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Physicists at the Solvay Conference in 1911. Pictured include Hendrik Lorentz , Ernest Solvay , Marie Curie , Henri Poincaré , Ernest Rutherford , Heike Kamerlingh Onnes and Albert Einstein .
With presentations and debates at conferences and symposia and with peer review of scientific publications, the scientific community works to ensure the quality of science, its methods and interpretation of results.

Science is both systematically acquired, ordered and verifiable human knowledge , the associated process of knowledge acquisition , and the community in which this knowledge is collected. [1] This community has its own scientific methods and agreed upon habits ( conventions ) to arrive at hypotheses , laws , theories and systems . [2] [3]

Science and technology are important parts of modern industrialized society. [4] A distinction is made between fundamental science and applied science that is aimed at applying knowledge and influencing reality. Combinations of fundamental and applied science are possible.

Many researchers agree ( consensus ) about what science should be, although there may be differences in interpretation between disciplines , practitioners and professional practices . [5]


A scientific discussion on the hypothesis of magnetic flux tubes and coronal loops on the surface of the sun by astronomer Kees Zwaan . Swan (left) and Hans Rosenberg , Observatory Utrecht , 1967

Modern science has different characteristics, which more or less apply in different fields. Among other things, science wants to investigate and try to understand aspects of experienced reality in a systematic and thorough manner. With this one can sometimes control reality like nature and sometimes predict phenomena.

Science, at least much natural science, but also other forms of academic science, generally follows the scientific method and:

  1. wants to discover profound general connections (laws) that rationally explain a multitude of phenomena ( theory ). [a] Science often uses mathematics to describe the relationships .
  2. is supported by empirical data obtained by, for example , experiments , source research, field research or other means and descriptions thereof as accurate as possible. The (pure) mathematics usually does not conduct experiments, although sometimes computer experiments are possible.
  3. is verifiable and thus exposes itself to possible refutation (falsifiability, falsification ). Refutation has a purifying effect and is essential because it leads to the improvement of the theory and to new experiments. If a statement offers no points of reference in reality or in mathematics – it cannot be tested and therefore cannot be disproved – it is of no use to science, the theory is not even wrong – nicht einmal falsch , a statement by the Austrian theoretical physicist Wolfgang Pauli . A wrong statement can be useful if it leads to a better one.
  4. can often make predictions and thus exposes itself to possible rebuttal via falsifiability and falsification.
  5. indicates the limitations of the validity of assumptions, methods and results. Provides self-criticism .
  6. makes data public and provides insight into the methods used so that others can check and possibly repeat the research ( reproducibility ). Methods, results and conclusions are argued, and discussion is conducted with arguments.
  7. often publishes results in a well-arranged scientific article in a scientific journal or presents them at conferences. Scientific journals have submitted articles assessed by fellow researchers (these referees carry out the peer review or peer review ). They advise the editors of the journal on improvement, acceptance or rejection of the articles. Scientific journals provide regular summaries and assessments ( reviews ) of progress in a field, written by leading researchers. Organizers of scientific conferences also select contributions and have overviews made of a field.
  8. checks previously obtained results from other researchers and repeats experiments and other forms of research. If a result cannot be reproduced, that result expires (science purifies itself).
  9. builds on the work of others but does not plagiarize and cites with credit .
  10. is neutral and not directly tied to any particular ideology , commercial enterprise, politics, religion, or self-interest. For example, does not invoke a religious ideology that recognizes supernatural powers or a political [b] or racist [c] ideology for explanation. Is also in this sense objective .
  11. is a social activity: results are often obtained in groups, and always assessed, accepted or rejected in consultation. Researchers in a field are usually organized into national and international communities or professional associations, which regularly organize scientific conferences to discuss research.
  12. involves the development and use of knowledge in practice in so-called application-oriented or applied science.

These characteristics help distinguish science from bad science, pseudoscience , and scientific fraud. Bad science can consist of sloppy research, use of shaky theory, and outright fraud. [d] In the philosophy of science and science dynamics , there has been a debate for some time about the usefulness of scientific methods as a standard approach in science. [7] [8] Since the 2010s, however, following a number of incidents, more attention has been paid to the requirement of publicity and reproducibility of research, including through the Reproducibility Project† This shows that a significant number of studies cannot be replicated, so that there is talk of a replication crisis . An increasing number of journals therefore require articles that the research protocols are available in advance in order to guarantee reproducibility.

