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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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Network analysis shows systemic risk in mineral markets

A shortage of a rare mineral could spur global market instabilities, according to a new analysis of international commodity trade networks.

Shortages of natural resources—minerals such as copper, aluminum, and mercury—could lead to cascading shocks and lead to instabilities in the global trade...

16.11.2015 | nachricht Read more

NIST study of Colorado wildfire shows actions can change outcomes

A new study of Colorado's devastating 2012 Waldo Canyon wildfire demonstrates that prompt and effective action can significantly change the outcome of fires that occur in areas where residential communities and undeveloped wildlands meet. The study by the U.S. Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is the most comprehensive examination in history of a wildland urban interface (WUI) fire.

"WUI fires are very different from earthquakes, hurricanes and tornados where the hazard cannot be controlled," said NIST fire researcher and principal...

10.11.2015 | nachricht Read more

Learning in your sleep – the right way

You can swot up on vocabulary in your sleep – but only if you don’t confuse your brain in the process. Researchers funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation have invited people to their sleep lab for a Dutch language course.

You can’t learn new things in your sleep. Nevertheless, if you’ve been learning vocabulary in a foreign language, it can be highly effective to hear these...

28.10.2015 | nachricht Read more

Up to 27 seconds of inattention after talking to your car or smartphone

Distraction rated 'high' for most devices while driving

If you think it is okay to talk to your car infotainment system or smartphone while driving or even when stopped at a red light, think again. It takes up to 27...

22.10.2015 | nachricht Read more

A study of 377,000 sheds light on the role played by the genome in eczema

The largest genetic study of atopic dermatitis ever performed permitted a team of international researchers to identify ten previously unknown genetic variations that contribute to the development of the condition. The researchers also found evidence of genetic overlap between atopic dermatitis and other illnesses, including inflammatory bowel disease. The results was published in Nature Genetics online on October 19.

Atopic dermatitis, a type of eczema, afflicts approximately one out of every five children and one out of every twelve adults. Though knowledge of the genome...

21.10.2015 | nachricht Read more

Firstborn, middle child, or last-born: Birth order has only very small effects on personality

Who we become only marginally correlates with our birth position amongst siblings. Psychologists from the universities of Mainz and Leipzig, Germany, came to this conclusion in a study recently published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS).

The question of whether a person’s position among siblings has a lasting impact on personality has occupied scientist for more than 100 years. Laypeople as...

20.10.2015 | nachricht Read more

Carbon sequestration in soil: The potential underfoot

Declining greenhouse gas emissions from European cropland could compensate for up to 7% of annual agricultural emissions from the region, according to a new study analyzing the carbon uptake potential of soil. However at global scale, indirect effects could offset significant parts of these emission savings.

A new study published in the journal Global Environmental Change projects that carbon sequestration in European cropland could store between 9 and 38 megatons...

19.10.2015 | nachricht Read more

New Formula for Life-Satisfaction

In a new study, mathematical economist Prof. Dr. Christian Bayer, from the Hausdorff Center for Mathematics at the University of Bonn, has demonstrated a connection between long-term income increases and personal satisfaction. Overtime also affects personal levels of happiness – but in a negative way. His findings will be presented in the latest issue of the “American Economic Journal”.

Does money bring happiness? A study by Professor Christian Bayer from the University of Bonn provides new answers to this often-discussed question. In the...

01.10.2015 | nachricht Read more

Carbon storage in soils: Climate vs. Geology

Scientists took a closer look at the much-discussed topic of carbon storage in soils under Climate Change. In a large-scale study across Chile and the Antarctic Peninsula, they show that the role of precipitation and temperature in controlling carbon dynamics in soils is less than currently considered in Global Ecosystem Models.

Soils are important for carbon storage and thus for atmospheric CO2 concentrations. Whether soils store or release carbon is in general related to climatic...

14.09.2015 | nachricht Read more

The largest pan-European iodine study starts

Could a better iodine supply make Europe smarter?

Scientists from 27 European countries want, with the support of the EU, to declare war on iodine deficiency. With the EUthyroid network, a pan-European...

07.09.2015 | nachricht Read more
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

Im Focus: A thermometer for the oceans

Measurement of noble gases in Antarctic ice cores

The oceans are the largest global heat reservoir. As a result of man-made global warming, the temperature in the global climate system increases; around 90% of...

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