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The Importance of Scientific Research in an Ever-Evolving World

By jack larson posted 04-27-2021 11:54 am.

Scientific research is critical to help us navigate our ever-changing world. Without it, we would have to rely on people’s opinions, our intuitions and luck. Systematic scientific research offers us an objective understanding because scientific knowledge is grounded in objective, tangible evidence. 

A number of science-enabled innovations are having a transformative impact in many areas, such as curing disease, shrinking our carbon footprint, and changing the way we manufacture. These innovations include personalized medicine, 3D printing, bio-based materials, and more advanced renewable energies. 

What is scientific research?

Scientists develop a research question, conduct a thorough search of published literature about the topic, and then carefully plan their methodology to test the research question. Without using the sound methodology, the results may not be accurate and the conclusions unsubstantiated. For example, they need to design control experiments so that all variables except the one they are investigating are kept constant. 

Once data are collected, results are statistically tested and conclusions are drawn from them. The research is then submitted to a peer-reviewed journal. 

Many different industries such as manufacturing, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, food and beverages, computer software, and robotics have high research and development costs. Excedr provides scientists with lab equipment leases and comprehensive service plans at an affordable price. This enables businesses to preserve their liquidity and increase their operating budget, leaving them with more capital for other critical areas. 

Scientific method

Scientific research has to follow a scientific method and contribute to a body of science. Scientific method refers to a standardized way of making observations and interpreting results. It allows researchers to impartially test preexisting theories . 

Others should be able to independently replicate the results of any scientific research and a theory that cannot be accurately measured or specified in precise terms can’t be tested and is therefore not scientific. 

Building and improving knowledge

Research builds knowledge and supports existing knowledge with proven facts. It is necessary to ascertain whether ideas are supported by studies or if they still need further proof before they can be considered as knowledge. Cancer is just one of the countless topics of study that are constantly being examined by researchers in medical institutions and universities.

As theories cycle through the scientific process again and again, they are tested and retested in different ways, building more confidence in them. This iterative process makes modifying, expanding and combining theories into increasingly credible explanations possible. 

Critical thinking

Cognitive biases are the systemic mistakes individuals make when they try to think rationally, and these biases can lead to inaccurate conclusions. This is why science is not only a mechanism for understanding the natural world but a framework for engaging in logical reasoning. 

For instance, clinicians in daily practice have to make sense of the information provided through an interview with a patient, a physical examination, and laboratory tests to make a diagnosis and devise a treatment plan. Without critically evaluating information, they can endanger the health of their patients. 

Collaborative research

The old siloed approach to scientific research is starting to give way to a more collaborative effort where engineers, biologists, chemistry researchers and physicists work together to help solve challenges of the ever-evolving world. This includes researching issues like climate change and health. Science plays a foundational role in meeting the environmental and societal challenges of the future. 

Real-life applications

Scientific knowledge is useful in hundreds of different ways, from slowing climate change to designing bridges. It helps us to solve practical problems, develop new technologies, and make informed decisions. For instance, discovering the structure of DNA was the underpinning research of many practical applications, such as genetically engineered crops, tests for genetic diseases, and DNA fingerprinting. 

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Essay, Letter , Paragrah , Aplication

Importance of Scientific Research

Essay on Importance of Scientific Research

Research means systematic (regular) or careful search for facts of knowledge or new facts in a subject. Research may be done:[tie_list type=”thumbup”]

  • To increase (add to our knowledge in a particular subject after having studied its basic details.
  • To discover new facts or invent something. Scientific research has these two aims in a very clear way.

Students of science start their research work after learning the basic details of their subjects. Thus, proper research work in the sciences is possible after B.Sc. or M.Sc. Students who are very devoted to scientific work (who do this with the effect of love) should get busy with research Scientific research is the highest form of scientific study. In it a student or scholar (person with great knowledge) of science concentrates on (gives particular attention to a definite field or branch of a subject. He may come to specialize in this subject during his research.[the_ad id=”17141″]

We should provide all kinds of research facilities to our science students and scholars. We should have a large number of laboratories with enough (all the needed) modern scientific apparatus or equipment for experimentation and research.

In fact, scientific research is the basis of all real scientific, industrial and agricultural progress. Science students reading a new book on their subjects and performing experiments indefinite fields of study work for scientific progress.

It has been possible to make peaceful uses of nuclear energy through scientific research. Scientists did a lot of research to know the ways of using atomic energy in atomic reactors to produce electricity, run ships on the sea, etc. However, at first nuclear energy was put to destructive use after a great deal of scientific research.

It will be to the benefit of the entire world if scientific research is pursued for peaceful, constructive purposes alone.

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essay on importance of scientific research

Understanding Science

How science REALLY works...

  • Understanding Science 101
  • Scientific findings frequently benefit society through technological and other innovations.
  • Technological innovations may lead to new scientific breakthroughs.
  • Some scientists are motivated by potential applications of their research.

Benefits of science

The process of science is a way of building knowledge about the universe — constructing new ideas that illuminate the world around us. Those ideas are inherently tentative, but as they cycle through the process of science again and again and are tested and retested in different ways, we become increasingly confident in them. Furthermore, through this same iterative process, ideas are modified, expanded, and combined into more powerful explanations. For example, a few observations about inheritance patterns in garden peas can — over many years and through the work of many different scientists — be built into the broad understanding of genetics offered by science today. So although the process of science is iterative, ideas do not churn through it repetitively. Instead, the cycle actively serves to construct and integrate scientific knowledge.

And that knowledge is useful for all sorts of things: designing bridges, slowing climate change, and prompting frequent hand washing during flu season. Scientific knowledge allows us to develop new technologies , solve practical problems, and make informed decisions — both individually and collectively. Because its products are so useful, the process of science is intertwined with those applications:

  • New scientific knowledge may lead to new applications. For example, the discovery of the structure of DNA was a fundamental breakthrough in biology. It formed the underpinnings of research that would ultimately lead to a wide variety of practical applications, including DNA fingerprinting, genetically engineered crops, and tests for genetic diseases.
  • New technological advances may lead to new scientific discoveries. For example, developing DNA copying and sequencing technologies has led to important breakthroughs in many areas of biology, especially in the reconstruction of the evolutionary relationships among organisms.
  • Potential applications may motivate scientific investigations. For example, the possibility of engineering microorganisms to cheaply produce drugs for diseases like malaria motivates many researchers in the field to continue their studies of microbe genetics.

The process of science and you

This flowchart represents the process of formal science, but in fact, many aspects of this process are relevant to everyone and can be used in your everyday life. Sure, some elements of the process really only apply to formal science (e.g., publication, feedback from the scientific community), but others are widely applicable to everyday situations (e.g., asking questions, gathering evidence, solving practical problems). Understanding the process of science can help anyone develop a scientific outlook on life.

  • Take a sidetrip

To find out how to develop a scientific outlook, visit  A scientific approach to life: A science toolkit .

  • Science in action
  • Teaching resources

Scientific results regularly make their way into our everyday lives. Follow scientific ideas from lab bench to application:

  • The structure of DNA: Cooperation and competition
  • Ozone depletion: Uncovering the hidden hazard of hairspray

Want to learn even more about the relationship between science and its applications? Jump ahead to these units:

  • Science and society
  • What has science done for you lately?
  • Use our  web interactive  to help students document and reflect on the process of science.
  • Learn strategies for building lessons and activities around the Science Flowchart: Grades 3-5 Grades 6-8 Grades 9-12 Grades 13-16
  • Find lesson plans for introducing the Science Flowchart to your students in: Grades 3-5 Grades 6-8 Grades 9-16
  • Get  graphics and pdfs of the Science Flowchart  to use in your classroom. Translations are available in Spanish, French, Japanese, and Swahili.

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2.1 Why Is Research Important?

Learning objectives.

By the end of this section, you will be able to:

  • Explain how scientific research addresses questions about behavior
  • Discuss how scientific research guides public policy
  • Appreciate how scientific research can be important in making personal decisions

Scientific research is a critical tool for successfully navigating our complex world. Without it, we would be forced to rely solely on intuition, other people’s authority, and blind luck. While many of us feel confident in our abilities to decipher and interact with the world around us, history is filled with examples of how very wrong we can be when we fail to recognize the need for evidence in supporting claims. At various times in history, we would have been certain that the sun revolved around a flat earth, that the earth’s continents did not move, and that mental illness was caused by possession ( Figure 2.2 ). It is through systematic scientific research that we divest ourselves of our preconceived notions and superstitions and gain an objective understanding of ourselves and our world.

The goal of all scientists is to better understand the world around them. Psychologists focus their attention on understanding behavior, as well as the cognitive (mental) and physiological (body) processes that underlie behavior. In contrast to other methods that people use to understand the behavior of others, such as intuition and personal experience, the hallmark of scientific research is that there is evidence to support a claim. Scientific knowledge is empirical : It is grounded in objective, tangible evidence that can be observed time and time again, regardless of who is observing.

While behavior is observable, the mind is not. If someone is crying, we can see behavior. However, the reason for the behavior is more difficult to determine. Is the person crying due to being sad, in pain, or happy? Sometimes we can learn the reason for someone’s behavior by simply asking a question, like “Why are you crying?” However, there are situations in which an individual is either uncomfortable or unwilling to answer the question honestly, or is incapable of answering. For example, infants would not be able to explain why they are crying. In such circumstances, the psychologist must be creative in finding ways to better understand behavior. This chapter explores how scientific knowledge is generated, and how important that knowledge is in forming decisions in our personal lives and in the public domain.

Use of Research Information

Trying to determine which theories are and are not accepted by the scientific community can be difficult, especially in an area of research as broad as psychology. More than ever before, we have an incredible amount of information at our fingertips, and a simple internet search on any given research topic might result in a number of contradictory studies. In these cases, we are witnessing the scientific community going through the process of reaching a consensus, and it could be quite some time before a consensus emerges. For example, the explosion in our use of technology has led researchers to question whether this ultimately helps or hinders us. The use and implementation of technology in educational settings has become widespread over the last few decades. Researchers are coming to different conclusions regarding the use of technology. To illustrate this point, a study investigating a smartphone app targeting surgery residents (graduate students in surgery training) found that the use of this app can increase student engagement and raise test scores (Shaw & Tan, 2015). Conversely, another study found that the use of technology in undergraduate student populations had negative impacts on sleep, communication, and time management skills (Massimini & Peterson, 2009). Until sufficient amounts of research have been conducted, there will be no clear consensus on the effects that technology has on a student's acquisition of knowledge, study skills, and mental health.

In the meantime, we should strive to think critically about the information we encounter by exercising a degree of healthy skepticism. When someone makes a claim, we should examine the claim from a number of different perspectives: what is the expertise of the person making the claim, what might they gain if the claim is valid, does the claim seem justified given the evidence, and what do other researchers think of the claim? This is especially important when we consider how much information in advertising campaigns and on the internet claims to be based on “scientific evidence” when in actuality it is a belief or perspective of just a few individuals trying to sell a product or draw attention to their perspectives.

We should be informed consumers of the information made available to us because decisions based on this information have significant consequences. One such consequence can be seen in politics and public policy. Imagine that you have been elected as the governor of your state. One of your responsibilities is to manage the state budget and determine how to best spend your constituents’ tax dollars. As the new governor, you need to decide whether to continue funding early intervention programs. These programs are designed to help children who come from low-income backgrounds, have special needs, or face other disadvantages. These programs may involve providing a wide variety of services to maximize the children's development and position them for optimal levels of success in school and later in life (Blann, 2005). While such programs sound appealing, you would want to be sure that they also proved effective before investing additional money in these programs. Fortunately, psychologists and other scientists have conducted vast amounts of research on such programs and, in general, the programs are found to be effective (Neil & Christensen, 2009; Peters-Scheffer, Didden, Korzilius, & Sturmey, 2011). While not all programs are equally effective, and the short-term effects of many such programs are more pronounced, there is reason to believe that many of these programs produce long-term benefits for participants (Barnett, 2011). If you are committed to being a good steward of taxpayer money, you would want to look at research. Which programs are most effective? What characteristics of these programs make them effective? Which programs promote the best outcomes? After examining the research, you would be best equipped to make decisions about which programs to fund.

Link to Learning

Watch this video about early childhood program effectiveness to learn how scientists evaluate effectiveness and how best to invest money into programs that are most effective.