Pseudoscience may use an unproven theory or data that cannot be confirmed by repetition of observations or experiments. While there has been broad agreement in science for centuries about what science should entail, there has always been a debate about what sets science apart from other approaches. This discussion is being conducted by natural scientists , philosophers , historians and other stakeholders. [9]

Professional practice

In scientific (academic) professional practice as it has developed in the West, science is seen as a part of society that has set itself the goal of acquiring knowledge. This section has its own character, and its practice is subject to its own laws, methods and conventions . In this practice, the term science refers to various things. Bergsma and van Petersen distinguish three aspects: [10]

  • The institute of science: the universities , the professors , the organization, and so on. Science in this sense is also called science business.
  • The scientific activity; every scientist outside of mathematics is involved to a greater or lesser extent in measuring , recording, observing and experimenting , ordering and interpreting , concept formation and articulation, derivation and prediction , hypothesis formation and testing, evaluation and planning. This does not apply to mathematics, except for concept formation , formulation, hypothesis formation and testing. Science in this sense is also called scientific practice.
  • The scientific products of this activity constitute scientific knowledge. This is a reconstruction of a part of reality (except again mathematics), built up with a certain method. This reconstruction is systematic in the sense that an attempt is always made to answer series of similar questions and to fill gaps in knowledge.

Current professional practice encompasses much more than academic institutions. Much science is practiced in industrial labs, military institutes, hospitals, and the like. The vast majority of scientists are not active within academic institutes. Moreover, many researchers work within organizations that bridge the gap between policy and academic, fundamental science. The science practiced outside academia has partly different characteristics than the above-described – academic – science. This science, which is more focused on practical applications, is done in policy-supporting institutes, such as the RIVM or industrial research & development laboratories, such as those of Unilever and Avebe ., and often leads to patents and associated products or processes. In addition to measuring and interpreting, science is therefore also involved in the development of products in the military, pharmaceutical or food sector, for example, or of concepts that put the world or a part of it in a different perspective. It is not only about reconstructing reality, but also about its construction. In addition to reliability, usability is emphatically a criterion here for the quality of the knowledge provided.


See History of Science for the main article on this topic.

Science is about purposeful research and the deliberate acquisition of knowledge. In the western world this has been regulated since Plato , but especially in the course of the Middle Ages in institutions such as academies, universities and special research institutes or laboratories. [11]

First Civilizations

Mesopotamian clay tablet Plimpton 322 from about 1800 BC. with numerical examples of the Pythagorean Theorem. First row: 119 2 + 120 2 = 169 2 . Columbia University , New York .

Forms of early science occurred in Mesopotamia , India , Ancient Egypt , Persia , China as far as the Maya in Mexico. The oldest Near Eastern traditions come from Sumer , present-day Iraq. Around 3500 BC. The Mesopotamian peoples, in contact with the Indus Valley Civilization , began to record their accounting of livestock and the like in the form of numbers , as well as doing mathematics. Applications of the Pythagorean theorem were introduced in the 18th century BC. on a Mesopotamianclay tablet recorded in cuneiform : on tablet Plimpton 232 are a number of Pythagorean triplets (3,4,5) (5,12,13). This clay tablet from around 1900 BC. does not, however, contain an abstract formulation of the proposition. In the ancient civilizations there were no institutions specifically for science, they only emerged later in Greece with Aristotle and much later from the thirteenth century at the European universities. Early civilizations did not yet combine practical findings with rational reasoning as far as we know. It was only the Greek and later medieval philosophers who developed an all-encompassing theory of knowledge at the universities near cathedrals, from which modern, experimental thinking later emerged.

Classical antiquity

Science in classical antiquity focused primarily on explaining the workings of the cosmos . Thus came natural philosophy and then classical philosophy . More practically oriented were medicine , astronomy for setting calendars and the prediction of lunar and solar eclipses , and astrology for predicting the future. The ancient scholars saw themselves as natural philosophers, craftsmen (doctors or teachers) or priests (astrologers or physicians).

