Studies and analyses are vital to progress and innovation and are the only way to empirically verify theories.
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.
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.
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.
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.
innovations-report maintains a wealth of in-depth studies and analyses from a variety of subject areas including business and finance, medicine and ph
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 | Read more
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 | Read more
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 | Read more
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 | Read more
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 | Read more
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 | Read more
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 | Read more
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 | Read more
The EU wants to help European SMEs to catch up with smart industry. To provide specific support, the EU has initiated a pan-European survey on “Smart Engineering”. The research project’s objective is to identify the actual situation of European companies on their way towards Industry 4.0, to sum up all national funding initiatives and to determine the actual demand of SMEs. The project is jointly conducted by 15 research institutions and companies from seven countries – among them the Institut für Integrierte Produktion Hannover (IPH).
Smart engineering and networked systems revolutionize production industry. Machines learn how to intercommunicate and autonomously keep supplies coming, as...30.03.2017 | Read more
Fertilizers, animal waste, changes to atmospheric chemistry and warming soils all tied to increased ammonia over US, Europe, China and India
The first global, long-term satellite study of airborne ammonia gas has revealed "hotspots" of the pollutant over four of the world's most productive...17.03.2017 | Read more
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
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22.09.2017 | Life Sciences
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22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy