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The Kid Should See This

Why is getting things wrong good for science?

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“We are taught from an early age to think of scientific facts as, well, facts. And it can be unsettling when this turns out to not be the case. But does this uncertainty really mean that we can’t trust science?

“According to the Royal Society, the world’s oldest independent scientific academy, the answer is quite the opposite. Questioning established facts is actually at the heart of the scientific method.”

Science is never complete. It requires flexibility, fails, and a willingness to be proved wrong. The scientific method is a framework for those things and much more. It’s a process that allows for the discovery of more information, building upon peer-reviewed research over time.

phone communications as a metaphor
Science also requires opportunity, perseverance, and some luck. And the more diverse our backgrounds and experiences, the more diverse our approaches and creative ideas, yielding a much wider range of data.

Learn about why getting things wrong is good for science with help from the BBC Ideas video above.

Shirley Strum's research breakthroughs
Plus, learn more about Professor Shirley Strum, who was the first to uncover the social complexities of baboon relationships, “which helped build the case that animals had minds and not just brains.”

Watch these related videos next on TKSST:
The Scientific Method, animated
What does the word ‘theory’ mean in science?
• Why Isn’t Pluto A Planet?
• Succeed by Failing: Failure points and how to fix them
• The power of creative constraints

Bonus: The Eclipse That Made Einstein Famous.

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