Articles on Scientific method

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There wouldn’t be statues acclaiming Darwin and his theory if it couldn’t stand up to decades of testing. CGP Grey

Scientific theories aren’t mere conjecture – to survive they must work

In science, the word 'theory' has a very specific meaning that's easy for nonscientists to misunderstand or misconstrue. Here's what a theory must withstand to be accepted by the scientific community.
Experiment design affects the quality of the results. IAEA Seibersdorf Historical Images

Why isn’t science better? Look at career incentives

Embracing more rigorous scientific methods would mean getting science right more often than we currently do. But the way we value and reward scientists makes this a challenge.
Overfishing can teach us valuable lessons about ecosystem resilience. Andreas Altenberger/Shutterstock.com

Humans are experimenting with the planet, so let’s make sure we learn along the way

Large-scale natural experiments such as oil spills, tsunamis and climate change are things you wouldn't want to do on purpose. But that doesn't mean they're not scientifically useful experiments too.
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.

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