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Why Science?

  • #1
    Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 47,691 mod cyberwolf77


    The question of the day is:
    What inspired or inspires you to explore the sciences?


Comments



  • The research method provides an approach to the study of phenomena that has been personally exhilarating and informative. Keeps me awake at night in a good way, playing with educated guesses (theories), proposing differences and relationships (hypotheses), collecting data (primary) or examining data collected by others (secondary), applying analytic formulas (statistics or content analysis), drawing empirical generalisations (noting deductive or emergent inductive patterns), and lending support or challenging theories, all in a cyclical pattern akin to Wallace's Wheel of Science.

    In short, science is a personal turn-on. It's an escape that may provide value someday to our fellow humans. It certainly beats being engulfed in our day-to-day mundane world.

    That's my 2 euros worth...




  • It's mostly interesting? And cool?




  • Tree wrote: »
    It's mostly interesting? And cool?
    Absolutely Tree. I'd rather be in lab crunching numbers and exploring patterns in the data than doing the bloody laundry or cooking dinner.




  • I’m a scientist because I'm naturally curious. I like playing with ideas, thinking, asking questions, researching, puzzling things out, chasing after answers and contributing to knowledge.
    For me, science is fun and exciting. It's also competitive and I love a challenge!!
    My job allows me to teach, to travel and collaborate with interesting colleagues from around the world. In between the long hours and exhaustion I love it :)




  • Personally, I'm not the biggest into Science as a whole but I adore meteorological Science for the sole purpose of that there is something always to discover. You will never be given a true answer (in terms of Ireland's weather) to any theory you make up which leads to interesting discussions. If that weren't the case, I think forecasting could be a breeze and forums like our gold mine that is the Weather forum, wouldn't be near as interesting.

    Researching is another thing. Everyday, I'm always researching something to do with meteorology and making theories on - if I get the time that is of course.

    Though Science as a whole is not my preferred subject or topic (apart from meteorological Science :D), I am always willing to research about it, discuss it and learn from it. I do find Science fascinating sometimes, I must admit that.

    So would I Black Swan :).

    Weather and climate site - https://www.ukandirelandclimate.com/ (advised to view on PC, not optimised for mobile)

    Photography site - https://www.sryanbruenphotography.com/



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  • Does human science count? :pac:




  • Tom Dunne wrote: »
    Does human science count? :pac:
    Yikes! Tom introduces the hard vs soft sciences debate.




  • Black Swan wrote: »
    Yikes! Tom introduces the hard vs soft sciences debate.
    *goes to pop corn*




  • Can I throw a spanner in the works and say that the question should be "why research"?

    ;)

    I'm a scientist. PhD in it. Love it. Full on nerd.

    But I'm doing a masters in secondary education and I have to do a research project, and I have to say, lots of it overlaps.

    The scientific method can be used across a variety of fields. People probably don't even realise that they're using scientific method.

    "Oh no, I don't understand science at all", yet their research contains a hypothesis, designing experiments, analysis of their results and drawing conclusions.

    I once thought that only hard science mattered, but I am beginning to get excited by social science.

    Now I feel dirty :pac:




  • sullivlo wrote: »
    Can I throw a spanner in the works and say that the question should be "why research"?

    ;)

    I'm a scientist. PhD in it. Love it. Full on nerd.

    But I'm doing a masters in secondary education and I have to do a research project, and I have to say, lots of it overlaps.

    The scientific method can be used across a variety of fields. People probably don't even realise that they're using scientific method.

    "Oh no, I don't understand science at all", yet their research contains a hypothesis, designing experiments, analysis of their results and drawing conclusions.

    I once thought that only hard science mattered, but I am beginning to get excited by social science.

    Now I feel dirty :pac:

    Well if you are dirty, I am filthy.

    I went from computer science (MSc) to Education (still finishing that doctorate).

    But as you say, there are a lot of overlaps. Now, while I have gone completely to the dark side, with a more philosophy-based methodology (none of your fancy hypothesis-testing for me), the principals of rigour and validity still hold true.

    For me, no different to those in the "hard sciences", it is the natural wonder, the curiosity, the confirmation from the theory that I am not completely off the mark. The discovery of a researcher/authors who share a common interest with me (and, if I am totally honest, back up my argument 100%).

    Of course the question is, where will this voyage take me once I finish the doctorate?


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  • Tom Dunne wrote: »
    Well if you are dirty, I am filthy.

    I went from computer science (MSc) to Education (still finishing that doctorate).

    But as you say, there are a lot of overlaps. Now, while I have gone completely to the dark side, with a more philosophy-based methodology (none of your fancy hypothesis-testing for me), the principals of rigour and validity still hold true.

    For me, no different to those in the "hard sciences", it is the natural wonder, the curiosity, the confirmation from the theory that I am not completely off the mark. The discovery of a researcher/authors who share a common interest with me (and, if I am totally honest, back up my argument 100%).

    Of course the question is, where will this voyage take me once I finish the doctorate?

    I don't understand philosophy. That David Hume chap had too much time on his hands.




  • sullivlo wrote: »
    Can I throw a spanner in the works and say that the question should be "why research"?

    ;)
    :

    I enjoy science and digging into a new concept. However, I can research so many things that are not science. The details of the Battle of Gettysburg for one. Thus the reason I chose to ask what draws the posters to science.




  • Magic > Science




  • Wombatman wrote: »
    Magic > Science

    Any sufficiently advanced technology will appear as magic?




  • Any sufficiently advanced technology will appear as magic?

    So you agree then.




  • I enjoy science and digging into a new concept. However, I can research so many things that are not science. The details of the Battle of Gettysburg for one. Thus the reason I chose to ask what draws the posters to science.

