Diane Hostetler | Tom Kerns | Brian Saunders

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What Science Is and How it Works

Discussion Questions Section 1

  1. Describe in your own words what the two quotes at the beginning of the prologue accomplish and how? In the context of science, is either of these quotes false? Explain.
  2. What specific aspects of the meringue-whipping example give a good (albeit simple) description as to how science works?
  3. After reading all the examples in chapter 1 regarding the different routes taken by scientists to make discoveries, what do you think all these examples have in common?
  4. In your opinion, can science advance without the invention and use of novel instrumentation? Explain.
  5. What does a "discrepancy" mean in science as described in chapter 4? How do you think discrepancies help us understand the concept of science? In other words, what role do discrepancies play?
  6. What would you consider to be the "take-home message" of the story in chapter 5 (as always, in your own words)?

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© Diane Hostetler, Tom Kerns, Brian Saunders