resemblance Approach to the Nature of Science for Science Education

Uploaded 26 Jul 2017

Although there is universal consensus both in the science education literature and in the science standards documents to the effect that students should learn not only the content of science but also its nature, there is little agreement about what that nature is. This led many science educators to adopt what is sometimes called ‘‘the consensus view’’ about the nature of science (NOS), whose goal is to teach students only those characteristics of science on which there is wide consensus. This is an attractive view, but it has some shortcomings and weaknesses. In this article we present and defend an alternative approach based on the notion of family resemblance. We argue that the family resemblance approach is superior to the consensus view in several ways, which we discuss in some detail.

Scientific Concepts and Research Design

Science and Pseudo-Science

Uploaded 26 Jul 2017

The demarcation between science and pseudoscience is part of the larger task to determine which beliefs are epistemically warranted. The entry clarifies the specific nature of pseudoscience in relation to other forms of non-scientific doctrines and practices. The major proposed demarcation criteria are discussed and some of their weaknesses are pointed out. In conclusion, it is emphasized that there is much more agreement about particular issues of demarcation than on the general criteria that such judgments should be based upon. This is an indication that there is still much important philosophical work to be done on the demarcation between science and pseudoscience.

 

Scientific Concepts and Research Design

Science as Falsification

Uploaded 26 Jul 2017

A report on Ropper's work in the philosophy of science. Ropper examines "When should a theory be ranked as scientific?" or "Is there a criterion for the scientific character or status of a theory?" Roper wished to distinguish between science and pseudo-science; knowing very well that science often errs, and that pseudoscience may happen to stumble on the truth.

Scientific Concepts and Research Design

Massimo Pigliucci on the Demarcation Problem

Uploaded 26 Jul 2017

How do you tell science from non-science? Karl Popper thought that the falsifiability of a hypothesis was the best indicator. Massimo Pigliucci is not so sure about this. Here he discusses the important issue of demarcation with Nigel Warburton.

Scientific Concepts and Research Design

Science at the Bar—Causes for Concern

Uploaded 26 Jul 2017

In the wake of the decision in the Arkansas Creationism trial (McLean v Arkansas),1 the friends of science are apt to be relishing the outcome. The creationists quite clearly made a botch of their case and there can be little doubt that the Arkansas decision may, at least for a time, blunt legislative pressure to enact similar laws in other states. Once the dust has settled, however, the trial in general and Judge William R. Overton's ruling in particular may come back to haunt us; for, although the verdict itself is probably to be commended, it was reached for all the wrong reasons and by a chain of argument which is hopelessly suspect. Indeed, the ruling rests on a host of misrepresentations of what science is and how it works. 

Scientific Concepts and Research Design

Against Method

Uploaded 26 Jul 2017

"Science is an essentially anarchic enterprise: theoretical anarchism is more humanitarian and more likely to encourage progress than its law-and-order alternatives." Against Method is an essay by Paul Feyerabend that explores anarchism as a philosopy of science, examining the interplay between historic process and the emergence of 'facts'. The history of science will be as complex, chaotic, full of mistakes, and entertaining as the ideas it contains, and these ideas in turn will be as complex, chaotic, full of mistakes, and entertaining as are the minds of those who invented them. Conversely, a little brainwashing will go a long way in making the history of science duller, simpler, more uniform, more 'objective' and more easily accessible to treatment by strict and unchangeable rules.