Ultimately, it is not just politicians who can benefit from using research in guiding their decisions. We all might look to research from time to time when making decisions in our lives. Imagine that your sister, Maria, expresses concern about her two-year-old child, Umberto. Umberto does not speak as much or as clearly as the other children in his daycare or others in the family. Umberto's pediatrician undertakes some screening and recommends an evaluation by a speech pathologist, but does not refer Maria to any other specialists. Maria is concerned that Umberto's speech delays are signs of a developmental disorder, but Umberto's pediatrician does not; she sees indications of differences in Umberto's jaw and facial muscles. Hearing this, you do some internet searches, but you are overwhelmed by the breadth of information and the wide array of sources. You see blog posts, top-ten lists, advertisements from healthcare providers, and recommendations from several advocacy organizations. Why are there so many sites? Which are based in research, and which are not?

In the end, research is what makes the difference between facts and opinions. Facts are observable realities, and opinions are personal judgments, conclusions, or attitudes that may or may not be accurate. In the scientific community, facts can be established only using evidence collected through empirical research.


Psychological research has a long history involving important figures from diverse backgrounds. While the introductory chapter discussed several researchers who made significant contributions to the discipline, there are many more individuals who deserve attention in considering how psychology has advanced as a science through their work ( Figure 2.3 ). For instance, Margaret Floy Washburn (1871–1939) was the first woman to earn a PhD in psychology. Her research focused on animal behavior and cognition (Margaret Floy Washburn, PhD, n.d.). Mary Whiton Calkins (1863–1930) was a preeminent first-generation American psychologist who opposed the behaviorist movement, conducted significant research into memory, and established one of the earliest experimental psychology labs in the United States (Mary Whiton Calkins, n.d.).

Francis Sumner (1895–1954) was the first African American to receive a PhD in psychology in 1920. His dissertation focused on issues related to psychoanalysis. Sumner also had research interests in racial bias and educational justice. Sumner was one of the founders of Howard University’s department of psychology, and because of his accomplishments, he is sometimes referred to as the “Father of Black Psychology.” Thirteen years later, Inez Beverly Prosser (1895–1934) became the first African American woman to receive a PhD in psychology. Prosser’s research highlighted issues related to education in segregated versus integrated schools, and ultimately, her work was very influential in the hallmark Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court ruling that segregation of public schools was unconstitutional (Ethnicity and Health in America Series: Featured Psychologists, n.d.).

Although the establishment of psychology’s scientific roots occurred first in Europe and the United States, it did not take much time until researchers from around the world began to establish their own laboratories and research programs. For example, some of the first experimental psychology laboratories in South America were founded by Horatio Piñero (1869–1919) at two institutions in Buenos Aires, Argentina (Godoy & Brussino, 2010). In India, Gunamudian David Boaz (1908–1965) and Narendra Nath Sen Gupta (1889–1944) established the first independent departments of psychology at the University of Madras and the University of Calcutta, respectively. These developments provided an opportunity for Indian researchers to make important contributions to the field (Gunamudian David Boaz, n.d.; Narendra Nath Sen Gupta, n.d.).

When the American Psychological Association (APA) was first founded in 1892, all of the members were White males (Women and Minorities in Psychology, n.d.). However, by 1905, Mary Whiton Calkins was elected as the first female president of the APA, and by 1946, nearly one-quarter of American psychologists were female. Psychology became a popular degree option for students enrolled in the nation’s historically Black higher education institutions, increasing the number of Black Americans who went on to become psychologists. Given demographic shifts occurring in the United States and increased access to higher educational opportunities among historically underrepresented populations, there is reason to hope that the diversity of the field will increasingly match the larger population, and that the research contributions made by the psychologists of the future will better serve people of all backgrounds (Women and Minorities in Psychology, n.d.).

The Process of Scientific Research

Scientific knowledge is advanced through a process known as the scientific method . Basically, ideas (in the form of theories and hypotheses) are tested against the real world (in the form of empirical observations), and those empirical observations lead to more ideas that are tested against the real world, and so on. In this sense, the scientific process is circular. The types of reasoning within the circle are called deductive and inductive. In deductive reasoning , ideas are tested in the real world; in inductive reasoning , real-world observations lead to new ideas ( Figure 2.4 ). These processes are inseparable, like inhaling and exhaling, but different research approaches place different emphasis on the deductive and inductive aspects.

In the scientific context, deductive reasoning begins with a generalization—one hypothesis—that is then used to reach logical conclusions about the real world. If the hypothesis is correct, then the logical conclusions reached through deductive reasoning should also be correct. A deductive reasoning argument might go something like this: All living things require energy to survive (this would be your hypothesis). Ducks are living things. Therefore, ducks require energy to survive (logical conclusion). In this example, the hypothesis is correct; therefore, the conclusion is correct as well. Sometimes, however, an incorrect hypothesis may lead to a logical but incorrect conclusion. Consider this argument: all ducks are born with the ability to see. Quackers is a duck. Therefore, Quackers was born with the ability to see. Scientists use deductive reasoning to empirically test their hypotheses. Returning to the example of the ducks, researchers might design a study to test the hypothesis that if all living things require energy to survive, then ducks will be found to require energy to survive.

Deductive reasoning starts with a generalization that is tested against real-world observations; however, inductive reasoning moves in the opposite direction. Inductive reasoning uses empirical observations to construct broad generalizations. Unlike deductive reasoning, conclusions drawn from inductive reasoning may or may not be correct, regardless of the observations on which they are based. For instance, you may notice that your favorite fruits—apples, bananas, and oranges—all grow on trees; therefore, you assume that all fruit must grow on trees. This would be an example of inductive reasoning, and, clearly, the existence of strawberries, blueberries, and kiwi demonstrate that this generalization is not correct despite it being based on a number of direct observations. Scientists use inductive reasoning to formulate theories, which in turn generate hypotheses that are tested with deductive reasoning. In the end, science involves both deductive and inductive processes.

For example, case studies, which you will read about in the next section, are heavily weighted on the side of empirical observations. Thus, case studies are closely associated with inductive processes as researchers gather massive amounts of observations and seek interesting patterns (new ideas) in the data. Experimental research, on the other hand, puts great emphasis on deductive reasoning.

We’ve stated that theories and hypotheses are ideas, but what sort of ideas are they, exactly? A theory is a well-developed set of ideas that propose an explanation for observed phenomena. Theories are repeatedly checked against the world, but they tend to be too complex to be tested all at once; instead, researchers create hypotheses to test specific aspects of a theory.

A hypothesis is a testable prediction about how the world will behave if our idea is correct, and it is often worded as an if-then statement (e.g., if I study all night, I will get a passing grade on the test). The hypothesis is extremely important because it bridges the gap between the realm of ideas and the real world. As specific hypotheses are tested, theories are modified and refined to reflect and incorporate the result of these tests Figure 2.5 .

To see how this process works, let’s consider a specific theory and a hypothesis that might be generated from that theory. As you’ll learn in a later chapter, the James-Lange theory of emotion asserts that emotional experience relies on the physiological arousal associated with the emotional state. If you walked out of your home and discovered a very aggressive snake waiting on your doorstep, your heart would begin to race and your stomach churn. According to the James-Lange theory, these physiological changes would result in your feeling of fear. A hypothesis that could be derived from this theory might be that a person who is unaware of the physiological arousal that the sight of the snake elicits will not feel fear.

A scientific hypothesis is also falsifiable , or capable of being shown to be incorrect. Recall from the introductory chapter that Sigmund Freud had lots of interesting ideas to explain various human behaviors ( Figure 2.6 ). However, a major criticism of Freud’s theories is that many of his ideas are not falsifiable; for example, it is impossible to imagine empirical observations that would disprove the existence of the id, the ego, and the superego—the three elements of personality described in Freud’s theories. Despite this, Freud’s theories are widely taught in introductory psychology texts because of their historical significance for personality psychology and psychotherapy, and these remain the root of all modern forms of therapy.

In contrast, the James-Lange theory does generate falsifiable hypotheses, such as the one described above. Some individuals who suffer significant injuries to their spinal columns are unable to feel the bodily changes that often accompany emotional experiences. Therefore, we could test the hypothesis by determining how emotional experiences differ between individuals who have the ability to detect these changes in their physiological arousal and those who do not. In fact, this research has been conducted and while the emotional experiences of people deprived of an awareness of their physiological arousal may be less intense, they still experience emotion (Chwalisz, Diener, & Gallagher, 1988).

Scientific research’s dependence on falsifiability allows for great confidence in the information that it produces. Typically, by the time information is accepted by the scientific community, it has been tested repeatedly.

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Why Science is Important

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1. advancing knowledge and understanding, 2. technological innovation and progress, 3. evidence-based decision-making, 4. addressing global challenges, 5. fostering critical thinking, 6. enhancing healthcare and medicine, 7. fueling economic growth, 8. cultural and artistic inspiration.

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Martin A. Schwartz; The importance of stupidity in scientific research. J Cell Sci 1 June 2008; 121 (11): 1771. doi: https://doi.org/10.1242/jcs.033340

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I recently saw an old friend for the first time in many years. We had been Ph.D. students at the same time, both studying science, although in different areas. She later dropped out of graduate school, went to Harvard Law School and is now a senior lawyer for a major environmental organization. At some point, the conversation turned to why she had left graduate school. To my utter astonishment, she said it was because it made her feel stupid. After a couple of years of feeling stupid every day, she was ready to do something else.

I had thought of her as one of the brightest people I knew and her subsequent career supports that view. What she said bothered me. I kept thinking about it; sometime the next day, it hit me. Science makes me feel stupid too. It's just that I've gotten used to it. So used to it, in fact, that I actively seek out new opportunities to feel stupid. I wouldn't know what to do without that feeling. I even think it's supposed to be this way. Let me explain.

For almost all of us, one of the reasons that we liked science in high school and college is that we were good at it. That can't be the only reason – fascination with understanding the physical world and an emotional need to discover new things has to enter into it too. But high-school and college science means taking courses, and doing well in courses means getting the right answers on tests. If you know those answers, you do well and get to feel smart.

A Ph.D., in which you have to do a research project, is a whole different thing. For me, it was a daunting task. How could I possibly frame the questions that would lead to significant discoveries; design and interpret an experiment so that the conclusions were absolutely convincing; foresee difficulties and see ways around them, or, failing that, solve them when they occurred? My Ph.D. project was somewhat interdisciplinary and, for a while, whenever I ran into a problem, I pestered the faculty in my department who were experts in the various disciplines that I needed. I remember the day when Henry Taube (who won the Nobel Prize two years later) told me he didn't know how to solve the problem I was having in his area. I was a third-year graduate student and I figured that Taube knew about 1000 times more than I did (conservative estimate). If he didn't have the answer, nobody did.

That's when it hit me: nobody did. That's why it was a research problem. And being my research problem, it was up to me to solve. Once I faced that fact, I solved the problem in a couple of days. (It wasn't really very hard; I just had to try a few things.) The crucial lesson was that the scope of things I didn't know wasn't merely vast; it was, for all practical purposes, infinite. That realization, instead of being discouraging, was liberating. If our ignorance is infinite, the only possible course of action is to muddle through as best we can.

I'd like to suggest that our Ph.D. programs often do students a disservice in two ways. First, I don't think students are made to understand how hard it is to do research. And how very, very hard it is to do important research. It's a lot harder than taking even very demanding courses. What makes it difficult is that research is immersion in the unknown. We just don't know what we're doing. We can't be sure whether we're asking the right question or doing the right experiment until we get the answer or the result. Admittedly, science is made harder by competition for grants and space in top journals. But apart from all of that, doing significant research is intrinsically hard and changing departmental, institutional or national policies will not succeed in lessening its intrinsic difficulty.

Second, we don't do a good enough job of teaching our students how to be productively stupid – that is, if we don't feel stupid it means we're not really trying. I'm not talking about `relative stupidity', in which the other students in the class actually read the material, think about it and ace the exam, whereas you don't. I'm also not talking about bright people who might be working in areas that don't match their talents. Science involves confronting our `absolute stupidity'. That kind of stupidity is an existential fact, inherent in our efforts to push our way into the unknown. Preliminary and thesis exams have the right idea when the faculty committee pushes until the student starts getting the answers wrong or gives up and says, `I don't know'. The point of the exam isn't to see if the student gets all the answers right. If they do, it's the faculty who failed the exam. The point is to identify the student's weaknesses, partly to see where they need to invest some effort and partly to see whether the student's knowledge fails at a sufficiently high level that they are ready to take on a research project.