Similarly, Greek natural science was essentially natural philosophy. The main focus was on how nature worked. Few experiments were performed to test the claims found, unlike later in the Western European development of (natural) science, where this would become a standard method. After all, the Greek philosophers disdained any attempt to gain knowledge through the senses and experiments. Handicrafts and the use of tools in Hellenistic culture were the work of slaves, while the philosophers saw only the mind as a reliable source of knowledge ( rationalism ). from platonismthe Greeks believed that everything could be understood by prior reasoning (with a priori knowledge) without a test, leading them to later rejected scientific ideas, such as the geocentric worldview . The senses deceive us, while reason is the true source of knowledge, the Greek scholars reasoned. Only in the Middle Ages was a radical break with Greek rationalism from scholastic Christian philosophy, making experimental science possible in Europe. This happened from 1200, the period in which the universities arose.

Middle Ages

Early Middle Ages

Science in the Middle Ages is a tale of doom and lore. Science was not a strong point in the Latin part of the Roman Empire, compared to its Greek/Hellenistic counterpart. Due to the invasions of foreign peoples in the Roman Empire, Roman civilization in Western Europe fell away. Wars and migrations held back intellectual production during this period. Most of the classical scientific treatises were lost here. Under Charlemagne, schools were built where knowledge was transferred. The monasteries and abbeys played an important role in education and culture.

High and Late Middle Ages

It was not until the Renaissance of the 12th century that interest in the study of nature was renewed. Christian thought centers arose at monasteries and cathedrals, which grew into universities around 1200. Universities were indispensable for the development of modern thought and theology played an important part in this. At the European universities (such as in Bologna, Oxford, Paris) scholastic philosophy developed in particular , which focused on logic and advocated empiricism . At these universities, Christian, scholastic thought (especially nominalism and voluntarism )) laid the philosophical foundation for modern scientific thinking in which nature is explained through experiments (rational empiricism or inductive thinking ). With this view , medieval researchers set out in search of explanations for phenomena and made important methodological and substantive advances in fields such as physics .


Da Vinci 's Vitruvian Man from about 1490: an example of the convergence of art and research. Because Da Vinci did not publish his findings, he did not contribute to science.

In European history , the Renaissance was a period of flourishing of the arts and sciences through the rebirth (renaissance) of the achievements of classical antiquity. Science gained momentum in the Renaissance , partly due to the rediscovery of classical scientific texts as a result of the Fall of Constantinople in 1453 and the invention of the printing press .around the same time. The latter stimulated the democratization of education and research and the dissemination of ideas. However, the early period in particular is seen by historians as a period of scientific decline. Humanists were especially interested in social subjects such as politics and history , at the expense of natural science and applied mathematics .

Scientific Revolution

The solar system with the fixed stars according to Copernicus ' heliocentric system. (Latin:) "...In medio uero omnium residet Sol", translation "...But the sun sits in the center of all" (planets and fixed stars). Nicolaus Copernicus, De revolutionibus orbium coelestium , 1543.

Although the beginning of the so-called scientific revolution cannot be precisely indicated, the year 1543 is mentioned for it. This is the year when Nicolaus Copernicus published his De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the Revolution of the Celestial Bodies), and Andreas Vesalius published the first complete book on human anatomy , De humani corporis fabrica libri septem . In the ensuing period, a fundamental transformation of scientific thought in physics , astronomy and biology , in the institutions that support scientific research, and more generally in the mainstream, becomes view . Partly because of this, this period is seen as the foundation of modern science.

Current Science

Newton 's third law demonstrated in practice with the simulation of a Newton's pendulum (Newton's cradle). The pendulum is on the title page of an edition of Newton's book Principia Mathematica , to which a portrait of Newton has been added.

