Science Research Topics | Custom Research Paper Help

During the 1980's, Senator Proxmire in the USA heldregular press conferences and identified a specificscientific research project as an example of government waste(i.e., his "Golden Fleece" award).

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The Center for Location Science at George Mason University is dedicated to interdisciplinary research that addresses applied and theoretical problems with a fundamental focus on spatial relationships and efficiently solving problems of a spatial or geographic nature.

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The author argues that commonly used instruments assessing knowledge of the nature of science are inadequate in several ways. They focus too much on declarative knowledge instead of conceptual understanding, are designed for research not classroom assessment, and are inauthentic in the sense that they do not examine student knowledge in contexts similar to those in which we want students to use this knowledge. Furthermore, lists of the tenets of the nature of science (which such assessments are based upon) are oversimplified and incomplete. The author argues that instead of assessing whether students can list the characteristics of scientific knowledge, we should be interested in whether students can effectively analyze information about scientific and socioscientific controversies and assess the reliability of scientific claims that affect their decision making. In order to do this, students need to understand how the process of science lends credibility to scientific ideas. The author proposes an alternative assessment form (based on the AP free responses essay) that requires well-informed analysis on the part of the student, involves authentic contexts, and can be adapted for many different assessment purposes and situations. In it, students are asked to analyze historic and modern case studies of scientific and socioscientific controversies. Prototypes for this type of assessment are provided.

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The final iteration of this set of activities was judged by the authors to be highly effective at changing students' views of the nature of science and perhaps even helping them recognize that intelligent design is less scientific than evolutionary biology. Furthermore, the researchers suggest that using a continuum approach regarding the classification of endeavors as more or less scientific may be helpful for students who have strong religious commitments and that explicit, respectful discussion of religion in relation to science early in instruction is likewise important for these students.


There is another cliché that is popular amongst some scientistswho I have known:For the kind of research that involves discovery of facts that werepreviously unknown, this cliché is correct: the results areunpredictable and many of the methods will fail, before there is anysuccess.

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2001. Examining student conceptions of the nature of science. 23(8):771-790.
Five 11th and 12th grade students, with a range of academic achievement, taking an environmental science class, were interviewed six times over the course of a year. The class was project-based and engaged students in data collection for real scientific research. Interviews focused on students' views of selected aspects of the nature and process of science. The researcher coded and interpreted transcripts of the interviews. Major findings include: