Scientific Method in Practice

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As the gateway to scientific thinking, an understanding of the scientific method is essential for success and productivity in science. This book is the first synthesis of the practice and the philosophy of the scientific method. It will enable scientists to be better scientists by offering them a deeper understanding of the underpinnings of the scientific method, thereby leading to more productive research and experimentation. It will also give scientists a more accurate perspective on the rationality of the scientific approach and its role in society. Beginning with a discussion of today's 'science wars' and science's presuppositions, the book then explores deductive and inductive logic, probability, statistics, and parsimony, and concludes with an examination of science's powers and limits, and a look at science education. Topics relevant to a variety of disciplines are treated, and clarifying figures, case studies, and chapter summaries enhance the pedagogy. This adeptly executed, comprehensive, yet pragmatic work yields a new synergy suitable for scientists and instructors, and graduate students and advanced undergraduates.