Articles on Scientific method

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A plague, or just an artefact? Jacob Gruythuysen

How time-poor scientists inadvertently made it seem like the world was overrun with jellyfish

How flawed citation practices can perpetuate scientific ideas even before they've been fully established as true.
Modern day ecology involves large collaborations, such as this team at the Ethabuka South Site as part of the Nutrient Network. Glenda Wardle

Gone is the solitary genius – science today is a group effort

Where once scientists used to be solitary creatures, today science is a highly collaborative affair, and the latest research in ecology is no exception.
Every academic journal article is rigorously screened by other experts in the field. Shutterstock

Explainer: the ins and outs of peer review

Peer review is not infallible, but it's central to how science works. In this extract from Peter Doherty's new book, The Knowledge Wars, he explains how it works in practice.
Data needs to be an open book if science is to be made more reliable. Quinn Dombrowski/Flickr

Science is best when the data is an open book

If we want the best possible research, it's not just the journal articles that ought to be openly available to all, but the data behind them as well.
Lots of scientists see things in different ways, but that doesn’t undermine its authority. Dan Tentler/Flickr

Why should we place our faith in science?

Deep disagreements within science might seem to undermine its authority, but they only underscore how science really works.
A researcher buried in records requests can’t attend to actual science. Man image via www.shutterstock.com

Activists misuse open records requests to harass researchers

Some activists use open records requests to bully researchers – distracting them from their actual work and silencing others who don't want to draw attention.
The BICEP2 telescope at twilight at the South Pole. The supporting data for the inflation of the universe have also gone off into the sunset. Steffen Richter, Harvard University

Failure in real science is good – and different from phony controversies

Last March, the BICEP2 collaboration announced that they had used a microwave telescope at the South Pole to detect primordial gravitational waves. These tiny ripples in spacetime would be the first proof…
There’s science going on here, no test tubes or lab coats necessary. USA Today Sports / Reuters

Super Bowl athletes are scientists at work

Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman gets called a lot of things. He calls himself the greatest cornerback in the NFL (and Seattle fans tend to agree). Sportswriters and some other players call…

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