Productive stupidity means being ignorant by choice. Focusing on important questions puts us in the awkward position of being ignorant. One of the beautiful things about science is that it allows us to bumble along, getting it wrong time after time, and feel perfectly fine as long as we learn something each time. No doubt, this can be difficult for students who are accustomed to getting the answers right. No doubt, reasonable levels of confidence and emotional resilience help, but I think scientific education might do more to ease what is a very big transition: from learning what other people once discovered to making your own discoveries. The more comfortable we become with being stupid, the deeper we will wade into the unknown and the more likely we are to make big discoveries.

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Successful Scientific Writing and Publishing: A Step-by-Step Approach

John k. iskander.

1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia

Sara Beth Wolicki

2 Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health, Washington, District of Columbia

Rebecca T. Leeb

Paul z. siegel.

Scientific writing and publication are essential to advancing knowledge and practice in public health, but prospective authors face substantial challenges. Authors can overcome barriers, such as lack of understanding about scientific writing and the publishing process, with training and resources. The objective of this article is to provide guidance and practical recommendations to help both inexperienced and experienced authors working in public health settings to more efficiently publish the results of their work in the peer-reviewed literature. We include an overview of basic scientific writing principles, a detailed description of the sections of an original research article, and practical recommendations for selecting a journal and responding to peer review comments. The overall approach and strategies presented are intended to contribute to individual career development while also increasing the external validity of published literature and promoting quality public health science.


Publishing in the peer-reviewed literature is essential to advancing science and its translation to practice in public health ( 1 , 2 ). The public health workforce is diverse and practices in a variety of settings ( 3 ). For some public health professionals, writing and publishing the results of their work is a requirement. Others, such as program managers, policy makers, or health educators, may see publishing as being outside the scope of their responsibilities ( 4 ).

Disseminating new knowledge via writing and publishing is vital both to authors and to the field of public health ( 5 ). On an individual level, publishing is associated with professional development and career advancement ( 6 ). Publications share new research, results, and methods in a trusted format and advance scientific knowledge and practice ( 1 , 7 ). As more public health professionals are empowered to publish, the science and practice of public health will advance ( 1 ).

Unfortunately, prospective authors face barriers to publishing their work, including navigating the process of scientific writing and publishing, which can be time-consuming and cumbersome. Often, public health professionals lack both training opportunities and understanding of the process ( 8 ). To address these barriers and encourage public health professionals to publish their findings, the senior author (P.Z.S.) and others developed Successful Scientific Writing (SSW), a course about scientific writing and publishing. Over the past 30 years, this course has been taught to thousands of public health professionals, as well as hundreds of students at multiple graduate schools of public health. An unpublished longitudinal survey of course participants indicated that two-thirds agreed that SSW had helped them to publish a scientific manuscript or have a conference abstract accepted. The course content has been translated into this manuscript. The objective of this article is to provide prospective authors with the tools needed to write original research articles of high quality that have a good chance of being published.

Basic Recommendations for Scientific Writing

Prospective authors need to know and tailor their writing to the audience. When writing for scientific journals, 4 fundamental recommendations are: clearly stating the usefulness of the study, formulating a key message, limiting unnecessary words, and using strategic sentence structure.

To demonstrate usefulness, focus on how the study addresses a meaningful gap in current knowledge or understanding. What critical piece of information does the study provide that will help solve an important public health problem? For example, if a particular group of people is at higher risk for a specific condition, but the magnitude of that risk is unknown, a study to quantify the risk could be important for measuring the population’s burden of disease.

Scientific articles should have a clear and concise take-home message. Typically, this is expressed in 1 to 2 sentences that summarize the main point of the paper. This message can be used to focus the presentation of background information, results, and discussion of findings. As an early step in the drafting of an article, we recommend writing out the take-home message and sharing it with co-authors for their review and comment. Authors who know their key point are better able to keep their writing within the scope of the article and present information more succinctly. Once an initial draft of the manuscript is complete, the take-home message can be used to review the content and remove needless words, sentences, or paragraphs.

Concise writing improves the clarity of an article. Including additional words or clauses can divert from the main message and confuse the reader. Additionally, journal articles are typically limited by word count. The most important words and phrases to eliminate are those that do not add meaning, or are duplicative. Often, cutting adjectives or parenthetical statements results in a more concise paper that is also easier to read.

Sentence structure strongly influences the readability and comprehension of journal articles. Twenty to 25 words is a reasonable range for maximum sentence length. Limit the number of clauses per sentence, and place the most important or relevant clause at the end of the sentence ( 9 ). Consider the sentences:

  • By using these tips and tricks, an author may write and publish an additional 2 articles a year.
  • An author may write and publish an additional 2 articles a year by using these tips and tricks.

The focus of the first sentence is on the impact of using the tips and tricks, that is, 2 more articles published per year. In contrast, the second sentence focuses on the tips and tricks themselves.

Authors should use the active voice whenever possible. Consider the following example:

  • Active voice: Authors who use the active voice write more clearly.
  • Passive voice: Clarity of writing is promoted by the use of the active voice.

The active voice specifies who is doing the action described in the sentence. Using the active voice improves clarity and understanding, and generally uses fewer words. Scientific writing includes both active and passive voice, but authors should be intentional with their use of either one.

Sections of an Original Research Article

Original research articles make up most of the peer-reviewed literature ( 10 ), follow a standardized format, and are the focus of this article. The 4 main sections are the introduction, methods, results, and discussion, sometimes referred to by the initialism, IMRAD. These 4 sections are referred to as the body of an article. Two additional components of all peer-reviewed articles are the title and the abstract. Each section’s purpose and key components, along with specific recommendations for writing each section, are listed below.

Title. The purpose of a title is twofold: to provide an accurate and informative summary and to attract the target audience. Both prospective readers and database search engines use the title to screen articles for relevance ( 2 ). All titles should clearly state the topic being studied. The topic includes the who, what, when, and where of the study. Along with the topic, select 1 or 2 of the following items to include within the title: methods, results, conclusions, or named data set or study. The items chosen should emphasize what is new and useful about the study. Some sources recommend limiting the title to less than 150 characters ( 2 ). Articles with shorter titles are more frequently cited than articles with longer titles ( 11 ). Several title options are possible for the same study ( Figure ).

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Object name is PCD-15-E79s01.jpg

Two examples of title options for a single study.

Abstract . The abstract serves 2 key functions. Journals may screen articles for potential publication by using the abstract alone ( 12 ), and readers may use the abstract to decide whether to read further. Therefore, it is critical to produce an accurate and clear abstract that highlights the major purpose of the study, basic procedures, main findings, and principal conclusions ( 12 ). Most abstracts have a word limit and can be either structured following IMRAD, or unstructured. The abstract needs to stand alone from the article and tell the most important parts of the scientific story up front.

Introduction . The purpose of the introduction is to explain how the study sought to create knowledge that is new and useful. The introduction section may often require only 3 paragraphs. First, describe the scope, nature, or magnitude of the problem being addressed. Next, clearly articulate why better understanding this problem is useful, including what is currently known and the limitations of relevant previous studies. Finally, explain what the present study adds to the knowledge base. Explicitly state whether data were collected in a unique way or obtained from a previously unstudied data set or population. Presenting both the usefulness and novelty of the approach taken will prepare the reader for the remaining sections of the article.

Methods . The methods section provides the information necessary to allow others, given the same data, to recreate the analysis. It describes exactly how data relevant to the study purpose were collected, organized, and analyzed. The methods section describes the process of conducting the study — from how the sample was selected to which statistical methods were used to analyze the data. Authors should clearly name, define, and describe each study variable. Some journals allow detailed methods to be included in an appendix or supplementary document. If the analysis involves a commonly used public health data set, such as the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System ( 13 ), general aspects of the data set can be provided to readers by using references. Because what was done is typically more important than who did it, use of the passive voice is often appropriate when describing methods. For example, “The study was a group randomized, controlled trial. A coin was tossed to select an intervention group and a control group.”

Results . The results section describes the main outcomes of the study or analysis but does not interpret the findings or place them in the context of previous research. It is important that the results be logically organized. Suggested organization strategies include presenting results pertaining to the entire population first, and then subgroup analyses, or presenting results according to increasing complexity of analysis, starting with demographic results before proceeding to univariate and multivariate analyses. Authors wishing to draw special attention to novel or unexpected results can present them first.

One strategy for writing the results section is to start by first drafting the figures and tables. Figures, which typically show trends or relationships, and tables, which show specific data points, should each support a main outcome of the study. Identify the figures and tables that best describe the findings and relate to the study’s purpose, and then develop 1 to 2 sentences summarizing each one. Data not relevant to the study purpose may be excluded, summarized briefly in the text, or included in supplemental data sets. When finalizing figures, ensure that axes are labeled and that readers can understand figures without having to refer to accompanying text.

Discussion . In the discussion section, authors interpret the results of their study within the context of both the related literature and the specific scientific gap the study was intended to fill. The discussion does not introduce results that were not presented in the results section. One way authors can focus their discussion is to limit this section to 4 paragraphs: start by reinforcing the study’s take-home message(s), contextualize key results within the relevant literature, state the study limitations, and lastly, make recommendations for further research or policy and practice changes. Authors can support assertions made in the discussion with either their own findings or by referencing related research. By interpreting their own study results and comparing them to others in the literature, authors can emphasize findings that are unique, useful, and relevant. Present study limitations clearly and without apology. Finally, state the implications of the study and provide recommendations or next steps, for example, further research into remaining gaps or changes to practice or policy. Statements or recommendations regarding policy may use the passive voice, especially in instances where the action to be taken is more important than who will implement the action.

Beginning the Writing Process

The process of writing a scientific article occurs before, during, and after conducting the study or analyses. Conducting a literature review is crucial to confirm the existence of the evidence gap that the planned analysis seeks to fill. Because literature searches are often part of applying for research funding or developing a study protocol, the citations used in the grant application or study proposal can also be used in subsequent manuscripts. Full-text databases such as PubMed Central ( 14 ), NIH RePORT ( 15 ), and CDC Stacks ( 16 ) can be useful when performing literature reviews. Authors should familiarize themselves with databases that are accessible through their institution and any assistance that may be available from reference librarians or interlibrary loan systems. Using citation management software is one way to establish and maintain a working reference list. Authors should clearly understand the distinction between primary and secondary references, and ensure that they are knowledgeable about the content of any primary or secondary reference that they cite.

Review of the literature may continue while organizing the material and writing begins. One way to organize material is to create an outline for the paper. Another way is to begin drafting small sections of the article such as the introduction. Starting a preliminary draft forces authors to establish the scope of their analysis and clearly articulate what is new and novel about the study. Furthermore, using information from the study protocol or proposal allows authors to draft the methods and part of the results sections while the study is in progress. Planning potential data comparisons or drafting “table shells” will help to ensure that the study team has collected all the necessary data. Drafting these preliminary sections early during the writing process and seeking feedback from co-authors and colleagues may help authors avoid potential pitfalls, including misunderstandings about study objectives.

The next step is to conduct the study or analyses and use the resulting data to fill in the draft table shells. The initial results will most likely require secondary analyses, that is, exploring the data in ways in addition to those originally planned. Authors should ensure that they regularly update their methods section to describe all changes to data analysis.

After completing table shells, authors should summarize the key finding of each table or figure in a sentence or two. Presenting preliminary results at meetings, conferences, and internal seminars is an established way to solicit feedback. Authors should pay close attention to questions asked by the audience, treating them as an informal opportunity for peer review. On the basis of the questions and feedback received, authors can incorporate revisions and improvements into subsequent drafts of the manuscript.

The relevant literature should be revisited periodically while writing to ensure knowledge of the most recent publications about the manuscript topic. Authors should focus on content and key message during the process of writing the first draft and should not spend too much time on issues of grammar or style. Drafts, or portions of drafts, should be shared frequently with trusted colleagues. Their recommendations should be reviewed and incorporated when they will improve the manuscript’s overall clarity.

