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The Importance of Scientific Research in an Ever-Evolving World

By Jack Larson posted 04-27-2021 11:54 AM

  

Scientific research is critical to help us navigate our ever-changing world. Without it, we would have to rely on people’s opinions, our intuitions and luck. Systematic scientific research offers us an objective understanding because scientific knowledge is grounded in objective, tangible evidence. 

A number of science-enabled innovations are having a transformative impact in many areas, such as curing disease, shrinking our carbon footprint, and changing the way we manufacture. These innovations include personalized medicine, 3D printing, bio-based materials, and more advanced renewable energies. 

What is scientific research?

Scientists develop a research question, conduct a thorough search of published literature about the topic, and then carefully plan their methodology to test the research question. Without using the sound methodology, the results may not be accurate and the conclusions unsubstantiated. For example, they need to design control experiments so that all variables except the one they are investigating are kept constant. 

Once data are collected, results are statistically tested and conclusions are drawn from them. The research is then submitted to a peer-reviewed journal. 

Many different industries such as manufacturing, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, food and beverages, computer software, and robotics have high research and development costs. Excedr provides scientists with lab equipment leases and comprehensive service plans at an affordable price. This enables businesses to preserve their liquidity and increase their operating budget, leaving them with more capital for other critical areas. 

Scientific method

Scientific research has to follow a scientific method and contribute to a body of science. Scientific method refers to a standardized way of making observations and interpreting results. It allows researchers to impartially test preexisting theories

Others should be able to independently replicate the results of any scientific research and a theory that cannot be accurately measured or specified in precise terms can’t be tested and is therefore not scientific. 

Building and improving knowledge

Research builds knowledge and supports existing knowledge with proven facts. It is necessary to ascertain whether ideas are supported by studies or if they still need further proof before they can be considered as knowledge. Cancer is just one of the countless topics of study that are constantly being examined by researchers in medical institutions and universities.

As theories cycle through the scientific process again and again, they are tested and retested in different ways, building more confidence in them. This iterative process makes modifying, expanding and combining theories into increasingly credible explanations possible. 

Critical thinking

Cognitive biases are the systemic mistakes individuals make when they try to think rationally, and these biases can lead to inaccurate conclusions. This is why science is not only a mechanism for understanding the natural world but a framework for engaging in logical reasoning. 

For instance, clinicians in daily practice have to make sense of the information provided through an interview with a patient, a physical examination, and laboratory tests to make a diagnosis and devise a treatment plan. Without critically evaluating information, they can endanger the health of their patients. 

Collaborative research

The old siloed approach to scientific research is starting to give way to a more collaborative effort where engineers, biologists, chemistry researchers and physicists work together to help solve challenges of the ever-evolving world. This includes researching issues like climate change and health. Science plays a foundational role in meeting the environmental and societal challenges of the future. 

Real-life applications

Scientific knowledge is useful in hundreds of different ways, from slowing climate change to designing bridges. It helps us to solve practical problems, develop new technologies, and make informed decisions. For instance, discovering the structure of DNA was the underpinning research of many practical applications, such as genetically engineered crops, tests for genetic diseases, and DNA fingerprinting. 

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