The foundations for modern science were laid in the 17th century, partly due to a growing realization among scientists that their own observations and experiments are the key to knowledge. However, as explained earlier, this basis (ie gaining knowledge through experiments) was developed from medieval philosophy . After all, a new way of thinking does not just happen. A methodical revolution (which started around 1200 with the emergence of the first universities) preceded the 17th-century scientific revolution , which made experimental thinking possible from the new epistemology (of, among other things, medieval nominalism). [12] According to Eduard Jan Dijksterhuis , the 17th-centurymodernism to a mechanization of the worldview that culminated in Newton 's classical mechanics . [13]

From the 18th century, a differentiation in the traditional fields of science and mathematics led to the emergence of a whole collection of natural sciences, such as biology, and later other sciences, such as sociology and psychology. Science in the 19th century was characterized by greater professionalization and institutionalization and by increasingly far-reaching specialization in the early 20th century. During the 20th century, the social importance of science increased in areas such as the economy, production and governance.

Classification of sciences

Linnaeus ' table of the animal kingdom from Systema Naturae (1735). He made the division in Latin of "I. Quadrupedia II. Aves III. Amphibia IV. Pisces V. Insecta VI. Vermes", thus quadrupeds, birds, amphibians, fish, insects and worms. With the quadrupeds he started with the humanoids, among which he grouped man, apes and the sloth .

The term science classification or scientific classification has two different meanings: [14]

  • The classification of the individual scientific disciplines in a classification system
  • The division of the object of knowledge of a science in a classification system, also called taxonomy

This is the first meaning.

The classification of the sciences is a special aspect of the broader question of the mutual relations which exist between the scientific fields. According to Beth, three tendencies can be distinguished in this regard: [14]

  • In the first place, there is an attempt to establish a hierarchical hierarchy between the various sciences;
  • Opposite this is the doctrine of the autonomy of individual sciences;
  • According to a third view, the separate sciences cannot be regarded as distinguishable units, but rather as parts of a coherent whole.

In addition to this classification according to content, classifications have also been made according to method (for example, whether or not experimental) and according to function or context. For example, academic science is contrasted with industrial or industrialized science, pure scientific research as opposed to applied.

The acceptance of either point of view will, of course, greatly influence the classification of science.

The history of classifying science goes back to classical antiquity. However, each classification has only lasted for a certain cultural period since then. In every cultural epoch, knowledge is presented in uniform structures expressed in classifications. But new cultural periods brought new coherence and new classifications. [15]

Forms of science

A distinction can be made between fundamental science and applied science . Fundamental science investigates the deeper backgrounds through fundamental research , without directly striving for applications, while applied science does not look for the principles but uses what fundamental science has already found and does applied research . Valorisation of science means that society benefits from scientific knowledge, for example the business community.

Science is subdivided into mental, natural, social and formal science:

  • Humanities : Also known as humanities , are sciences that examine products of human beings such as history, literature, and philosophy.
  • Natural Sciences : Also called exact sciences , beta sciences or positive sciences, investigate nature and strive for explanatory and predictive natural laws and theories, which are falsifiable by experimental testing according to the scientific method. Examples are biology, physics, chemistry, astronomy and materials science, while sometimes the formal sciences are also partly included.
  • Social sciences : Also called social sciences , are social and behavioral sciences about humans such as anthropology, sociology, economics, psychology and law.
  • Formal sciences : these are the sciences about basic forms of knowledge building and acquisition. This includes logic, mathematics, methodology and systems theory. Some of the formal sciences are sometimes considered part of the natural sciences, sometimes as part of philosophy.

Knowledge building in science

Scientific knowledge

Personification of Knowledge in the Library of Celsus at Ephesus . The inscription reads ΕΠΙΣΤΗΜΗ ΚΕΛΣΟΥ, transcription Epistèmè Kelsou, Knowledge/science of Kelsos.

Science is, among other things, ordered knowledge of reality. The ideal is objectivity and universality. There is a constant striving to elevate opinions and hypotheses to science through testing. [16]

In the sciences, the aim is to build up a database of knowledge. Science has the task of producing new knowledge, especially fundamental knowledge. Besides the task of discovering and developing new connections in the world in the context of discovery , science also has to demonstrate that such a foundation can really be built on. Claims in which these connections are presented must be justified in the context of justification : legitimated as scientifically true and therefore suitable for inclusion in the knowledge base. [17]

Two elements play a leading role in knowledge building in science, the development of a theory and the collection of data using a specific method, such as with an experiment.