For most authors, revising drafts of the manuscript will be the most time-consuming task involved in writing a paper. By regularly checking in with coauthors and colleagues, authors can adopt a systematic approach to rewriting. When the author has completed a draft of the manuscript, he or she should revisit the key take-home message to ensure that it still matches the final data and analysis. At this point, final comments and approval of the manuscript by coauthors can be sought.

Authors should then seek to identify journals most likely to be interested in considering the study for publication. Initial questions to consider when selecting a journal include:

  • Which audience is most interested in the paper’s message?
  • Would clinicians, public health practitioners, policy makers, scientists, or a broader audience find this useful in their field or practice?
  • Do colleagues have prior experience submitting a manuscript to this journal?
  • Is the journal indexed and peer-reviewed?
  • Is the journal subscription or open-access and are there any processing fees?
  • How competitive is the journal?

Authors should seek to balance the desire to be published in a top-tier journal (eg, Journal of the American Medical Association, BMJ, or Lancet) against the statistical likelihood of rejection. Submitting the paper initially to a journal more focused on the paper’s target audience may result in a greater chance of acceptance, as well as more timely dissemination of findings that can be translated into practice. Most of the 50 to 75 manuscripts published each week by authors from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are published in specialty and subspecialty journals, rather than in top-tier journals ( 17 ).

The target journal’s website will include author guidelines, which will contain specific information about format requirements (eg, font, line spacing, section order, reference style and limit, table and figure formatting), authorship criteria, article types, and word limits for articles and abstracts.

We recommend returning to the previously drafted abstract and ensuring that it complies with the journal’s format and word limit. Authors should also verify that any changes made to the methods or results sections during the article’s drafting are reflected in the final version of the abstract. The abstract should not be written hurriedly just before submitting the manuscript; it is often apparent to editors and reviewers when this has happened. A cover letter to accompany the submission should be drafted; new and useful findings and the key message should be included.

Before submitting the manuscript and cover letter, authors should perform a final check to ensure that their paper complies with all journal requirements. Journals may elect to reject certain submissions on the basis of review of the abstract, or may send them to peer reviewers (typically 2 or 3) for consultation. Occasionally, on the basis of peer reviews, the journal will request only minor changes before accepting the paper for publication. Much more frequently, authors will receive a request to revise and resubmit their manuscript, taking into account peer review comments. Authors should recognize that while revise-and-resubmit requests may state that the manuscript is not acceptable in its current form, this does not constitute a rejection of the article. Authors have several options in responding to peer review comments:

  • Performing additional analyses and updating the article appropriately
  • Declining to perform additional analyses, but providing an explanation (eg, because the requested analysis goes beyond the scope of the article)
  • Providing updated references
  • Acknowledging reviewer comments that are simply comments without making changes

In addition to submitting a revised manuscript, authors should include a cover letter in which they list peer reviewer comments, along with the revisions they have made to the manuscript and their reply to the comment. The tone of such letters should be thankful and polite, but authors should make clear areas of disagreement with peer reviewers, and explain why they disagree. During the peer review process, authors should continue to consult with colleagues, especially ones who have more experience with the specific journal or with the peer review process.

There is no secret to successful scientific writing and publishing. By adopting a systematic approach and by regularly seeking feedback from trusted colleagues throughout the study, writing, and article submission process, authors can increase their likelihood of not only publishing original research articles of high quality but also becoming more scientifically productive overall.


The authors acknowledge PCD ’s former Associate Editor, Richard A. Goodman, MD, MPH, who, while serving as Editor in Chief of CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report Series, initiated a curriculum on scientific writing for training CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service Officers and other CDC public health professionals, and with whom the senior author of this article (P.Z.S.) collaborated in expanding training methods and contents, some of which are contained in this article. The authors acknowledge Juan Carlos Zevallos, MD, for his thoughtful critique and careful editing of previous Successful Scientific Writing materials. We also thank Shira Eisenberg for editorial assistance with the manuscript. This publication was supported by the Cooperative Agreement no. 1U360E000002 from CDC and the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health. The findings and conclusions of this article do not necessarily represent the official views of CDC or the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health. Names of journals and citation databases are provided for identification purposes only and do not constitute any endorsement by CDC.

The opinions expressed by authors contributing to this journal do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Public Health Service, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the authors' affiliated institutions.

Suggested citation for this article: Iskander JK, Wolicki SB, Leeb RT, Siegel PZ. Successful Scientific Writing and Publishing: A Step-by-Step Approach. Prev Chronic Dis 2018;15:180085. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5888/pcd15.180085 .

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English dominates scientific research – here’s how we can fix it, and why it matters

essay on importance of scientific research

Científica titular del Centro de Ciencias Humanas y Sociales (CCHS - CSIC), Centro de Ciencias Humanas y Sociales (CCHS - CSIC)

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It is often remarked that Spanish should be more widely spoken or understood in the scientific community given its number of speakers around the world, a figure the Instituto Cervantes places at almost 600 million .

However, millions of speakers do not necessarily grant a language strength in academia. This has to be cultivated on a scientific, political and cultural level, with sustained efforts from many institutions and specialists.

The scientific community should communicate in as many languages as possible

By some estimates, as much as 98% of the world’s scientific research is published in English , while only around 18% of the world’s population speaks it. This makes it essential to publish in other languages if we are to bring scientific research to society at large.

The value of multilingualism in science has been highlighted by numerous high profile organisations, with public declarations and statements on the matter from the European Charter for Researchers , the Helsinki Initiative on Multiligualism , the Unesco Recommendation on Open Science , the OPERAS Multiligualism White Paper , the Latin American Forum on Research Assessment , the COARA Agreement on Reforming Research Assessment , and the Declaration of the 5th Meeting of Minsters and Scientific Authorities of Ibero-American Countries . These organisations all agree on one thing: all languages have value in scientific communication.

As the last of these declarations points out, locally, regionally and nationally relevant research is constantly being published in languages other than English. This research has an economic, social and cultural impact on its surrounding environment, as when scientific knowledge is disseminated it filters through to non-academic professionals, thus creating a broader culture of knowledge sharing.

Greater diversity also enables fluid dialogue among academics who share the same language, or who speak and understand multiple languages. In Ibero-America, for example, Spanish and Portuguese can often be mutually understood by non-native speakers, allowing them to share the scientific stage. The same happens in Spain with the majority of its co-official languages .

Read more: Non-native English speaking scientists work much harder just to keep up, global research reveals

No hierarchies, no categories

Too often, scientific research in any language other than English is automatically seen as second tier, with little consideration for the quality of the work itself.

This harmful prejudice ignores the work of those involved, especially in the humanities and social sciences. It also profoundly undermines the global academic community’s ability to share knowledge with society.

By defending and preserving multilingualism, the scientific community brings research closer to those who need it. Failing to pursue this aim means that academia cannot develop or expand its audience. We have to work carefully, systematically and consistently in every language available to us.

Read more: Prestigious journals make it hard for scientists who don't speak English to get published. And we all lose out

The logistics of strengthening linguistic diversity in science

Making a language stronger in academia is a complex process. It does not happen spontaneously, and requires careful coordination and planning. Efforts have to come from public and private institutions, the media, and other cultural outlets, as well as from politicians, science diplomacy , and researchers themselves.

Many of these elements have to work in harmony, as demonstrated by the Spanish National Research Council’s work in ES CIENCIA , a project which seeks to unite scientific and and political efforts.

Academic publishing and AI models: a new challenge

The global academic environment is changing as a result the digital transition and new models of open access. Research into publishers of scientific content in other languages will be essential to understanding this shift. One thing is clear though: making scientific content produced in a particular language visible and searchable online is crucial to ensuring its strength.

In the case of academic books, the transition to open access has barely begun , especially in the commercial publishing sector, which releases around 80% of scientific books in Spain. As with online publishing, a clear understanding will make it possible to design policies and models that account for the different ways of disseminating scientific research, including those that communicate locally and in other languages. Greater linguistic diversity in book publishing can also allow us to properly recognise the work done by publishers in sharing research among non-English speakers.

Read more: Removing author fees can help open access journals make research available to everyone

Making publications, datasets, and other non-linguistic research results easy to find is another vital element, which requires both scientific and technical support. The same applies to expanding the corpus of scientific literature in Spanish and other languages, especially since this feeds into generative artificial intelligence models.

If linguistically diverse scientific content is not incorporated into AI systems, they will spread information that is incomplete, biased or misleading: a recent Spanish government report on the state of Spanish and co-official languages points out that 90% of the text currently fed into AI is written in English.

Deep study of terminology is essential

Research into terminology is of the utmost importance in preventing the use of improvised, imprecise language or unintelligible jargon. It can also bring huge benefits for the quality of both human and machine translations, specialised language teaching, and the indexing and organisation of large volumes of documents.

Terminology work in Spanish is being carried out today thanks to the processing of large language corpuses by AI and researchers in the TeresIA project, a joint effort coordinated by the Spanish National Research Council. However, 15 years of ups and downs were needed to to get such a project off the ground in Spanish.

The Basque Country, Catalonia and Galicia, on the other hand, have worked intensively and systematically on their respective languages. They have not only tackled terminology as a public language policy issue, but have also been committed to established terminology projects for a long time.

Multiligualism is a global issue

This need for broader diversity also applies to Ibero-America as a whole, where efforts are being coordinated to promote Spanish and Portuguese in academia, notably by the Ibero-American General Secretariat and the Mexican National Council of Humanities, Sciences and Technologies .

While this is sorely needed, we cannot promote the region’s two most widely spoken languages and also ignore its diversity of indigenous and co-official languages. These are also involved in the production of knowledge, and are a vehicle for the transfer of scientific information, as demonstrated by efforts in Spain.

Each country has its own unique role to play in promoting greater linguistic diversity in scientific communication. If this can be achieved, the strength of Iberian languages – and all languages, for that matter – in academia will not be at the mercy of well intentioned but sporadic efforts. It will, instead, be the result of the scientific community’s commitment to a culture of knowledge sharing.

This article was originally published in Spanish

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Essay About Science in Everyday Life - Samples & Writing Tips

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Have you got to write an essay about science in everyday life?

Every student is assigned an essay about science at some point in their academic life. 

Whether it's for a class or standardized tests, writing a science essay can seem daunting to many students.

But don't worry!

In this blog, we have gathered several essay samples that you can read. Check out these examples and get inspired to write your own essay on the topic!

Moreover, we'll give you tips on writing an essay about science in everyday life. We'll cover everything from brainstorming to editing so that you can ace that next essay with ease.

So let's get started!

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  • 1. Essays About Science In Everyday Life
  • 2. Tips for Writing An Essay About Science

Essays About Science In Everyday Life

The following essays provide a snapshot of the different ways science can be explored in everyday life.

Each essay offers its own unique perspective on the role of science in the world around us.

Read through these essays and get a feel for the range of possibilities that are available when exploring science in your everyday life. 

So read on!

Essays About Science In Everyday Life For Students

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Blessings of Science Essay Sample

Want to read essays on scientific topics? Check out thes e science essay examples t o put your curiosity to rest.

After you've read these sample essays, try writing your own essay on a similar topic!

Continue reading to check out some tips that will help you write your essay!

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Tips for Writing An Essay About Science

You have read the sample essays and seen how they establish their point. The next step is to write an essay of your own.  

Here are some tips that will help you write a great essay about science in everyday life:

Brainstorm Ideas for a Topic

The first step in writing an essay is to choose a specific topic. Here are some questions that’ll help you brainstorm a topic. Or you can use them as prompts that you can consider for your essay:

  • What are some examples of science in everyday life?
  • What are some applications of science in daily life?
  • Science plays an important role in modern life.
  • Science is the greatest blessing for the modern man.
  • How has science affected human life?
  • How has modern science changed the way we live?
  • How has science made life easier?
  • What is the importance of science in your daily life?

In your essay, you can examine scientific discoveries that are essential for modern living. 

Topics may include telecommunications, medical breakthroughs, and other areas that impact people's lives. Check out this list of science essay topics if you need more ideas.

Here’s a video containing a list of examples of how science is involved in our daily lives. Check it out to get some ideas:

So, find an interesting topic for your essay before moving on.

Make an Essay Outline

Once you know what you will write about, start by making an essay outline . Making an essay outline is an important step for any writer. It organizes your thoughts and serves as a key reference point during the writing and editing process.

