As we know, health is an ever-changing thing. What works for you today may not work tomorrow. Certain foods can make you feel sick rather than healthy, while other new things can offer much needed boosts in wellness.
There are many different ways to achieve and maintain optimal health. Some of these strategies are more effective than others, depending on what your body needs at this moment. By using a variety of approaches, you will be able to find one that works for you!
Scientific research is a valuable tool used to determine if and how well certain therapies and treatments work. Before fully committing to a treatment or therapy, you should do some research to see whether it has been studied and proven to help people like you.
Many types of studies exist, from observational to controlled trials. While random clinical trials (RCTs) are the most rigorous type, they are also very expensive to conduct. For this reason, most medical experts agree that observational studies are the best way to go when trying to evaluate a potential intervention.
Observational studies look at large groups of patients to determine if there are any consistent trends in how a particular therapy or therapy combination is working. Because they are less costly and conducted under real world conditions, they give us good information about whether a given approach is worth pursuing or not.
Make a plan
A good starting place is to make a plan. What kind of research you want to do should be your first consideration. For example, if you wanted to learn more about dogs, what would be your next step? Invest in some dog toys and books!
There are many great ways to approach scientific research. Some people begin by reading an article or two on a given topic before investing time in conducting an experiment. Starting with a general area can help conserve money and energy.
By doing this, you have also saved yourself from having to choose whether or not to invest in additional resources dependent upon how well that information has been before.
Generalist researchers are important for creating new areas of knowledge. By spending time exploring different things, you will find something that works and add it to your collection!
Another way to start off is to read through Wikipedia articles. This can give you basic information as well as tips and tricks.
Prepare a list of topics to talk about
Even if you have no interest in doing research, talking about how to approach scientific research is still important. Because even though science seems like it’s only for people with advanced degrees, anyone can learn some basic strategies for exploring academic studies.
Most people don’t understand the basics of what makes up an experimentally-valid piece of evidence. They also don’t know which types of experiments are considered rigorous enough to be trusted.
That’s why I’d recommend practicing your theory versus experimentation deductive reasoning: If something claims that XYZ will work, then try doing ABC instead and see whether it works better than XYZ. It might!
And while there are many ways to look into the validity of a study, one of the most common ones is to do a systematic review. That’s when you read through the studies involved in a given topic (like “is eating chocolate every day good or bad for your health”) and determine whether they all seem to say the same thing.
A key part of scientific research is conducting your own experiments to test hypotheses or theories. This is called experimental testing!
The term “experiment” has different definitions depending on what field of science you are in. But for our purposes, we will use the most basic definition: an experiment is when one thing is done repeatedly under controlled conditions.
By this definition, anyone can perform an experiment. It does not have to be professional level, but just because you do not have access to large equipment or advanced resources does not mean you cannot conduct an experiment.
You do not need special permission to try experimenting either. You do not even need to make things work for yourself – you can easily go online and look up how to do that!
If you want more detailed instructions, there are many ways to learn how to do systematic experimentation. There are many websites with step-by-step tutorials, and some even offer free lessons too!
Overall, doing your own experiments is a great way to learn about science.
Approach the process with enthusiasm
As we have seen, doing science comes down to asking good questions and seeking answers that make sense. When starting out as a scientist, it is important to approach this process with passion- you want to know what things work, and how!
The way scientists approach research really comes down to two main factors– their curiosity and understanding of how matter works.
If you are just reading about chemistry for the first time, then your initial focus should be put onto learning about molecules and atoms. Once you feel like you understand those components, you can start moving onto more complex studies such as chemical equations or even quantum physics!
As you grow as a scientist, there will always be new concepts you will need to learn, so do not get discouraged.
Make it clear you are a expert
As mentioned before, being able to deconstruct scientific research is a skill that takes practice. Doing so will not only help you understand what the paper says but also how to apply the information.
If there’s one thing we can learn from Albert Einstein, it’s that no matter who you are or where you come from, everyone has an equal capacity for knowledge. If someone with great reputation in her field does something, then by definition, anyone could have done it too!
So why don’t more people do this? It may be because some feel insecure about their own understanding of science and math. Or maybe they think they’re not good at drawing conclusions and interpreting results.
Whatever the reason, most scientists spend a lot of time educating others through talks, blogs, courses and other media. But very few make efforts to educate themselves by reading academic papers and studying concepts independently.
As we have seen, scientific research is not easy. Doing science takes time! It can be very difficult at times because you need to test your hypothesis against what has been established before as being correct.
If you are reading this article then I assume that you are already somewhat familiar with how studies are conducted. If not, there are many great sources of information about the methodology of studying diseases and finding new treatments for them.
But what if my hypotheses seem too simple? What if nothing seems to work? This might sound crazy, but it happens all the time.
Many “novel” therapies claim they will treat or cure any number of conditions, from bone fractures to cancer. Some work, some don’t- it is hard to tell which ones are actually effective until someone does an experiment and tests them.
By that time, though, people may have already invested their money in the treatment, so they stop listening. Or worse, they give up and look for something else that sounds more promising.
That is why it is important to be honest with yourself about whether or not a particular therapy works. You should never spend your own money on a product or treatment unless you have proof that it does indeed work.
Share your findings
As we have seen, doing scientific research involves experimenting with various components or aspects of an experiment to determine how it influences the outcome. You will probably read lots of studies that test similar theories or hypotheses!
By sharing what you find out about the study, you are helping other researchers by giving them information they can use for their experiments or investigations. This is also an excellent way to contribute to science as a whole because people may notice different results in another experiment, and work off those to come up with new ideas.
Furthermore, publishing your findings online allows others to easily access this knowledge which helps spread important concepts. Scientists depend heavily upon each other’s findings for progress towards answering questions.
Publishing your own discoveries also gives you a sense of pride in your work, and boosts your self-confidence. It may even help you gain recognition for your contributions to science.
As mentioned before, using logical reasoning and systematic approaches is important when doing scientific research. This includes defining terms correctly and ensuring that you use appropriate vocabulary.
When referring to studies or experiments, it is very important to be precise with your terminology. Make sure your definitions are clear and stick to standard ones. For example, if you do not know what stress is, you can look up different types of stress and determine which one someone else used as an analogy for their definition.
By being precise, you will make your ideas more clearly understood. If your audience does not understand your concepts, they will try to guess what you mean instead of investing time in understanding your points.
Furthermore, being precise helps ensure that your conclusions match what was researched. If people did not agree on a certain term, then maybe there is no correlation between those two things? The researcher may have made a mistake by using that word. Or perhaps this concept has already been disproved and ignored.