A large part of educating people about science is explaining what scientists do, how they define concepts like molecule, atom, or galaxy, and why their studies are important. This article will go more in depth into all of those!
Many people have a hard time understanding scientific research because there’s so much jargon used to describe it. These terms may seem very familiar to you, but some newer users might not know what exactly they mean.
That’s totally normal! There are lots of different ways to explain complex ideas, and that’s okay!
Using clear and simple language is an excellent way to help others understand your beliefs and talk about them with you. It also helps us keep things relaxed when we discuss our own thoughts and opinions.
This article will be helpful for students who struggle to connect academic theory with real life applications. They can read through these examples to get a better idea of how researchers spend their time and what they hope to achieve.
The importance of scientific research
We live in an era where technology is constantly changing our lives for the better. Systems like electricity, antibiotics, and even anesthesia have made vast improvements in quality of life by helping us heal faster from illness or surgery, and sleep more soundly.
These are all examples of how well science has worked to help make sure that we have healthy environments in which to live. Technology comes with some costs, however.
Some experts claim that too much exposure to screens can cause health issues. More frequent use of computers, tablets, and phones may hurt your overall health by increasing your blood pressure, glucose levels, and body fat.
Experts agree that being aware of these risks is important, but using tech wisely is also essential to keep yourself healthy.
Research shows that people who spend less time looking at screens are happier. Being screened-free helps you focus on what’s really important in your life – relationships, work, and hobbies.
Types of scientific research
What kind of studies count as scientific research depends mostly on two things: how they are conducted and what they investigate. There are five main types of experiments that make up science. All require some sort of control group, but not all groups need to be exactly like the other.
A controlled experiment requires you to have a first (the control) group and a second (treatment or experimental) group. The first group is usually done without the intervention, while the second gets exposed to it. After conducting this test, you can either look at results analytically or quantitatively.
If you analytical then you can calculate proportions and compare them between groups. If you quantitative then you actually measure the effects in the variables under test. Some examples of tests that fall into this category are finding the effect size of an intervention and determining whether there is a correlation between two variables.
Observational studies do not involve manipulating anything- participants come together naturally, so researchers cannot conduct a separate group. Instead, they use statistical methods to determine correlations or causal links between two sets of data.
Examples of scientific research
Recent studies have shown that being overweight can increase your risk of developing heart disease or even cancer. On the other hand, some studies suggest that people with obesity may be protected from certain types of cancers.
Other studies find that eating a vegetarian diet can reduce your risk of cardiovascular diseases and some types of cancer. Some studies report that eating too many carbohydrates could put you at higher risk for diabetes.
On the other hand, diets rich in fruits and vegetables can help prevent various forms of cancer and health experts recommend eating enough nutrients to ensure good overall health.
Furthermore, researchers found that people who are exposed to a lot of green space around them live longer than those who are not.
How scientists do research
Doing science is not easy, nor does it happen quickly. It takes years to develop your skills as a scientist and even longer to publish your findings!
That’s why there are so many scientific studies out there – because people with money to spend want to make sure that they work.
If someone wanted to prove that red grapes help keep your heart healthy, for example, then they would have to conduct an experiment. They would need to take a bunch of red grape juice and compare it to a control group who drank just water while keeping their normal diet. Only after doing this would they be able to determine if red grapes really do contribute to cardiovascular health.
But what about studying animals? Animals don’t pay attention to other people’s experiments, they only look at themselves, making them easier to test.
For scientists, documenting experiments is an integral part of their work. They must keep track of what they did and how it worked to make conclusions about the effects of their studies.
There are several reasons why this is important. One reason is that other people may repeat or build upon your experiments, so you have to be able to describe them clearly for others to succeed where you failed. Another is that as research projects grow in size and scope, there are more and bigger things you need to remember!
If you’re ever asked to explain something you conducted, go into great detail and no matter what level of expertise someone has, they will know how to relate to what you say.
Publish or perish
As academic researchers, we are constantly having to explain what research is and how it works. This happens every time you read an article written by someone with no scientific training.
A lot of times, people who aren’t scientifically trained use terms that have different definitions when talking about science. These differing meanings can then be translated into incorrect ideas about science.
For example, using the term “scientific theory” instead of hypothesis means some people may conclude that theories are more valid than hypotheses.
Theories are not necessarily better than hypotheses. In fact, there are many examples of successful applications of well-designed experiments as proof of the opposite.
Double blind testing
For many companies, their most important marketing tool is research they claim can prove their product works better than the competition. Product reviews that feature whether or not there was a reward for using the product are usually careful to include information such as how much of the product people were given and if you paid for it, what the control group received.
These types of review features are often called “double-blind studies” because participants don’t know who has been assigned which test conditions (the placebo or active drug). This removes bias that might influence results due to someone hoping for an incentive more intensely for one condition over another.
But this kind of study design isn’t always possible when doing research. What if the tested product doesn’t work and nobody gets any rewards? Or what if the competitors’ products seem totally reasonable and no one feels like taking a chance by trying them? As a result, even though researchers try hard to be objective, they may still be influenced by past experiences people have with the brands in the control group.
For that reason, some experts say that double-blind tests aren’t really necessary to ensure accurate findings.
As we mentioned before, most research labs are not run by scientists that work for free in their spare time. Most have funding from somewhere to continue working on their projects. This is important to know as it impacts what kind of results you get conducted into money!
Most major universities and companies that want to see scientific progress come through investing in research. These institutions fund researchers to do specific things such as finding new treatments or figuring out how diseases occur so they can be prevented or cured.
They also may ask researchers to conduct studies or experiments to determine best practices or if a treatment works. After getting enough funds for their project, researchers must find ways to fundraise more to complete it!
These two points were made very clear in the article linked above, but let us make them even clearer here. If someone says a product will help you lose weight, they might offer to pay you to use it. A company that wants to improve their health could give you money for a daily dose of vitamins or pills.
This would not be ethical because no matter whether you get paid to use a product or not, you should be able to expect the same quality of product, and people who develop these products need to earn a living like everyone else.