To create an effective essay outline, you should… 

  • Start by thinking of a thesis statement . A thesis statement is the central idea or main point of your essay.
  • Secondly, think of the main ideas or points you want to discuss. Once these are established, add supporting details, evidence, and examples for each point.
  • Finally, make sure all your points have a logical flow.

An effectively planned essay outline will result in a high-quality essay! So take your time when making an outline.

Define Your Argument Clearly

When writing an essay about science in everyday life, it is important to establish the main point or argument of your essay very early on.

Your thesis statement should be expressed clearly and concisely in the introduction of your essay. 

This will set the tone for the rest of your paper and help readers understand what your essay is about.

The main points of your body paragraphs should support your main thesis. Make sure that these points are presented logically and are connected to each other. 

In short, be clear and coherent throughout your essay.

Illustrate With Examples

When writing your essay, look for examples from everyday life to illustrate your main points. 

Using specific examples will also help readers understand the importance of your argument in a practical context. 

Luckily, we live in an age of science. You will find ample inspiration for your essay around you. There are countless scientific inventions and tools you use every day, such as motor cars. 

Additionally, personal anecdotes can be especially effective in making your argument more engaging and convincing. You should also include scientific research or statistics to strengthen your argument further.

Edit Your Essay Carefully

Finally, take time to review and edit your essay. Check for grammar, punctuation, and other common errors . 

Also, make sure that your argument is logical and consistent with the evidence you provide.

Going through your essay one last time will ensure that you are satisfied with the finished product. You may also get help from an experienced essay writer to edit your essay.

To conclude,

By reading these examples and following these tips, you can easily write an essay about science in everyday life. So get started and write your best essay today!

Do you still require further help in writing your essay? 

No problem! 

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science essay

Writing a strong scientific paper in medicine and the biomedical sciences: a checklist and recommendations for early career researchers

  • Open access
  • Published: 28 July 2021
  • Volume 72 , pages 395–407, ( 2021 )

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  • Payam Behzadi 1 &
  • Márió Gajdács   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0003-1270-0365 2 , 3  

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Scientific writing is an important skill in both academia and clinical practice. The skills for writing a strong scientific paper are necessary for researchers (comprising academic staff and health-care professionals). The process of a scientific research will be completed by reporting the obtained results in the form of a strong scholarly publication. Therefore, an insufficiency in scientific writing skills may lead to consequential rejections. This feature results in undesirable impact for their academic careers, promotions and credits. Although there are different types of papers, the original article is normally the outcome of experimental/epidemiological research. On the one hand, scientific writing is part of the curricula for many medical programs. On the other hand, not every physician may have adequate knowledge on formulating research results for publication adequately. Hence, the present review aimed to introduce the details of creating a strong original article for publication (especially for novice or early career researchers).

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The writing and editing of scientific papers should be done in parallel with the collection and analysis of epidemiological data or during the performance of laboratory experiments, as it is an integral step of practical research. Indeed, a scholar paper is the figurative product of scientific investigations (Behzadi and Behzadi 2011 ; Singh and Mayer 2014 ). Moreover, the publication of scholarly papers is important from the standpoint of providing relevant information—both locally and internationally—that may influence clinical practice, while in academia, national and international academic metrics (in which the number and quality of papers determine the score and rank of the scientists) are relevant to fulfill employment criteria and to apply for scientific grants (Grech and Cuschieri 2018 ; Singer and Hollander 2009 ). Thus, scientific writing and the publication of quality peer-reviewed papers in prestigious academic journals are an important challenge for medical professionals and biomedical scientists (Ahlstrom 2017 ). Writing a strong scholarly paper is a multi-procedure task, which may be achieved in a right manner by using a balanced and well-designed framework or blueprint (Gemayel 2016 ; Tóth et al. 2020 ). All in all, time needs to be spent of writing a well-designed and thoughtful scientific proposal to support the research, which will subsequently end in the publication of a paper in a prestigious, peer-reviewed, indexed and scholarly journal with an impact factor (IF). A well-designed scientific project encompasses well-supported and strong hypotheses and up-to-date methodology, which may lead to the collection of remarkable (and reproducible!) data. When a study is based on a strong hypothesis, suitable methodology and our studies result in usable data, the next step is the analysis and interpretation of the said data to present a valuable conclusion at the end of our studies. These criteria give you an influent confidence to prepare a robust and prestigious scholarly paper (Ahlstrom 2017 ; Behzadi 2021 ; Kallet 2004 ; Stenson et al. 2019 ). The aim of this review is to highlight all the necessary details for publication of a strong scientific writing of original article, which may especially be useful for novice or early career researchers.

Approaches for writing and formatting manuscripts before submission

In the presence of effective and appropriate items for writing a strong scientific paper, the author must know the key points and the main core of the study. Thus, preparing a blueprint for the paper will be much easier. The blueprint enables you to draft your work in a logical order (Gemayel 2016 ). In this regard, employment of a mass of charge, free or pay-per-use online and offline software tools can be particularly useful (Gemayel 2016 ; Behzadi and Gajdács 2020 ; Behzadi et al. 2021 ; Ebrahim 2018 ; Issakhanian and Behzadi 2019 ; O'Connor and Holmquist 2009 ; Petkau et al. 2012 ; Singh and Mayer 2014 ; Tomasello et al. 2020 ). Today, there are a wide range of diverse software tools which can be used for design and organization of different parts of your manuscript in the correct form and order. Although traditionally, many scientist do not use these softwares to help formulate their paper and deliver their message in the manuscript, they can indeed facilitate some stages of the manuscript preparation process. Some of these online and offline software facilities are shown in Table 1 .

The first step of writing any scientific manuscript is the writing of the first draft. When writing the first draft, the authors do not need to push themselves to write it in it’s determined order (Behzadi and Gajdács 2020 ; Gemayel 2016 ); however, the finalized manuscript should be organized and structured, according to the publisher’s expectations (Berman et al. 2000 ; Behzadi et al. 2016 ). Based on the contents of the manuscripts, there are different types of papers including original articles, review articles, systematic reviews, short communications, case reports, comments and letters to the editor (Behzadi and Gajdács 2020 ; Gemayel 2016 ), but the present paper will only focus on the original articles structured in the IMRAD (Introduction, Methods, Results and Discussion) structure. Materials and methods, results, discussion or introduction sections are all suitable target sections to begin writing the primary draft of the manuscript, although in most cases, the methods section is the one written first, as authors already have a clear sense and grasp on the methodologies utilized during their studies (Ebrahim 2018 ). The final sections of IMRAD papers which should be completed are the abstract (which is basically the mini-version of the paper) and conclusion (Liumbruno et al. 2013 ; Paróczai et al. 2021 ; Ranjbar et al. 2016 ). The authors should be aware that the final draft of the manuscript should clearly express: the reason of performing the study, the individuality (novelty and uniqueness) of the work, the methodology of the study, the specific outcomes examined in this work, the importance, meaning and worth of the study. The lack of any of the items in the manuscript will usually lead to the direct rejection of the manuscript from the journals. During the composition of the manuscript (which corresponds to any and all sections of the IMRAD), some basics of scientific writing should be taken into consideration: scientific language is characterized by short, crisp sentences, as the goal of the publication is to deliver the main message concisely and without confusion. It is a common misconception that scientific writing needs to be “colorful” and “artistic,” which may have the opposite effect on the clarity of the message. As the main goal of publishing is to deliver the message (i.e., the results) of our study, it is preferred that scientific or technical terms (once defined) are used uniformly, with avoiding synonyms. If young scientists have linguistic difficulties (i.e., English is not their first language), it is desirable to seek the help of professional proofreading services to ensure the correct grammar use and clarity. Traditionally, the passive voice was expected to be used in scientific communication, which was intended to strengthen the sense of generalization and universality of research; however, nowadays the active voice is preferred (symbolizing that authors take ownership and accountability of their work) and sentences in passive voice should take up < 10% of the paper (Berman et al. 2000 ; Behzadi et al. 2016 ).

Every scientist should be able to present and discuss their results in their own words, without copy–pasting sentences from other scientists or without referring to the work of others, if it was used in our paper. If an author copies or represents another authors’ intellectual property or words as their own (accidentally or more commonly on purpose) is called plagiarism. Scientific journals use plagiarism checker softwares to cross-check the level of similarity between the submitted works and scientific papers or other materials already published; over a certain threshold of similarity, journals take action to address this issue. Plagiarism is highly unethical and frowned upon in the scientific community, and it is strictly forbidden by all relevant scientific publishers, and if one is caught with plagiarism, the scientific paper is usually rejected immediately (if this occurs during the submission process) or is retracted. There are some freely available online software tools (e.g., iThenticate® ( http://www.ithenticate.com/ ) and SMALL SEO TOOLS ( https://smallseotoolz.net/plagiarism-checker ) for authors to screen their works for similarities with other sources; nevertheless, it is also unethical to use these tools to determine the “acceptable” level of similarity (i.e., cheating) before submitting a paper.

The structure of an IMRAD article includes the title, author’s(s’) name(s), author’s(s’) affiliation(s), author’s(s’) ORCID iD(s) ( https://orcid.org/ ), abstract, keywords, introduction, methods (or materials and methods), results, discussion, conclusion, acknowledgements, conflict of interest and references (Behzadi and Behzadi 2011 ; Singh and Mayer 2014 ). The acronym of ORCID (with a hard pronunciation of C ( https://orcid.org/blog/2013/01/07/how-should-orcid-be-pronounced )) (abbreviation of Open Researcher & Contributor ID) is considered as unique international identifier for researchers (Haak et al. 2012 ; Hoogenboom and Manske 2012 ). The ORCID iD is composed of 16 digits and introduced in the format of https URI ( https://support.orcid.org/hc/en-us/articles/360006897674 ). It is recommended for the authors to register their ORCID iD. The ORCID is important for manuscript submissions, manuscript citations, looking at the works of other researchers among other things (Haak et al. 2012 ; Hoogenboom and Manske 2012 ).

The contents of the IMRAD-structured manuscripts

Although the IMRAD format seems to be a cul-de-sac structure, it can be a suitable mold for both beginners and professional writers and authors. Each manuscript should contain a title page which includes the main and running (shortened) titles, authors’ names, authors’ affiliations (such as research place, e-mail, and academic degree), authors’ ORCID iDs, fund and financial supports (if any), conflicts of interest, corresponding author’s(s’) information, manuscript’s word count and number of figures, tables and graphs (Behzadi and Gajdács 2020 ).

As the title is the first section of your paper which is seen by the readers, it is important for the authors to take time on appropriately formulating it. The nature of title may attract or dismiss the readers (Tullu and Karande 2017 ). In this regard, a title should be the mirror of the paper’s content; hence, a proper title should be attractive, tempting, specific, relevant, simple, readable, clear, brief, concise and comprehensive. Avoid jargons, acronyms, opinions and the introduction of bias . Short and single-sentenced titles have a “magic power” on the readers. Additionally, the use of important and influent keywords could affect the readers and could be easy searchable by the search engines (Cuschieri et al. 2019 ). This can help to increase the citation of a paper. Due to this fact, it is recommended to consider a number of titles for your manuscript and finally select the most appropriate one, which reflects the contents of the paper the best. The number of titles’ and running titles’ characters is limited in a wide range of journals (Cuschieri et al. 2019 ).

The abstract is the vitrine of a manuscript, which should be sequential, arranged, structured and summarized with great effort and special care. This section is the second most important part of a manuscript after title (Behzadi and Gajdács 2020 ). The abstract should be written very carefully, deliberately and comprehensively in perfect English, because a well-written abstract invites the readers (the editors, reviewers, and readers who may cite the paper in the future) to read the paper entirely from A to Z and a rough one discourages readers (the editors and reviewers) from even handling the manuscript (Cuschieri et al. 2019 ). Whether we like it or not, the abstract is the only part of the manuscript that will be read for the most part; thus, the authors should make an effort to show the impressiveness and quality of the paper in this section.