Bohr 's atomic model of an element with atomic number Z (with nuclear charge Z e ) in which an electron falls from level 3 to 2 and emits a photon

A theory in an experimental science is a scientific model or statement about observations in empirical (practice, reality). The aim of a theory is to be able to explain observed facts or phenomena, or to be able to make predictions with them.

There are still in-depth discussions about the meaning and function of the theory formation. Popper contrasted his theory of falsification with Rudolf Carnap 's theory of verification . [11]

According to Popper (1934/1959), the correctness of a theory can never be proven, verified . But the theory can be disproved, falsified by a reliable, repeated observation that does not fit the theory. [18] This is because no matter how many confirming observations one makes, a subsequent observation might still give a different outcome who knows. But Carnap argued that if independent observers make the same observation, they can agree on the correctness of such an observation. Inductivists believed that they could make universally valid statements about reality from a finite number of such observations. According to Popper, that's not possible.

Scientific method

Cover of René Descartes' Discours de la Méthode , with his optics, meteorology and geometry (La Géométrie) from 1637. In La Géométrie he introduced the Cartesian coordinate system .

Each science develops its own theories and methods and techniques. The scientific method refers to the general method in science, the scientifically sound way of acquiring knowledge. It is said that there is one scientific method based on observation, measurement , prediction, experiment, verification and falsification. This method is presented as an empirical cycle, i.e. a cyclical interaction of hypothesis building, prediction, observation testing, and evaluation of hypothesis and results. [19]

However, philosophy of science has been thinking about the acquisition of knowledge since ancient times , and countless philosophers have proposed all kinds of methods. Thus Plato described the Socratic method of first arriving at an acknowledgment of ignorance through pseudo-knowing and research and refutation, and then proceeding to a search for truth by re-introducing the question. [20] Aristotle described deduction and induction . René Descartes came up with an analytical method and initiated rationalism . Philosophers like Berkeley, Locke and Hume preached against empiricism , Kant a criticism , Hegel the dialectic , Comte the positivism , Popper the empirical cycle, Bertalanffy the systems thinking and Kuhn The structure of scientific revolutions .


At the National Science Olympiad in Houston (US) in 2004, students show their knowledge with some experiments

An experiment , also known as a trial, is performed to test a scientific hypothesis . Complicated experiments with precise measuring tools are usually performed in special laboratories . Experiments increase the understanding and understanding of natural laws .


The philosopher of science Thomas Kuhn described the progressive development of scientific knowledge in the form of paradigms . [21] In research according to the scientific method, observations can occur that cannot be explained by the existing models or paradigms. Kuhn called these exceptions anomalies . If these lead to changes in the paradigm that no longer works everywhere, science makes progress.

A striking example of such a paradigm shift is the Copernican revolution in the worldview from the 16th century onwards through the work of astronomers and physicists such as Nicolaus Copernicus , Tycho Brahe , Johannes Kepler , Galileo Galilei and Isaac Newton . They preferred data from reality ( empiricism ) to the authority of Aristotle 's geocentric world view . The Roman Catholic Churchhad adopted that worldview with the Earth at the center of the universe as standard, but it was refuted by the said scholars. These placed that center at the Sun .

Scientific result

Science and technology have a wide range of direct and indirect returns. Immediately tangible results are publications and directly applicable devices, techniques and methods. Bibliometrics can measure Dutch knowledge production and compare it internationally by looking at [22]

Science often achieves definitive results. For example, many proofs for the Pythagorean theorem and the cause of gastric ulcers : especially Helicobacter pylori ). In other cases, science continues to broaden and correct, with sometimes revolutionary new developments. Examples are determining the radial velocity of stars to find exoplanets , or CRIPRS-Cas to alter DNA ).

Study and foundation

There are some fields of science that can either be seen as the foundation of the rest of science or have the rest of science as the object of study. Logic is the foundation for science, mathematics is indispensable for many sciences. Science is the object of study for the history of science and the sociology of science. Philosophy of science falls into both categories. Methodology is rooted in the philosophy of science, but also in logic and mathematics.


