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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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Rising CO2 has unforeseen strong impact on Arctic plant productivity

In a new study, a team of researchers around Alexander Winkler and Prof Victor Brovkin from the department “The Land in the Earth system” at the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology (MPI-M) show that most Earth system models (ESM) underestimate the response of Arctic plant productivity to rising atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration.

These models, which serve as the scientific basis for the IPCC Assessment Reports, likely also underestimate future carbon uptake by photosynthesis - a key...

21.02.2019 | nachricht Read more

Scientists Create New Map of Brain’s Immune System

Versatile immune cells in the brain serve diverse functions / Changes in course of multiple sclerosis mapped for first time / Study in journal Nature refutes textbook opinion

A team of researchers under the direction of the Medical Center – University of Freiburg has created an entirely new map of the brain’s own immune system in...

18.02.2019 | nachricht Read more

Forest Bird Community is endangered in South America

Study of the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin shows birds dependency of high woody cover levels in the Gran Chaco

Only 7 percent of Argentina’s largest tropical dry forest presents woody cover levels above the threshold to host the forest bird community of the dry Chaco. A...

12.02.2019 | nachricht Read more

Even psychological placebos have an effect

Placebo effects do not only occur in medical treatment – placebos can also work when psychological effects are attributed to them. Researchers from the University of Basel’s Faculty of Psychology reported these findings in the journal Scientific Reports, based on three studies with over 400 participants.

Psychotherapy and placebos are both psychological interventions that not only have comparable effects, but that are also based on very similar mechanisms. Both...

05.02.2019 | nachricht Read more

Rainfall extremes are connected across continents: Nature study

Extreme rainfall events in one city or region are connected to the same kind of events thousands of kilometers away, an international team of experts finds in a study now published in one of the world’s leading scientific journals, Nature. They discovered a global connection pattern of extreme rainfall – this could eventually improve weather forecasts and hence help to limit damages and protect people. Extreme rainfall events are on the rise due to human-caused climate change, which makes the study even more relevant.

The researchers developed a new method rooted in complex systems science to analyze satellite data. The revealed extreme rainfall patterns are likely linked to...

31.01.2019 | nachricht Read more

Lubricant for oil tankers

If ship hulls were coated with special high-tech air trapping materials, up to one percent of global CO2 emissions could be avoided. This is the conclusion reached by scientists from the University of Bonn together with colleagues from St. Augustin and Rostock in a recent study. According to the study, ships could save up to 20 percent of fuel as a result of reduced drag. If so-called antifouling effects are also considered, such as the reduced growth of organisms on the hull, the reduction can even be doubled. The study has now been published in the journal “Philosophical Transactions A”.

Ships are among the worst fuel guzzlers in the world. Together, they burn an estimated 250 million tonnes per year and emit around one billion tonnes of carbon...

24.01.2019 | nachricht Read more

The Impact of Climate Change on Groundwater – a Ticking Time Bomb

According to a study recently published in the journal Nature Climate Change, in most regions of the world the effects of today’s climate changes on groundwater will only become manifest over the next 100 years, thus impacting the lives of generations that come after us.

Climate change and its immediate, already perceptible consequences, such as the melting of the polar ice caps or coral bleaching, are regularly the focus of...

24.01.2019 | nachricht Read more

New study first to predict which oil and gas wells are leaking methane

Each year brings new research showing that oil and natural gas wells leak significant amounts of the potent greenhouse gas methane.

A new study just published in the journal Environmental Geosciences is the first to offer a profile of which wells are the most likely culprits.

21.12.2018 | nachricht Read more

Droughts boost emissions as hydropower dries up

When hydropower runs low in a drought, western states tend to ramp up power generation - and emissions - from fossil fuels. According to a new study from Stanford University, droughts caused about 10 percent of the average annual carbon dioxide emissions from power generation in California, Idaho, Oregon and Washington between 2001 and 2015.

"Water is used in electricity generation, both directly for hydropower and indirectly for cooling in thermoelectric power plants," said climate scientist Noah...

21.12.2018 | nachricht Read more

When a fish becomes fluid

Fluidity transition in zebrafish embryo necessary for development – Study published in Nature Cell Biology

Zebrafish aren’t just surrounded by liquid, but turn liquid - in part - during their development. As the zebrafish embryo develops from a ball of cells to a...

17.12.2018 | nachricht Read more
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Electrons in the fast lane

Solar cells based on perovskite compounds could soon make electricity generation from sunlight even more efficient and cheaper. The laboratory efficiency of these perovskite solar cells already exceeds that of the well-known silicon solar cells. An international team led by Stefan Weber from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Mainz has found microscopic structures in perovskite crystals that can guide the charge transport in the solar cell. Clever alignment of these "electron highways" could make perovskite solar cells even more powerful.

Solar cells convert sunlight into electricity. During this process, the electrons of the material inside the cell absorb the energy of the light....

Im Focus: The lightest electromagnetic shielding material in the world

Empa researchers have succeeded in applying aerogels to microelectronics: Aerogels based on cellulose nanofibers can effectively shield electromagnetic radiation over a wide frequency range – and they are unrivalled in terms of weight.

Electric motors and electronic devices generate electromagnetic fields that sometimes have to be shielded in order not to affect neighboring electronic...

Im Focus: Gentle wall contact – the right scenario for a fusion power plant

Quasi-continuous power exhaust developed as a wall-friendly method on ASDEX Upgrade

A promising operating mode for the plasma of a future power plant has been developed at the ASDEX Upgrade fusion device at Max Planck Institute for Plasma...

Im Focus: ILA Goes Digital – Automation & Production Technology for Adaptable Aircraft Production

Live event – July 1, 2020 - 11:00 to 11:45 (CET)
"Automation in Aerospace Industry @ Fraunhofer IFAM"

The Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials IFAM l Stade is presenting its forward-looking R&D portfolio for the first time at...

Im Focus: AI monitoring of laser welding processes - X-ray vision and eavesdropping ensure quality

With an X-ray experiment at the European Synchrotron ESRF in Grenoble (France), Empa researchers were able to demonstrate how well their real-time acoustic monitoring of laser weld seams works. With almost 90 percent reliability, they detected the formation of unwanted pores that impair the quality of weld seams. Thanks to a special evaluation method based on artificial intelligence (AI), the detection process is completed in just 70 milliseconds.

Laser welding is a process suitable for joining metals and thermoplastics. It has become particularly well established in highly automated production, for...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

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