The abstract as an independent structured section of a manuscript stands alone and is the appetizer of your work (Jirge 2017 ). So as mentioned, this part of paper should be written accurately, briefly, clearly, and to be facile and informative. For this section, the word count is often limited (150 to 250/300 words) and includes a format of introduction/background/, aim/goal/objective, methods, results and conclusions. The introduction or background refers to primary observations and the importance of the work, goal/aim/objective should represent the hypothesis of the study (i.e., why did you do what you did?), the methods should cover the experimental procedures (how did you do what you did?), the results should consider the significant and original findings, and finally, the clear message should be reported as the conclusion. It is recommended to use verbs in third person (unless specified by the Journal’s instructions). Moreover, the verbs depicting the facts which already have been recognized should be used in present tense while those verbs describing the outcomes gained by the current work should be used in past tense. For beginners in scientific publishing, it is a common mistake to start the writing of the manuscript with the abstract (which—in fact—should be the finalizing step, after the full text of the paper has already been finished and revised). In fact, abstract ideally is the copy-pasted version of the main messages of the manuscript, until the word limit (defined by the journal) has been reached. Another common mistake by inexperienced authors is forgetting to include/integrate changes in the abstract to reflect the amendments made in the bulk text of the paper. All in all, even a paper with very good contents and significant results may could be rejected because of a poor and weak abstract (Behzadi and Gajdács 2020 ).

Keywords are the key point words and terms of the manuscript which come right after abstract section. The keywords are used for searching papers in the related fields by internet search engines. It is recommended to employ 3 to 10 keywords in this section. The keywords should be selected from the MeSH (Medical Subject Headings) service, NCBI ( https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/mesh/ ). An appropriate title should involve the most number of keywords (Behzadi and Gajdács 2020 ; Jirge 2017 ).

Introduction section should be framed up to four paragraphs (up to 15% of the paper’s content). This section should be progressed gradually from general to specific information and gaps (in a funnel-formed fashion). In another words, the current condition of the problem and the previous studies should be briefly presented in the first paragraph. More explanation should be brought in discussion section, where the results of the paper should be discussed in light of the other findings in the literature (Ahlstrom 2017 ; Behzadi 2021 ). In this regard, the original articles and some key references should be cited to have a clarified description. The second paragraph should clarify the lack of knowledge regarding the problem at present, the current status of the scientific issue and explain shortly the necessity and the importance of the present investigation. Subsequently, the relevance of this work should be described to fill the current gaps relating to the problem. The questions (hypothesis/purpose) of the study comprising “Why did you do?/What did you do?/So What?” should be clarified as the main goal in the last paragraph (Ahlstrom 2017 ; Behzadi 2021 ; Burian et al. 2010 ; Lilleyman 1995 ; Tahaei et al. 2021 ). A concise and focused introduction lets the readers to have an influent understanding and evaluation for the performance of the study. The importance of the work presented should never be exaggerated, if the readers feel that they have been misled in some form that may damage the credibility of the authors’ reputation. It is recommended to use standard abbreviations in this section by writing the complete word, expression or phrase for the first time and mentioning the related abbreviation within parenthesis in this section. Obviously, the abbreviations will be used in the following sentences throughout the manuscript. The authors should also adhere to international conventions related to writing certain concepts, e.g., taxonomic names or chemical formulas. In brief, the introduction section contains four key points including: previous studies, importance of the subject, the presence of serious gap(s) in current knowledge regarding the subject, the hypothesis of the work (Ahlstrom 2017 ; Behzadi 2021 ; Lilleyman 1995 ; Tahaei et al. 2021 ). Previously, it was recommended by majority of journals to use verbs in past tense and their passive forms; however, this shows a changing trend, as more and more journals recommend the use of the active voice.

Materials and methods

As the materials and methods section constitutes the skeleton of a paper (being indicative of the quality of the data), this section is known as the keystone of the research. A poor, flawed or incorrect methodology may result in the direct rejection of manuscripts, especially in high IF journals, because it cannot link the introduction section into the results section (Haralambides 2018 ; Meo 2018 ). In other words, the methods are used to test the study’s hypothesis and the readers judge the validity of a research by the released information in this section. This part of manuscript belongs to specialists and researchers; thus, the application of subheadings in a determined and relevant manner will support the readers to follow information in a right order at the earliest. The presentation of the methodologies in a correct and logical order in this section clarifies the direction of the methods used, which can be useful for those who want to replicate these procedures (Haralambides 2018 ; Juhász et al. 2021 ; Meo 2018 ). An effective, accurate, comprehensive and sufficient description guarantees the clarity and transparency of the work and satisfies the skeptical reviewers and readers regarding the basis of the research. The following questions should be answered in this section: “What was done?” and “How was it done?” and “Why was it done?”

The cornerstones of the methods section including defining the type of study, materials (e.g., concentration, dose, generic and manufacturer names of chemicals, antibiotics), participants (e.g., humans, animals, microorganisms), demographic data (e.g., age, gender, race, time, duration, place), the need for and the existence of an ethical approval or waiver (in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki and its revisions) for humans and animals, experimental designs (e.g., sampling methods, time and duration of the study, place), protocols, procedures, rationale, criteria, devices/tools/techniques (together with their manufacturers and country of origin), calibration plots, measurement parameters, calculations, statistical methods, tests and analyses, statistical software tools and version among many other things should be described here in methods section (Haralambides 2016 ; Stájer et al. 2020 ). If the details of protocols make this section extremely long, mention them in brief and cite the related papers (if they are already published). If the applied protocol was modified by the researcher, the protocol should be mentioned as modified protocol with the related address. Moreover, it is recommended to use flow charts (preferably standard flow charts) and tables to shorten this section, because “a picture paints a thousand words” (Ahlstrom 2017 ; Behzadi 2021 ; Lilleyman 1995 ; Tahaei et al. 2021 ).

The used online guidelines in accordance with the type of study should be mentioned in the methods section. In this regard, some of these online check lists, including the CONSORT (Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials) statement ( http://www.consort-statement.org/ ) (to improve the reporting randomized trials), the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) statement ( http://www.prisma-statement.org/ ) (to improve the reporting of systematic reviews and meta-analyses), the STARD (Standards for Reporting Diagnostic accuracy studies) statement ( http://www.equator-network.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/STARD-2015-checklist.pdf ) (to improve the reporting of diagnostic accuracy studies), the STORBE (STrengthening the Reporting of OBservational studies in Epidemiology) statement ( https://www.strobe-statement.org/index.php?id=strobe-home ) (to improve the reporting of observational studies in Epidemiology), should be mentioned and highlighted in medical articles. Normally, the methods section begins with mentioning of exclusion (depicting safe selection) and inclusion (depicting no bias has happened) criteria (regarding the populations studied) and continues by the description of procedures and data collection. This section usually ends by the description of statistical data analyses. As mentioned in a previous section, older recommendations in “Instructions for authors” suggested the use of verbs in past tense, in 3rd person and passive forms, whereas novel guidelines suggest more text written in the active voice (Ahlstrom 2017 ; Behzadi 2021 ; Lilleyman 1995 ; Tahaei et al. 2021 ).

The results including negative and positive outcomes should be reported clearly in this section with no interpretation (Audisio et al. 2009 ; Behzadi et al. 2013 ). The most original information of an IMRAD paper originates from the results section. Indeed, the reported findings are the main core of the study which answers to the research question (hypothesis) “what was found?” The results section should answer all points brought up in the methods section. Categorization of findings by subheadings from the major to minor results, chronologically or by any logical order, facilitates readers to comprehend the results in an effective and influent manner (Ahlstrom 2017 ; Behzadi 2021 ; Lilleyman 1995 ; Tahaei et al. 2021 ).

Representing the motive of experiments, the related experimental setups, and the gained outcomes supports the quality and clarity of your results, because these components create logical and influent communications between obtained data, observations and measurements. The results section should represent all types of data (major to minor), variables (dependent and independent), variables effects and even accidental findings. The statistical analyses should be represented at the end of results section. The statistical significance should be represented by an exact amount of p value ( p  < 0.05 is usually recognized and set as the threshold for statistical significance, while p  > 0.05 depicts no statistical significance). Moreover, the mentioning of the 95% confidence intervals and related statistical parameters is also needed, especially in epidemiological studies (Mišak et al. 2005 ).

It is recommended to use tables, figures, graphs and charts in this section to give an influent representation of results to the readers. Using well-structured tables deeply impresses the readers. Usually the limitation of the number of figures, graphs, tables and charts is represented in the section of instructions for authors of the journal. Remember that well-designed tables and figures act as clean mirrors which transfer a clear and sharp illustration of your work and your efforts in preparing the manuscript. Thus, a well-designed graph, table, charts or figure should be understood easily; in other words, they should be represented as self-explanatory compartments. Avoid repeating the represented data in figures, tables, charts and graphs within the text. Citing figures, graphs, charts and tables in right positions within the text increases the impact and quality of your manuscript (Ahlstrom 2017 ; Behzadi 2021 ; Lilleyman 1995 ; Tahaei et al. 2021 ). Showing the highest and lowest amounts in tables by bolding or highlighting them is very effective. Normally, the legends are placed under graphs and figures and above the tables. It is recommended to begin the figure legends with conclusion and finish it by important technical key points.

Discussion and conclusion

This section represents the interpretations of results. In other words, discussion describes what these results do mean by the help of mechanistic interpretations of causes and effects. This argument should be achieved sharp and strong in a logical manner (Gajdács 2020 ; Rasko et al. 2016 ). The interpretations should be supported by relevant references and evidences. Usually, the first paragraph of discussion involves the key points of results. The represented data in results section should not be repeated within the discussion section. Magnification and exaggeration of data should never occur! “A good wine needs no bush.” Care about the quality of discussion section, because this part of the manuscript is determinative item for the acceptance of the paper (Ahlstrom 2017 ; Behzadi 2021 ).

Avoid representing new data in discussion, which were not mentioned in the results section. The following paragraphs should represent the novelty, differences and/or similarities of the obtained findings. Unusual and findings not predicted should be highlighted (Gajdács 2020 ; Rasko et al. 2016 ). It is important to interpret the obtained results by the strong references and evidences. Remember that citation of strong and relevant references enforces your evaluations and increases the quality of your points of view (Mack 2018 ; Shakeel et al. 2021 ). The probable weaknesses or strengths of the project should be discussed. This critical view of the results supports the discussion of the manuscript. The discussion section is finished by the final paragraph of conclusion. A critical paragraph in which the potential significance of obtained findings should be represented in brief (Ahlstrom 2017 ; Behzadi 2021 ). The bring/take-home message of the study in conclusion section should be highlighted. For writing a conclusion, it is recommended to use non-technical language in perfect English as it should be done in abstract section (Alexandrov 2004 ). It is suggested to use verbs in present tense and passive forms, if not otherwise mandated by the journal’s instructions. In accordance with policy of journals, the conclusion section could be the last part of discussion or presented within a separate section after discussion section (Ahlstrom 2017 ; Behzadi 2021 ).


This section is placed right after discussion and/or conclusion section. The unsaid contributors with pale activities who cannot be recognized as the manuscripts’ authors should be mentioned in acknowledgement section. Financial sponsors, coordinators, colleagues, laboratory staff and technical supporters, scientific writing proof readers, institutions and organizations should be appreciated in this section. The names listed in acknowledgements section will be indexed by some databases like US National Library Medicine (NLM) ( https://www.nlm.nih.gov/ ) (Ahlstrom 2017 ).

Conflict of interest

If the authors have any concerns regarding moral or financial interests, they should declare it unambiguously, because the related interests may lead to biases and suspicions of misconducts (Ahlstrom 2017 ; Behzadi 2021 ; Lilleyman 1995 ; Tahaei et al. 2021 ). This section usually comes right after acknowledgements and before references.

Application of relevant and pertinent references supports the manuscript’s scientific documentary. Moreover, utilization of related references with high citation helps the quality of the manuscript. For searching references, it is recommended to use search engines like Google Scholar ( https://scholar.google.com/ ), databases such as MEDLINE ( https://www.nlm.nih.gov/bsd/medline.html ) and NCBI ( https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/ ) and Web sites including SCOPUS ( https://www.scopus.com/ ), etc.; in this regard, the keywords are used for a successful and effective search. Each journal has its own bibliographic system; hence, it is recommended to use reference management software tools, e.g., EndNote®. The most common bibliographic styles are APA American Psychological Association, Harvard and Vancouver. Nevertheless, the authors should aware of retracted articles and making sure not to use them as references (Ahlstrom 2017 ; Behzadi 2021 ; Lilleyman 1995 ; Tahaei et al. 2021 ). Depending on the journal, there are different limitations for the number of references. It is recommended to read carefully the instructions for authors section of the journal.