Logic is originally the science concerned with the study of correct reasoning. Already in antiquity it was noted that human reasoning can be systematically broken down into combinations of fixed patterns, so-called inferences . [23] The central question of formal logic is: under what condition a given statement is a valid inference ( judgment ) from one or more other statements ( premises )? A full treatment of this question presupposes: [24]

  • the classification of the components of the statement: the terms or concepts ,
  • the meaning of the statement and its constituents,
  • the definition of the terms.

In logic it is assumed that formal logic ( logic minor ) can form the basis of science ( logic major ), which examines how inferences are made in the various sciences. There is a distinction here between general and special science. In a broad sense, logic is included in the theory of knowledge , which examines the origin, criticality of knowledge and the reality value of knowledge, and sometimes also the metaphysics of reason, which is concerned with the investigation of reason as a determining factor in world events. [24]


Methodology is the study of the scientific methods, procedures and practices to be used to acquire knowledge and advance science. Each discipline has its own methods and techniques and often also a specific organization with researchers , chairs and professional literature , where this specific methodology is studied.

The concept of methodology is often associated with making a research design. Due to the semantic confusion surrounding this term, notions of methodology, method and methodology are often used interchangeably. As a field, methodology has to do with structuring actions in order to justify search behaviour. Methodology is here understood as action theory. [25] Important forms of methodology in science are research methodology and design methodology .

Philosophy of Science

In the Athenian school of Raphael (1509), Plato and Aristotle argue about the source of all knowledge. Plato hereby refers upwards to the celestial spheres, and Aristotle downwards to the terrestrial existence, as the source of all knowledge

According to Herman Koningsveld , philosophy of science poses the question of what science is. According to him, different approaches to the phenomenon of science are possible: [26]

  • Cultural-historical approach: within this approach, science is examined as a cultural phenomenon that is the fruit of a historical process.
  • Economic approach: it is hardly possible to speak of a science economy, in which the phenomenon of science is viewed through the eyes of the economist.
  • Psychological approach: Science can be examined from a psychological point of view by focusing on the process of scientific understanding.
  • Sociological approach: In the sociology of science, science is examined as an activity of a group of people. Which norms and values ​​constitute the scientific group? What institutions are there? What status symbols.
  • Science-historical approach: this concerns the historiography of science itself.

According to Koningsveld, the philosophical approach to the phenomenon of science consists of both an analysis and an appreciation of this phenomenon, both in the sense of research and in the sense of theory. In the analysis of the philosophy of science, an attempt is made to expose the assumptions of science as an activity and to obtain clarification about the path in which that research takes place, ie the methods and the logic behind that research. At the same time, the philosophy of science aims to answer questions about the structure, status and truth-claim of theories. The valuation focuses on the question of justification: how can the assumptions, research methods and truth claims of theories be justified? [26]

History of science

The history of science is the field in which the history of science as a whole or of individual fields of science is examined. It is a specialism within historical science , but is related to the philosophy of science and the sociology of science.

Like other forms of history, the history of science aims to analyze and interpret historical facts. Every observation has a starting point (theory). Just selecting the relevant historical facts entails a certain interpretation. [27]

Sociology of Science

Sociology of science , a branch of sociology , studies the social processes in which scientific information is produced, recognized as valid by the scientific community, and finally passed on to society. [28]

Since 1945, and especially after 1970, scientific sociological research has led to a growing understanding of the complex of science and technology as part of social processes and structures. The mutual influence between science and society has existed before, but especially since 1945 this process has accelerated and increased in size and significance. This is characteristic of any society with a high or low but increasing degree of industrialization . The development of science and technology as part of society is increasingly recognized as an independent subject of study. [4]

An important point of discussion in sociology of science is whether there is such a thing as value-free science . Science is value-free if the knowledge that science produces is not influenced by values ​​(personal preferences or interests or social values). [29]


Mathematics lecture on linear algebra ( matrices ) at the Helsinki University of Technology in 2005

Whether mathematics itself can be classified as science with science is a point of contention in the Anglo-Saxon countries. [source?] Some see the scientific evidence as an absolute condition for scientific experiments. Others see mathematics merely as an auxiliary science to natural science, because mathematics usually does not conduct experiments to test theories and hypotheses. Social sciences and humanities are often referred to as humanities . Mathematical theorems and formulas are obtained with mathematical logic or from derivations of axioms† Therefore, mathematics is classified as formal science and physics and social science as empirical sciences.

