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Scientific research using studies and analyses

Studies and analyses are vital to progress and innovation and are the only way to empirically verify theories.

Science and empirical studies and analyses

Not all fields of science are dependent on empirical studies and analyses to verify a thesis. Mathematics, theology, philosophy and law are examples of fields that revolve within a stand-alone world in which new findings are derived by means of logical operations consisting of axioms, postulates or articles of faith (theology) that need not be proven true or accurate through empirical studies or analyses. Although these subjects are indispensable when it comes to basic research, by themselves they don't yield technical advances.

Empirical scientific approaches are diametrically opposed to these fields however. In this case, new theories are developed based on thought processes, observations and speculation. Ensuring that this knowledge has actual scientific relevance requires that it undergo an empirical evaluation however. Researchers rely on studies and analyses to compare these theses with real observations. New scientific knowledge is considered valid only after empirical studies and analyses show that theory and reality coincide. In the process it is imperative that the studies and analyses always produce the same result under the same experiment structure. Only then it is empirically proven that the result actually behaves in line with the theory.

Using empirical studies and analyses beyond the natural sciences and engineering

The validation process for new findings based on studies and analyses as described above is in no way limited to natural and engineering sciences such as physics, biology, chemistry, medicine and health, machine engineering or aero and space engineering. In fields such as the social sciences, studies and analyses are also indispensable for empirically proving the accuracy of assumptions and conclusions. Sociology uses empirical-based statistics, studies and analyses to determine if statements about the migration behavior of specific population groups is accurate for instance. The field of psychology also relies on analyses and studies to empirically validate the assumptions of certain behavior patterns.

Progress and innovation through empirical studies and analyses

Before the Enlightenment changed our way of thinking, universities tended to postulate and speculate more than perform scientific research. Innovations therefore were apt be accidental. Once researchers were convinced that scientific results were only possible through the use of empirical studies and analysis, the groundwork was laid for the rapid advances in science that followed. Empirical studies and analyses range from simple experiments, particularly by measuring, weighing and counting, to extremely complex processes that require an enormous amount of time and money. Determining the validity of scientific theories using empirical assurances is one of the prerequisites for implementing these theories in practice. When a specific fact has been confirmed and documented based on studies and analyses, the assumption is that it will remain a fact in the future under the same premises. Only then does it make sense to develop new technologies based on this knowledge, because this provides sufficient proof of the assumption that they always function in the same manner.

Two historical examples of progress based on studies and analyses

Gregor Mendel's studies and analyses on genetics provided empirical proof of his theories of heredity, which then led to modern plant breeding and the establishment of food security for millions of people. The effectiveness of penicillin, another invaluable innovation for mankind, was empirically proven by Alexander Fleming through medical studies and analyses.

Studies and Analyses

innovations-report maintains a wealth of in-depth studies and analyses from a variety of subject areas including business and finance, medicine and ph

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The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change

Forests fulfil numerous important functions, and do so particularly well if they are rich in different species of trees. This is the result of a new study. In addition, forest managers do not have to decide on the provision of solely one service – such as wood production or nature conservation – as a second study demonstrates: several services provided by forest ecosystems can be improved at the same time. Both studies were led by scientists from Leipzig University and the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv), and published in the prestigious journal Ecology Letters.

Forests are of great importance to humans: the wood grown in forests is used in our houses for furniture, roof timbers and flooring; forests store carbon from...

17.11.2017 | nachricht Read more

Win-win strategies for climate and food security

Efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the agriculture and forestry sectors could lead to increased food prices—but new research identifies strategies that could help mitigate climate change while avoiding steep hikes in food prices.

Climate policies that target agriculture and forests could lead to increased food prices, but reducing deforestation and increasing soil carbon sequestration...

02.10.2017 | nachricht Read more

The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data

The sharing of research data presents a social dilemma. Although the sharing of research data offers great potential for scientific progress, researchers rarely practise it. A study of the ZBW – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics in cooperation with the Leibniz Research Alliance Science 2.0 looks at the role played by the personality of researchers within this social dilemma and which individual barriers and incentives should be taken into account.

The personality of a researcher can play an important part in his or her decision to share research data. This is the result of a national, interdisciplinary...

06.09.2017 | nachricht Read more

Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises

Europe is demographically divided. In the north, west and centre of the continent, comparatively high fertility rates and immigration are ensuring population growth for the foreseeable future. By contrast, many regions in southern and Eastern Europe are threatened with accelerated aging processes and marked population losses.

Europe is not just the proverbial “old” continent. Its populations are also on average older than elsewhere in the world. Even now, there are only some three...

10.08.2017 | nachricht Read more

Scientists reveal source of human heartbeat in 3-D

A pioneering new study is set to help surgeons repair hearts without damaging precious tissue

A pioneering new study is set to help surgeons repair hearts without damaging precious tissue.

07.08.2017 | nachricht Read more

Physics of bubbles could explain language patterns

Language patterns could be predicted by simple laws of physics, a new study has found.

Dr James Burridge from the University of Portsmouth has published a theory using ideas from physics to predict where and how dialects occur.

25.07.2017 | nachricht Read more

Obstructing the ‘inner eye’

Psychologists at Friedrich Schiller University Jena (Germany) aim to develop brain theory of hypnosis

Hypnosis can help people stop smoking, sleep better and even undergo dental treatment without pain. But what exactly is hypnosis and what precisely happens in...

07.07.2017 | nachricht Read more

Drone vs. truck deliveries: Which create less carbon pollution?

Delivering packages with drones can reduce carbon dioxide emissions in certain circumstances as compared to truck deliveries, a new study from University of Washington transportation engineers finds.

In a paper to be published in an upcoming issue of Transportation Research Part D, researchers found that drones tend to have carbon dioxide emissions...

31.05.2017 | nachricht Read more

New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?

The new study "The Economic and Social Impact of Software and Services on Competitiveness and Innovation" explores how Europe’s software and IT industry should position itself in the future in order to remain globally competitive. An impact analysis was conducted for numerous fields like big data, cybersecurity or the Internet of Things (IoT) and examined what share of the international market Europe holds and how the market will evolve in the near future. Based on these findings, the study derives recommendations for how Europe can become a leading provider of software and IT services in the long term.

The future competitiveness of the European economy will be decisively influenced by the digital transformation. Globally, this process will result in many new...

03.04.2017 | nachricht Read more

Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study

Study published in Environmental Science: Water Research and Technology

A new class of carbon nanotubes could be the next-generation clean-up crew for toxic sludge and contaminated water, say researchers at Rochester Institute of...

30.03.2017 | nachricht Read more
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

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