Conclusions for future biology

From the societal standpoint, the publication of scientific results may lead to important advances in technology and innovation. In medicine, patient care—and the biomedical sciences in general—the publication of scientific research may also lead to substantial benefits to advancing the medical practice, as evidence-based medicine (EBM) is based on the available scientific data at the present time. Additionally, academic institutions and many academic centers require young medical professionals to be active in the scientific scene for promotions and many employment prospects. Although scientific writing is part of the curricula for many medical programs, not every physician may have adequate knowledge on formulating research results for publication adequately. The present review aimed to briefly and concisely summarize the details of creating a favorable original article to aid early career researchers in the submission to peer-reviewed journal and subsequent publication. Although not all concepts have been discussed in detail, the paper allows for current and future authors to grasp the basic ideas regarding scientific writing and the authors hope to encourage everyone to take the “leap of faith” into scientific research in medicine and to submit their first article to international journals.

Data accessibility

Not applicable.

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Payam Behzadi would like to thank the Islamic Azad University, Shahr-e-Qods Branch, Tehran, Iran, for approving the organization of the workshop on “How to write a scientific paper?” Márió Gajdács would also like to acknowledge the support of ESCMID’s “30 under 30” Award.

Open access funding provided by University of Szeged. Márió Gajdács was supported by the János Bolyai Research Scholarship (BO/00144/20/5) of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and the New National Excellence Programme (ÚNKP-20-5-SZTE-330) of the Ministry of Human Resources.

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Department of Microbiology, College of Basic Sciences, Shahr-e-Qods Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, 37541-374, Iran

Payam Behzadi

Institute of Medical Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Semmelweis University, Budapest, Nagyvárad tér 4, 1089, Hungary

Márió Gajdács

Department of Pharmacodynamics and Biopharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Szeged, Szeged, Eötvös utca 6., 6720, Hungary

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Behzadi, P., Gajdács, M. Writing a strong scientific paper in medicine and the biomedical sciences: a checklist and recommendations for early career researchers. BIOLOGIA FUTURA 72 , 395–407 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s42977-021-00095-z

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The Fundamentals of Academic Science Writing

Writing is an essential skill for scientists, and learning how to write effectively starts with good fundamentals and lots of practice..

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Nathan Ni holds a PhD from Queens University. He is a science editor for The Scientist’s Creative Services Team who strives to better understand and communicate the relationships between health and disease.

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A person sitting in a laboratory writing notes with a pen in a notebook.

Writing is a big part of being a scientist, whether in the form of manuscripts, grants, reports, protocols, presentations, or even emails. However, many people look at writing as separate from science—a scientist writes, but scientists are not regarded as writers. 1 This outdated assertion means that writing and communication has been historically marginalized when it comes to training and educating new scientists. In truth, being a professional writer is part of being a scientist . 1 In today’s hypercompetitive academic environment, scientists need to be as proficient with the pen as they are with the pipette in order to showcase their work. 

Using the Active Voice

Stereotypical academic writing is rigid, dry, and mechanical, delivering prose that evokes memories of high school and undergraduate laboratory reports. The hallmark of this stereotype is passive voice overuse. In writing, the passive voice is when the action comes at the end of a clause—for example, “the book was opened”. In scientific writing, it is particularly prevalent when detailing methodologies and results. How many times have we seen something like “citric acid was added to the solution, resulting in a two-fold reduction in pH” rather than “adding citric acid to the solution reduced the pH two-fold”?

Scientists should write in the active voice as much as possible. However, the active voice tends to place much more onus on the writer’s perspective, something that scientists have historically been instructed to stay away from. For example, “we treated the cells with phenylephrine” places much more emphasis on the operator than “the cells were treated with phenylephrine.” Furthermore, pronoun usage in academic writing is traditionally discouraged, but it is much harder, especially for those with non-native English proficiency, to properly use active voice without them. 

Things are changing though, and scientists are recognizing the importance of giving themselves credit. Many major journals, including Nature , Science , PLoS One , and PNAS allow pronouns in their manuscripts, and prominent style guides such as APA even recommend using first-person pronouns, as traditional third-person writing can be ambiguous. 2 It is vital that a manuscript clearly and definitively highlights and states what the authors specifically did that was so important or novel, in contrast to what was already known. A simple “we found…” statement in the abstract and the introduction goes a long way towards giving readers the hook that they need to read further.

Keeping Sentences Simple

Writing in the active voice also makes it easier to organize manuscripts and construct arguments. Active voice uses fewer words than passive voice to explain the same concept. It also introduces argument components sequentially—subject, claim, and then evidence—whereas passive voice introduces claim and evidence before the subject. Compare, for example, “T cell abundance did not differ between wildtype and mutant mice” versus “there was no difference between wildtype and mutant mice in terms of T cell abundance.” T cell abundance, as the measured parameter, is the most important part of the sentence, but it is only introduced at the very end of the latter example.

The sequential nature of active voice therefore makes it easier to not get bogged down in overloading the reader with clauses and adhering to a general principle of “one sentence, one concept (or idea, or argument).” Consider the following sentence: 

Research on CysLT 2 R , expressed in humans in umbilical vein endothelial cells, macrophages, platelets, the cardiac Purkinje system, and coronary endothelial cells , had been hampered by a lack of selective pharmacological agents , the majority of work instead using the nonselective cysLT antagonist/partial agonist Bay-u9773 or genetic models of CysLT 2 R expression modulation) .

The core message of this sentence is that CysLT 2 R research is hampered by a lack of selective pharmacological agents, but that message is muddled by the presence of two other major pieces of information: where CysLT 2 R is expressed and what researchers used to study CysLT 2 R instead of selective pharmacological agents. Because this sentence contains three main pieces of information, it is better to break it up into three separate sentences for clarity.

In humans, CysLT 2 R is expressed in umbilical vein endothelial cells, macrophages, platelets, the cardiac Purkinje system, and coronary endothelial cells . CysLT 2 R research has been hampered by a lack of selective pharmacological agents . Instead, the majority of work investigating the receptor has used either the nonselective cysLT antagonist/partial agonist Bay-u9773 or genetic models of CysLT 2 R expression modulation.

The Right Way to Apply Jargon

There is another key advantage to organizing sentences in this simple manner: it lets scientists manage how jargon is introduced to the reader. Jargon—special words used within a specific field or on a specific topic—is necessary in scientific writing. It is critical for succinctly describing key elements and explaining key concepts. But too much jargon can make a manuscript unreadable, either because the reader does not understand the terminology or because they are bogged down in reading all of the definitions. 

The key to using jargon is to make it as easy as possible for the audience. General guidelines instruct writers to define new terms only when they are first used. However, it is cumbersome for a reader to backtrack considerable distances in a manuscript to look up a definition. If a term is first introduced in the introduction but not mentioned again until the discussion, the writer should re-define the term in a more casual manner. For example: “PI3K can be reversibly inhibited by LY294002 and irreversibly inhibited by wortmannin” in the introduction, accompanied by “when we applied the PI3K inhibitor LY294002” for the discussion. This not only makes things easier for the reader, but it also re-emphasizes what the scientist did and the results they obtained.

Practice Makes Better

Finally, the most important fundamental for science writing is to not treat it like a chore or a nuisance. Just as a scientist optimizes a bench assay through repeated trial and error, combined with literature reviews on what steps others have implemented, a scientist should practice, nurture, and hone their writing skills through repeated drafting, editing, and consultation. Do not be afraid to write. Putting pen to paper can help organize one’s thoughts, expose next steps for exploration, or even highlight additional experiments required to patch knowledge or logic gaps in existing studies. 

Looking for more information on scientific writing? Check out The Scientist’s TS SciComm  section. Looking for some help putting together a manuscript, a figure, a poster, or anything else? The Scientist’s Scientific Services  may have the professional help that you need.

  • Schimel J. Writing Science: How to Write Papers That Get Cited And Proposals That Get Funded . Oxford University Press; 2012.
  • First-person pronouns. American Psychological Association. Updated July 2022. Accessed March 2024. https://apastyle.apa.org/style-grammar-guidelines/grammar/first-person-pronouns  

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How Scientific Editing Enhances the Impact of Your Research: Its importance and checkpoints to ensure accuracy

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Imagine spending months, perhaps years, designing experiments, collecting data , and analyzing results with dedication for a groundbreaking study. However, as you prepare to announce your findings to the world, you realize that conveying your ideas clearly, while preserving the novelty of your research is as difficult as conducting research itself.

This scenario illustrates the importance of scientific editing , which can bridge the gap between your brilliant insights and their impact on the wider scientific community. A well-edited manuscript not only ensures that your ideas are communicated clearly but also enhances the credibility of your work, increasing its chances of being accepted for publication and garnering the attention it deserves.

What is Scientific Editing

Scientific editing is a specialized form of editing that focuses on ensuring the accuracy, clarity, and consistency of scientific and academic content. It involves a meticulous review of research papers, manuscripts, grant proposals, and other scholarly works to enhance their quality, readability, and adherence to established publication standards. The benefits of scientific editing are as follows:

Benefits of Scienific Editing

Difference Between Scientific Editing and General Editing

While general editing focuses on polishing the language and structure of a document, scientific editing takes a more specialized approach, tailoring the unique requirements of scholarly work. Here are the main differences between scientific editing and general editing.

essay on importance of scientific research

Moreover, scientific editors often hold advanced degrees or have extensive experience in their respective fields, allowing them to critically evaluate the content, methodology, and findings of a research paper . They are adept at identifying logical inconsistencies, assessing the validity of claims, and ensuring that the research aligns with established theories and principles. Additionally, scientific editors have a keen eye for formatting, ensuring that manuscripts conform to the specific guidelines of the target journal or publication. They are familiar with academic writing styles, reference management software , and ethical considerations in academic publishing .

9 Checkpoints for Accurate Scientific Editing

To ensure the highest level of accuracy and quality in scientific editing, it is essential to consider the following checkpoints:

1. Clarity and Readability

Ensure that the content is presented in a clear, concise, and easily understandable manner, without sacrificing scientific accuracy.

2. Coherence

Verify that the logical flow and structure of the manuscript are consistent, with smooth transitions between sections and well-organized ideas.

3. Scholarly Terminologies

Review and validate the use of appropriate scientific terminology, ensuring accurate and consistent application throughout the document.

4. Formatting and Writing Style Consistency

Maintain adherence to the required formatting guidelines and writing style conventions for the specific field or publication.

5. Academic Tone

Maintain an objective, formal, and scholarly tone throughout the manuscript, avoiding colloquialisms or informal language.

6. Calculations and Statistical Checks

Thoroughly review and verify the accuracy of calculations, statistical analyses, and the presentation of numerical data.

7. Objectivity and Impartial Editing

Ensure that the content remains objective and impartial, free from bias or unsupported claims.

8. Language Enhancement

Refine the language to improve clarity, conciseness, and overall readability, while preserving the original meaning and intent.

9. Formatting Visual Elements

Ensure that figures, tables, and other visual elements are properly formatted, labeled, and referenced according to the specified guidelines.

When to Consider Scientific Editing Services

Considering professional scientific editing services can be beneficial in various situations, including:

  • Preparing manuscripts for submission to high-impact academic journals
  • Enhancing the quality and clarity of research grant proposals
  • Ensuring adherence to specific publication guidelines and formatting requirements
  • Polishing and refining dissertations or theses
  • Improving the overall presentation and readability of academic or scientific content

Utilizing scientific editing services can increase your chances of publication success, improve clarity and comprehension of complex scientific concepts, and help to adhere to the academic writing standards. Additionally, professional scientific editors can provide valuable feedback and suggestions to strengthen the overall impact of the research. By seeking assistance of professional scientific editing services like Enago’s Top Impact Scientific Editing services , authors can gain the above mentioned benefits and increase the chances of acceptance by the top journals in their field.  Furthermore, they provide a mock peer review report detailing the strengths and weaknesses of your manuscript, helping you understand the potential issues in your manuscript before submitting it.

By understanding the nuances of scientific editing and its distinctions from general editing, researchers and authors can better appreciate its value in enhancing the quality and impact of their scholarly work. With the guidance of experienced scientific editors like Enago and adherence to established checkpoints, researchers can publish their research with confidence, ultimately contributing to the advancement of knowledge in their respective fields.