    For me, it's the possibility of change that can occur with science. Already in the modern day, diseases have been wiped out because of medicine which stems from science. The things I learned in school are basically the same, but there have been advances so things have been updated.

    Science is constantly changing. Other topics aren't.




  • sullivlo wrote: »
    The scientific method can be used across a variety of fields.
    Operationalisation of concepts to variable measures has been more precise with the natural and physical sciences, whereas such measures in the social, behavioural, education, and business applications of the research method has not been as precise, thereby drawing criticism from naturalists. More problematic the study becomes when it combines both qualitative and quantitative methods with a triangulation analysis of results.
    Tom Dunne wrote: »
    Now, while I have gone completely to the dark side, with a more philosophy-based methodology (none of your fancy hypothesis-testing for me), the principals of rigour and validity still hold true.
    Ohhhhhh Tom, tell me your "more-philosophy based methodology" is not phenomenology. :pac: :eek:
    Tom Dunne wrote: »
    Of course the question is, where will this voyage take me once I finish the doctorate?
    After receiving my Piled-higher-and-Deeper I've been waiting for the magic fairy to strike me with her magic wand and make me wise. I'm still waiting, and waiting, and waiting...
    Wombatman wrote: »
    Magic > Science
    There were theological interpretations of science as magic, which had consequences for early scientists. Malleus Maleficarum (1487) proclaimed the dangers of freethinking women, including female scholars. Many were tortured and killed as witches.

    "For promoting Copernican theory, Galileo was sentenced to life imprisonment, later reduced to house arrest."




  • Black Swan wrote: »
    Ohhhhhh Tom, tell me your "more-philosophy based methodology" is not phenomenology. :pac: :eek:

    Indeed it is. The lived experience. Husserl and Heiddeger are looking down on me, pointing, sniggering.

    It is an interesting intellectual challenge, jumping from one discipline to another. Coming from the world of binary absolutes in computer science to the "kinda-sorta-well, the evidence suggests" world was something I grappled with for a while.




  • Tom Dunne wrote: »
    Indeed it is. The lived experience. Husserl and Heiddeger are looking down on me, pointing, sniggering.
    Indeed!
    Tom Dunne wrote: »
    It is an interesting intellectual challenge, jumping from one discipline to another. Coming from the world of binary absolutes in computer science to the "kinda-sorta-well, the evidence suggests" world was something I grappled with for a while.
    I'm an outside PhD committee member for a lad with a phenomenology approach. Why they picked me for this slot Tom is a wonder, given that I am mostly a numbers cruncher, and rarely use or combine qualitative methods like content analysis, participant observation, interviews, or focus groups. This lad is all qualitative methods, and how these methods fit with phenomenology requires me to drink lots of coffee before committee meetings.




  • I science because my mother reckoned it wasn't a good idea to go into archaeology in Ireland in 2005 (remarkably prescient of her, all things considered)! So I went into climate science.

    Actually, I'm happier sciencing, I think. Although the same thing comes up in both - what and why. I like understanding why X (and also preferably how, where and while interacting with which*). Far as I'm concerned, I guess science is RTFMing. Climate science is my pet area, but I'll also make forays into all the interlinked systems plus anything I get distracted into en route. People are the most complicated system as far as I'm concerned though. I don't think I could cope with sociology, but that's more because how my brain works rather than not seeing that it's an important area. (It would result in a lot of me tearing my hair and asking plaintively "Why are people so..people?!")

    *Which has just sprung the question of why does litmus paper change colour? /goes to google

    Edit: Huh, I did not know that litmus dyes are derived from lichens. That's kinda cool. I suppose I figured it would be synthetic. Although the word comes from the old Norse "litr" or "dye" and "mosi", or "moss" so it makes sense. (I am very easily distracted, alas.)


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  • Black Swan wrote: »
    I'm an outside PhD committee member for a lad with a phenomenology approach. Why they picked me for this slot Tom is a wonder, given that I am mostly a numbers cruncher, and rarely use or combine qualitative methods like content analysis, participant observation, interviews, or focus groups. This lad is all qualitative methods, and how these methods fit with phenomenology requires me to drink lots of coffee before committee meetings.

    When I think of it, I was looking for a discovery-orientated methodology, I just didn't realise it at the time.

    The traditional scientific hypothesis generation and testing would not fit with that I wanted to do, I wanted to find out about the phenomena, discover what was happening in it, so I started "drifting" towards the Dark Side qualitative side.

    I think choosing somebody with your background to review such work is to ensure some form of validation that the study is robust in its methodology and the research was conduct within the norms of what would be expected at that level. I would argue that you don't have to be from a discipline to spot flimsy and methodologically unsound research.




  • Also choosing someone like my comod as a reviewer prevents something like, " When the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail." Outside, looking in has a far different perspective from inside looking out.




  • Tom Dunne wrote: »
    When I think of it, I was looking for a discovery-orientated methodology, I just didn't realise it at the time.

    The traditional scientific hypothesis generation and testing would not fit with that I wanted to do, I wanted to find out about the phenomena, discover what was happening in it, so I started "drifting" towards the Dark Side qualitative side.
    In addition to the deductive side, Wallace's Wheel of Science also has an inductive exploratory side that begins with the examination of data (empirical observations), be it qualitative or quantitative. Should patterns emerge from this data examination, then empirical generalisations may be formed. These in turn may give rise to new theory or serve to refute or confirm or revise existing theory.

    Figure-1-The-wheel-of-science-Adapted-from-Wallace-1971.ppm

    Source:
    Wallace, WL, Editor (1969), Preface: The Uses of Theory, pp vii-xi. Sociological Theory. Chicago: Aldine Publishing.


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