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STEP OR STAGE #11 of the Scientific Method


Applying the Scientific Method

Prepare For Action!

This is often called the "gaining acceptance" stage.
  1. Review your plans and goals. Have the courage to act now.
  2. Innovation and creativity can help immensely. Read how to present, sell, and gain acceptance of your concluding hypothesis. Get other opinions.
  3. Give proper credit to your team, reference sources, and associates.
  4. Report the social and ecological effects of your hypothesis.
  5. Look ahead, mention possibilities that others may not see.

Applying the Scientific Method

The Action You Take Depends on the Nature of Your Investigation

Scientific thoery, process, discovery - You will usually prepare a report using the IMRAD format of Introduction, Method, Results, and Discussion . This can be submitted to a scientific journal for peer review and possible publication.

Other possibilities:
Publish a book Report to superiors Report to project sponsors
Apply for patent Sabbatica leave Enter in Science Fair
Publish pre-prints Summer school Present paper at meeting
Press release Inform colleagues Commercialize process

Invention, technological design, new product idea - Do any of the above; make a model, apply for a patent, do market research, make an effort to gain acceptance, and sell or merchandise the product.

Decision, plan, dispute, social science problem, geography or history research, the arts - Do any of the above. Implement a solution, if possible. Prevent future problems.

Recommendations - If submitted to authoritative body, wait for review. If modified, rejected, or partially accepted, you will have to coil back to one of the earlier ingredients and work ahead again.

New problems - Solving one problem often leads to new problems. Maybe you made some surprise discoveries or saw opportunities for research in new areas. Consider all consequences - make predictions. Offer clues and leads. Mention in your report.

Obstacles to acceptance - Many eventually highly successful hypotheses have had a very rough road to acceptance. Others have won immediate popularity. Thus, your action may have to include overcoming these obstacles that cause people to reject new things:

Jealousy Resistance to change Organized skepticism
Bias Loss of prestige Wrong assumptions
Financial loss Not enough proof Poor reasoning
No market Authoritarianism Won't admit wrong

Aids to Acceptance - All through your problem solving you must think of ways to gain acceptance. Review these and investigate any other ideas. Now develop and apply them.


Teaching the Scientific Method

Action Is Needed to Standardize on a Formula
for The Scientific Method, Such as SM-14

To the minor extent that the scientific method and the scientific method of inquiry are taught in our schools, numerous formulas are used. While many are reasonably good, most are too short. This variety is very confusing to students and teachers.

I recommend that a well-researched model formula that has been put through all the steps or stages of the scientific method such as SM-14 be officially adopted as the standard one. This formula, in addtiion to covering the method of science, is also the same for generl problem solving, decision making, operation research, method of inquiry, invention, medical diagnostic and many others. Thus, it would be of a wide benefit to everyone who learns it.

This is especially important as all signs indicate the scientific method will, in the future, be extensively taught in all grades and across the curricula.

It would be helpful if the US Supreme court adopted a standard formula also, to aid inidentifying how expert witnesses should be using the scientific method in their testimony.

Until such time as an official body adopts a formula, I recommend that all authors, teachers, etc., use the SM-14 formula - it is not copyrighted.