Today, scientific literacy is an essential aspect of any undergraduate education. Recipes for Science responds to this need by providing an accessible introduction to the nature of science and scientific methods, reasoning, and concepts that is appropriate for any beginning college student. It is designed to be adaptable to a wide variety of different kinds of courses, such as introductions to scientific reasoning or critical thinking, philosophy of science, and science education. In any of these different uses, the book helps students better navigate our scientific, 21st-century world.
"More often than not students acquire content knowledge about science, deprived from any explicit reflection about the methods, the reasoning and the uncertainties that characterize it. Even laboratory activities can take the form of implementing a cookbook recipe, simply following predetermined steps towards a "correct" answer. But this is not how science is done. If there are recipes, they are open to creativity and they vary enormously. Recipes for Science excellently shows this and provides very useful materials for explicit reflection about the nature of science."
Kostas Kampourakis, University of Geneva, Switzerland
"Recipes for Science is clear and very readable, providing students with a solid philosophical background in issues surrounding scientific reasoning and methodologies, fleshed out with well-chosen, compelling examples. Either on its own, or as a basis from which to build, this will be a welcome text in scientific reasoning and philosophy of science classes."
Jonathan Michael Kaplan, Oregon State University
List of Figures
Introduction: Science and Your Everyday Life
Chapter 1: What is Science?
§1.1 The Importance of Science
§1.2 Defining Science
§1.3 Recipes for Science
Chapter 2: Experiments and Studies
§2.1 Experiment: Connecting Hypotheses to Observations
§2.2 The Perfectly Controlled Experiment
§2.3 Experimental and Non-Experimental Methods
Chapter 3: Models and Modeling
§3.1 Models in Science
§3.2 Varieties of Models
§3.3 Learning from Models
Chapter 4: Patterns of Inference
§4.1 Deductive Reasoning
§4.2 Deductive Reasoning in Hypothesis-Testing
§4.3 Inductive and Abductive Reasoning
Chapter 5: Statistics and Probability
§5.1 The Roles of Statistics and Probability
§5.2 Basic Probability Theory
§5.3 Descriptive Statistics
Chapter 6: Statistical Inference
§6.1 Generalizing from Descriptive Statistics
§6.2 Using Statistics to Test Hypotheses
§6.3 A Different Approach to Statistical Inference
Chapter 7: Causal Reasoning
§7.1 What is Causation?
§7.2 Testing Causal Hypotheses
§7.3 Causal Modeling
Chapter 8: Explanations, Theories, and Values
§8.1 Understanding the world
§8.2 Theories and Theory Change
§8.3 Science, Society, and Values