Science Isn’t Just About Asking Questions
Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash
People have this misconception science is “all about asking questions”.
This myth takes hold of conversations about science because some people want to validate their worldviews devoid of evidence.
These people think their questions should be answered and are just as valid in science.
However, this is wrong on so many levels.
Science is more than just asking questions.
When conducting a scientific experiment you often test the very questions you ask, these tests can be complex and require a controlled environment, you have to collect data, you have to analyze that data, and interpret it.
It gets even more complicated for scientists.
Experiments, measuring tools, and questions are often based on well-established theories in the field. These theories make predictions that are upheld to scrutiny.
So, it is not about asking or answering any question someone comes up with but addressing relevant questions.
You should start seeing science as more complicated instead.
Often the best way to understand science is to do it.
Maybe you could sign up to do some community college courses, you could join citizen science projects like the Cochrane collaboration, or you can go to a conference pertaining to science.
Outside of first-hand experience, you can implement these tips today.
Tip #1: Buy a cheap science textbook. If you’re interested in a specific scientific field go online or to a local thrift store to see if you can purchase a textbook. This can help you understand the lingo in the field and the major findings within that field.
Tip #2: Sign up for Coursera. Coursera is an online platform with FREE college classes from some of the top universities in the world. This is a great option for getting started in a field without going to a physical class.
Tip #3: Go on Wikipedia. Believe it or not, Wikipedia often has solid articles on numerous complicated fields within science, but more important are the references.
See who and what organizations Wikipedia is referencing, look more into those references this will give you an idea of who and what is reputable in the field of interest.
Believing the myth that science is “just about asking questions” does a disservice to not only science as an enterprise but to oneself.
It takes great courage to admit we are ignorant of something and defer to experts.
By using the lessons and tips here you can become more knowledgable in a field of your choosing, but nothing replaces formal education on the subject matter.
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