We find that we sometimes disagree with others as to the facts of the things we see in the world around us, and we find that there are things in the world that are at odds with our present understanding. The scientific method attempts to provide a way in which we can reach agreement and understanding

The scientific method is the series of steps that all scientists follow.  By following these steps correctly, scientists ensure that their results are not biased, in other words affected by their own prior beliefs or those of others. 

The steps in the scientific method are

  1. Observation or Idea
  2. Hypothesis
  3. Experiments to test hypothesis
  4. Peer review
  5. Publication
  6. Replication (typically by other scientists)

When we read stories in the newspaper about the latest miracle cure or latest health scare, it is important to question whether the scientific method has been followed.  For example, if a scientist is publicising their work directly to the media, rather than peer review by fellow scientists, their claims should be regarded with caution.

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