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Essay on Importance of Science in Our Life

Science is a systematic process in which various theories, formulas, laws, and thoughts are analysed and evaluated in order to determine the truth about the facts of anything.

This systematic process studies and generates new knowledge from any kind of activity that occurs in the nature around us or in the universe, of which we are a tiny part.

Table of Contents

Science is essential.

  • Importance of Science in Society
  • Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs

Science is a methodical process of extracting true facts from any given thought by adhering to a set of rules known as methodology.

It includes the following:

  • Observation: The observations are made based on the collected data and measurements.
  • Evidence: If any evidence is gathered for further processing of data evaluation.
  • Experiment : Using the data and evidence gathered, experiments are carried out to test the assumption.
  • Initiation: Identify the facts based on data and evidence analysis.
  • Re-examination and complex analysis: To ensure the veracity and authenticity of the results, the data and evidence are examined several times and critically analysed.
  • Verification and review of the results: The results of the experiment are verified and tested by experts to ensure that they are correct.

Science is concerned with generating new knowledge and proving new hypotheses by collecting and analysing data in a systematic manner.

There are numerous scientific disciplines:

  • Astrophysics
  • Climate science
  • Atmospheric science

Importance of science in society

Science and technology play an important role in today’s changing world. Everything from the road to the buildings, the shop to the educational instructions is the result of modern science and technology. Almost everything we see in society is the result of applied science and technology. Even the toothpaste we use to clean our teeth after waking up in the morning and before going to bed at night are products of science and technology.


The discovery of electricity was the first modern scientific marvel. It has altered our way of life, society, and culture. It’s a fantastic source of power and energy.

The radio and television Lights, fans, electric irons, mills, factories, and refrigerators are all powered by electricity.

Transport and Communication

Science has simplified and shortened our communication. Ships, boats, trains, buses, and cars can be found on the seas, rivers, and roads. All of these are scientific gifts.

Telegraph, telephone, fax, and wireless communication are also important modes of communication. Trains, steamers, aeroplanes, buses, and other modes of transportation make communication quick and easy.

Medicine and Surgery

  • It elevates one’s overall standard of living, quality of life, and life expectancy.
  • It aids in detecting and treating diseases, ailments, and conditions.
  • It dissects the molecular mechanism of any disease and helps to develop drugs and pharmaceuticals.
  • Basic Medical Sciences, in addition to curative care, sow the seeds of preventive care.
  • It teaches researchers, doctors, scientists, and even laypeople about living a healthy lifestyle.
  • It fosters a fundamental understanding of medical science principles, which may be useful in the future.


A great deal of agricultural research was conducted, which resulted in the production of artificial fertilisers, which are now a basic requirement for all agricultural activities. Agricultural education is now taught in schools across the country. Scientists have gone so far as to study the genomic makeup of plants to select crops that can withstand harsh climate changes. Improved farming techniques have been developed using new technologies such as computer science and biotechnology.

Science has played an important role in agriculture, and the two cannot be separated. Science must be used to help produce better yields on a small piece of land for the world to be able to provide enough food for all of its citizens.

Read more: Chemistry of Life

New scientific understanding may result in new applications.

The discovery of the structure of DNA, for example, was a major breakthrough. It served as the foundation for research that would eventually lead to many practical applications, such as DNA fingerprinting, genetically engineered crops, and genetic disease tests.

New technological developments may result in new scientific discoveries.

For example, the development of DNA copying and sequencing technologies has resulted in significant advances in many areas of science.

Scientific research may be motivated by potential applications.

For example, the possibility of engineering microorganisms to produce drugs for diseases such as malaria motivates many microbe genetics researchers to continue their research.

Frequently Asked Questions on Essay on Importance of Science in Our Life

What role does science play in our lives.

It helps us live a longer and healthier life by monitoring our health, providing medicine to cure our diseases, alleviating aches and pains, assisting us in providing water for our basic needs – including our food – providing energy and making life more enjoyable by including sports, music, entertainment, and cutting-edge communication technology.

How has science influenced our daily lives?

Science has changed how we live and what we believe since the invention of the plough. Science has allowed man to pursue societal concerns such as ethics, aesthetics, education, and justice, to create cultures, and to improve human conditions by making life easier.

How has science made our lives easier?

When scientific discoveries are combined with technological advancements, machines make managing our lives easier. Science has created everything from household appliances to automobiles and aeroplanes. Farmers can now save their crops from pests and other problems thanks to advances in science.

What is the social significance of science and technology?

The essence of how science and technology contribute to society is the creation of new knowledge and then the application of that knowledge to improve human life and solve societal problems.

Why is science education important in the 21st century?

Exemplary science education can offer a rich context for developing many 21st-century skills, such as critical thinking, problem solving, and information literacy, especially when instruction addresses the nature of science and promotes the use of science practices.

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Scientific Consensus

essay on importance of scientific research

It’s important to remember that scientists always focus on the evidence, not on opinions. Scientific evidence continues to show that human activities ( primarily the human burning of fossil fuels ) have warmed Earth’s surface and its ocean basins, which in turn have continued to impact Earth’s climate . This is based on over a century of scientific evidence forming the structural backbone of today's civilization.

NASA Global Climate Change presents the state of scientific knowledge about climate change while highlighting the role NASA plays in better understanding our home planet. This effort includes citing multiple peer-reviewed studies from research groups across the world, 1 illustrating the accuracy and consensus of research results (in this case, the scientific consensus on climate change) consistent with NASA’s scientific research portfolio.

With that said, multiple studies published in peer-reviewed scientific journals 1 show that climate-warming trends over the past century are extremely likely due to human activities. In addition, most of the leading scientific organizations worldwide have issued public statements endorsing this position. The following is a partial list of these organizations, along with links to their published statements and a selection of related resources.

American Scientific Societies

Statement on climate change from 18 scientific associations.

"Observations throughout the world make it clear that climate change is occurring, and rigorous scientific research demonstrates that the greenhouse gases emitted by human activities are the primary driver." (2009) 2

American Association for the Advancement of Science

"Based on well-established evidence, about 97% of climate scientists have concluded that human-caused climate change is happening." (2014) 3

AAAS emblem

American Chemical Society

"The Earth’s climate is changing in response to increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and particulate matter in the atmosphere, largely as the result of human activities." (2016-2019) 4

ACS emblem

American Geophysical Union

"Based on extensive scientific evidence, it is extremely likely that human activities, especially emissions of greenhouse gases, are the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century. There is no alterative explanation supported by convincing evidence." (2019) 5

AGU emblem

American Medical Association

"Our AMA ... supports the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s fourth assessment report and concurs with the scientific consensus that the Earth is undergoing adverse global climate change and that anthropogenic contributions are significant." (2019) 6

AMA emblem

American Meteorological Society

"Research has found a human influence on the climate of the past several decades ... The IPCC (2013), USGCRP (2017), and USGCRP (2018) indicate that it is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-twentieth century." (2019) 7

AMS emblem

American Physical Society

"Earth's changing climate is a critical issue and poses the risk of significant environmental, social and economic disruptions around the globe. While natural sources of climate variability are significant, multiple lines of evidence indicate that human influences have had an increasingly dominant effect on global climate warming observed since the mid-twentieth century." (2015) 8

APS emblem

The Geological Society of America

"The Geological Society of America (GSA) concurs with assessments by the National Academies of Science (2005), the National Research Council (2011), the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 2013) and the U.S. Global Change Research Program (Melillo et al., 2014) that global climate has warmed in response to increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases ... Human activities (mainly greenhouse-gas emissions) are the dominant cause of the rapid warming since the middle 1900s (IPCC, 2013)." (2015) 9

GSA emblem

Science Academies

International academies: joint statement.

"Climate change is real. There will always be uncertainty in understanding a system as complex as the world’s climate. However there is now strong evidence that significant global warming is occurring. The evidence comes from direct measurements of rising surface air temperatures and subsurface ocean temperatures and from phenomena such as increases in average global sea levels, retreating glaciers, and changes to many physical and biological systems. It is likely that most of the warming in recent decades can be attributed to human activities (IPCC 2001)." (2005, 11 international science academies) 1 0

U.S. National Academy of Sciences

"Scientists have known for some time, from multiple lines of evidence, that humans are changing Earth’s climate, primarily through greenhouse gas emissions." 1 1

UNSAS emblem

U.S. Government Agencies

U.s. global change research program.

"Earth’s climate is now changing faster than at any point in the history of modern civilization, primarily as a result of human activities." (2018, 13 U.S. government departments and agencies) 12

USGCRP emblem

Intergovernmental Bodies

Intergovernmental panel on climate change.

“It is unequivocal that the increase of CO 2 , methane, and nitrous oxide in the atmosphere over the industrial era is the result of human activities and that human influence is the principal driver of many changes observed across the atmosphere, ocean, cryosphere, and biosphere. “Since systematic scientific assessments began in the 1970s, the influence of human activity on the warming of the climate system has evolved from theory to established fact.” 1 3-17

IPCC emblem

Other Resources

List of worldwide scientific organizations.

The following page lists the nearly 200 worldwide scientific organizations that hold the position that climate change has been caused by human action. http://www.opr.ca.gov/facts/list-of-scientific-organizations.html

U.S. Agencies

The following page contains information on what federal agencies are doing to adapt to climate change. https://www.c2es.org/site/assets/uploads/2012/02/climate-change-adaptation-what-federal-agencies-are-doing.pdf

Technically, a “consensus” is a general agreement of opinion, but the scientific method steers us away from this to an objective framework. In science, facts or observations are explained by a hypothesis (a statement of a possible explanation for some natural phenomenon), which can then be tested and retested until it is refuted (or disproved).

As scientists gather more observations, they will build off one explanation and add details to complete the picture. Eventually, a group of hypotheses might be integrated and generalized into a scientific theory, a scientifically acceptable general principle or body of principles offered to explain phenomena.

1. K. Myers, et al, "Consensus revisited: quantifying scientific agreement on climate change and climate expertise among Earth scientists 10 years later", Environmental Research Letters Vol.16 No. 10, 104030 (20 October 2021); DOI:10.1088/1748-9326/ac2774 M. Lynas, et al, "Greater than 99% consensus on human caused climate change in the peer-reviewed scientific literature", Environmental Research Letters Vol.16 No. 11, 114005 (19 October 2021); DOI:10.1088/1748-9326/ac2966 J. Cook et al., "Consensus on consensus: a synthesis of consensus estimates on human-caused global warming", Environmental Research Letters Vol. 11 No. 4, (13 April 2016); DOI:10.1088/1748-9326/11/4/048002 J. Cook et al., "Quantifying the consensus on anthropogenic global warming in the scientific literature", Environmental Research Letters Vol. 8 No. 2, (15 May 2013); DOI:10.1088/1748-9326/8/2/024024 W. R. L. Anderegg, “Expert Credibility in Climate Change”, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Vol. 107 No. 27, 12107-12109 (21 June 2010); DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1003187107 P. T. Doran & M. K. Zimmerman, "Examining the Scientific Consensus on Climate Change", Eos Transactions American Geophysical Union Vol. 90 Issue 3 (2009), 22; DOI: 10.1029/2009EO030002 N. Oreskes, “Beyond the Ivory Tower: The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change”, Science Vol. 306 no. 5702, p. 1686 (3 December 2004); DOI: 10.1126/science.1103618

2. Statement on climate change from 18 scientific associations (2009)

3. AAAS Board Statement on Climate Change (2014)

4. ACS Public Policy Statement: Climate Change (2016-2019)

5. Society Must Address the Growing Climate Crisis Now (2019)

6. Global Climate Change and Human Health (2019)

7. Climate Change: An Information Statement of the American Meteorological Society (2019)

8. American Physical Society (2021)

9. GSA Position Statement on Climate Change (2015)

10. Joint science academies' statement: Global response to climate change (2005)

11. Climate at the National Academies

12. Fourth National Climate Assessment: Volume II (2018)

13. IPCC Fifth Assessment Report, Summary for Policymakers, SPM 1.1 (2014)

14. IPCC Fifth Assessment Report, Summary for Policymakers, SPM 1 (2014)

15. IPCC Sixth Assessment Report, Working Group 1 (2021)

16. IPCC Sixth Assessment Report, Working Group 2 (2022)

17. IPCC Sixth Assessment Report, Working Group 3 (2022)

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