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6 crucial steps involved in a scientific method


All that we hear and see are to be questioned. We cannot blindly believe in things without analyzing and proving them right. The scientific method of questioning and proving things generally has six basic steps that experimentally prove a concept, a theory, a fact or your hypothesis drawn out of an observation. But, not all scientific method strictly abides by the process, for it is not always possible to prove every hypothesis experimentally. However most science experiments fall into the six-step process defined below, since it is most often about why, how, what if and Wow!

1) Observation

To put it simple, anything you see around you is an observation. In a micro level, if a microbiologist observes a bacteria sustaining an extreme temperature which is quite peculiar, that is an observation he made.

2) Question

All curious minds have something in common. That is ‘Questioning’. Having observed a microbial colony surviving extreme conditions, he might want to question its physical, chemical and biological nature. Great ideas and thoughts arise from very basic questions!

3) Hypothesis

Based on your subject expertise, the prediction you make on any observation is a hypothesis. A hypothesis may or may not be true and which can only be proven with an experimental protocol. In this case, let us say the microbiologist considers the colony a whole new bacterial strain and possibly aims to name after him.

4) Experiment

The most challenging part is not the experiment but coming up with a protocol. It involves planning in detail about the various tests, listing out the equipments, chemicals needed, etc. This for sure is the most trivial part of a scientific research. In our case, the microbiologist will have to run through a whole lot of biochemical tests.

5) Analysis

Putting down all the results and studying it to gain an overall view is analysis. Nowadays we have many electronic data capture systems that let us e-capture every minute data in a scientific research. That is one big step for experiments that last most than ten years. Here, the scientist will have to scan trough the results to check if they match an already existing strain.

6) Conclusion

The end of a scientific method is to conclude by saying the hypothesis proved right or wrong. However, in either of the cases, the process on the whole is a study provided the experiment and analysis are done accurately. If the biochemical test results say that this bacterium isolated is a totally new bacterial species or a new strain, the researcher is at the liberty to name it after him!