Mathematics in general is not an empirical science, although (computer) experiments are sometimes possible. The profession is closely related to logic . The role of logic in mathematics was important in the fundamental struggle that raged between leading mathematicians in the 1920-30s. Many subdisciplines (subdisciplines) of mathematics have applications, even the pure branches like number theory and topology . Mathematics is indispensable for all natural and technical sciences and for many social sciences, but not for the humanities, such as reflective philosophy, history and theology.

Mathematics fulfills three roles. In the first place, it provides an abstract language with symbols, which can be used for abstract calculations through, for example, algebraic equations and scientific models . Secondly, statistics can help to draw reliable conclusions from experiments. Finally, mathematics can help to better design and systematize research, for example hypotheses, experiments and other observations. Research methodology and statistical analysis are compulsory courses in many human sciences, such as psychology and pedagogy .


A wide range of institutions belong to academic science: from universities with their laboratories and libraries, research institutes to scientific publishers. Science is also practiced in industrial laboratories, such as those of the pharmaceutical and food industries, or in government agencies, such as defense, environmental or water management institutions.

An academy is, in the broadest sense, an institution of higher education, a university or college , for the practice of science, literature or the arts. Someone who has completed an academic education may use an academic title .
Research Institute
A research institute is an organization focused on the development of new science or applications. Such an organization is also known as a centre, expertise centre, knowledge centre, knowledge institute, research centre, institute, research institute and all possible English-language variants. A research institute is an organization with scientific, technical and administrative staff. The size of such an institute can vary from a few to hundreds of employees. The research area with the goals, methods and means is laid down in the policy plan of the institute. Some institutes are set up around a government or industry research program.
A university is an institution for higher education , scientific research and services . Universities are generally subdivided into a number of faculties or departments, with a scientific library and research institutes. Faculties and various universities now work together in specialized research schools .
Association of Researchers
Associations of researchers come in all kinds. Well-known associations are:
Snow-covered grass roof of the TU Delft library
Scientific Library
Every university or other higher education institution has a scientific library or university library with specialist literature and media. The products, such as the catalog and services of a university library, are available to staff and students of the university. It thus supports education and research. Often a university library serves as an umbrella organization for the faculty libraries associated with the university. In contrast to a public library , a university library has a preservation function: documents that have been included are in principle retained in the collection .
Scientific Community
The scientific community refers to all researchers in the world and their mutual interaction. This community can be divided into disciplines. The scientific method strives for objectivity. Peer review during debates , conferences, congresses, symposia and publications in scientific journals also help.
The KNAW in the Trippenhuis in Amsterdam, since 1877.
scientific society
A scientific society is an organization to promote a scientific field and sometimes also to disseminate and popularize knowledge about it. Membership in such societies can be open to anyone, but usually a certain academic degree is required or new members are invited to join after an internal election. The latter is especially the case with the oldest scientific societies: membership is then seen as an honor bestowed upon only renowned scholars.
Scientific literature
The scientific literature is the collection of serious publications that report on empirical and theoretical work in science, in the alpha, beta and gamma sciences. Literature is often referred to simply.
Scientific symposia
A scientific congress, conference or symposium is a meeting for researchers and interested parties to show and discuss their work. Together with scientific journals, symposia serve to exchange ideas and other information.
Scientific magazine
A scientific journal is a journal in which scientists publish their findings. After peer review , assessment by colleagues, the editors decide to place or reject the submitted article.
A researcher, scientist or scholar is someone who has mostly received higher education at a university or college. Through research or education, the researcher contributes to the development and dissemination of new knowledge or its application. Researchers often first present their new insights to colleagues through public lectures, discussions and publications, but also without public publication to their clients such as industry.

Also see

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