Scientific Method We explain the scientific method, its steps, and its characteristics. In addition, examples of its application step by step.


What Is The Scientific Method?

The scientific method is a process that aims to establish relationships between facts. And also to state laws and theories that explain and support the functioning of the world.

It is a rigorous system with a series of steps to generate scientific knowledge through the empirical verification of phenomena and facts. In the scientific method, observation is used to propose a hypothesis that is then tried to be verified through experimentation.

One Of The Pioneers In Using The Experimental Scientific Method.

Many of the discoveries that we know today started from a hypothesis verified through this method. It is used in most sciences such as chemistry, physics, psychology.

And can be applied to explain phenomena of everyday life. Over the years, its application has had multiple interpretations by many thinkers, including John Locke, Isaac Newton, David Hume, Immanuel Kant, and Karl Hegel. In Discourse on Method (1637), René Descartes laid down specific rules to guide reason until enlightened with the truth in the sciences.

Why The Scientific Method.

Since the human being uses reason to develop, he needs the explanation of certain phenomena that govern the world. Depending on the field of action and the study’s implications, many methods help discovery. The historical process is not the same as the logical method, And also just as the inductive or deductive method is not the same.

However. The scientific method predominates and can be extrapolate to almost all sciences since it is based on two fundamental pillars: falsifiability and reproducibility:

  • Falsifiability. Quality that propositions, laws, or theories possess (that the scientific method considers valid) reevaluates false. And also This idea was propose by the Austrian philosopher Karl Popper and allowed to differentiate scientific knowledge from what is not.
  • Reproducibility. The ability of a specific scientific knowledge to be replicate by another person and in the same conditions, obtaining the same result.

Characteristics of the scientific method

  • Rigorous. The researcher must follow the order of all the method steps without altering any of them.
  • Target. It is based on concrete and verifiable facts, And also  not on wishes, beliefs, or opinions. It is the responsibility of the scientist or researcher to keep the subjective view of him outside of the investigation.
  • Progressive. They can reinforce or complement existing research and findings or even correct them. The knowledge gained is cumulative.
  • Rational. It uses reason to make inferences and is based on logic rather than opinions or beliefs.
  • Verifiable. The proposed hypothesis must be applied and verified empirically through experimentation.

Steps Of The Scientific Method

  • Observation. Through the sensitive activity, And also man accounts for phenomena present to him. In this first step, the wonders of reality are observe and record. It is essential to consider objective facts and leave aside subjective or personal opinions.
  • Induction and questions. The miracles that have been observe may have regularity or a particularity that brings them together. And also This observation raises questions and questions about some fact or phenomenon.
  • Hypothesis. Once the request is ask, the hypothesis is the possible explanation for the question asked. This hypothesis must be able to be verified empirically.
  • Experimentation. The hypothesis is tested a sufficient number of times to establish regularity.
  • Demonstration. The two previous steps will be possible to determine if the hypothesis was true, false, or irregular. A new one may be formulated if the thesis cannot be verified.
  • Thesis. If the hypothesis is not refuted, conclusions are drawn to dictate scientific laws and theories since it is verified in all cases.

Examples Of The Scientific Method

Polio Vaccine – Jonas Salk (1955)

  • Observation. In 1947 polio was a widespread disease in the Unite States and the world cause by the poliovirus.
  • Induction and questions. Previous studies had succeed in growing the virus in the laboratory. With the support of the US National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, And also Jonas Salk decide to develop a prototype vaccine.
  • Hypothesis. The development of the first polio vaccine can be obtain through a kill virus.
  • Experimentation. For eight years, And also Salk experiment in the laboratory. The first vaccine was test by Salk, his relatives, and a group of volunteers. After this first test, Salk began a clinical trial with two million children.
  • Demonstration. In 1955, following the trial results with children, the vaccine was safe and effective in preventing polio in 90% of cases.
  • Thesis. Salk developed an injectable vaccine based on the three strains of the virus grown in monkey tissue and inactivated in formalin. Mass vaccination began immediately, And also polio cases began to drop sharply.

Polio Vaccine – Albert Sabin (1962)

  • Observation. At the same time that Salk was researching his vaccine, Albert Sabin was trying to develop a vaccine against polio.
  • Induction And Questions. How to develop a vaccine prototype.
  • Hypothesis. A vaccine developed from a live virus can guarantee the patient’s immunity for an extended period.
  • Experimentation. Albert Sabin carried out the first tests of his vaccine with himself, And also his relatives, a group of researchers, and prison inmates. The massive test was carry out by the Ministry of Health of the Soviet Union in 1957.
  • Demonstration. In 1962 the US Public Health Service approve the vaccine designer by Sabin, And also the World Health Organization (WHO) began using it.
  • Thesis. A vaccine was develop in the form of a syrup administer orally. This vaccine protected people against polio and made them not carriers of the disease and, therefore, not contagious (this is the main difference with the Salk vaccine). It is now the most generally use vaccine to fight against this disease.
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