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I am a PPEL and Leadership Studies double major…It was my goal to stay far, far away from Gottwald during my entire time at Richmond.  I unfortunately wont be able to have my way, as I have to take a science class during my senior year, but I digress.  Going off that, when I saw the readings were on the scientific method, I did cringe a bit and was hesitant to start.  I will admit that I have not given the scientific method enough credit in the past.  What I realized quickly when doing the readings was that I actually use the scientific method…or some form or combination of it, everyday.  Whether it’s problem solving in one of my leadership positions, or even handling relationships and some semblance of humanity in our apartment, this process of testing and questioning and discovering is something I experience daily.

I think that in the past I was intimidated by the language used to describe a method that now, when I really read about it with an open mind, is rather mundane.  I guess, now that I think about it, I do this all the time when I’m cooking.  I think I could make a case that building flavors in a sauce or any food I’m making works in a similar way.  You decide what you want to make, conceptualize a flavor, make a plan for building that flavor, begin creating a dish, taste, review, edit, and repeat until it’s right.  Any issues or deficiencies you think may exist you adapt for and continue to do so until it is just right.  Add a little of this, a little of that, (it’s usually simple salt and pepper that can do the trick and make it just right).  I just found it interesting to make this connection to something I am so passionate about and another thing (“science”) which I am rather intimidated by.  In the future, I’m going to laugh at myself when I realize I’m using some form of the scientific method in the kitchen.

5 Responses to Blog Post

  1. I too have sought to avoid the hard sciences wherever possible. That said, I was personally quite interested in the way the readings (albeit a bit densely) detailed the methodology of the scientific method within the field of the social sciences. I always understood the basic premise of sociological and psychological theories, but I never quite appreciated the amount of hard numbers and data-building that go into answering even the most seemingly intuitive of questions.

  2. I am the same way in my feelings about Gottwald and I, too, found these articles connected me more to the field of the natural sciences. By relating the scientific method to areas such as thesis statements, marketing, and everyday tasks, the scientific process does not seem as daunting. These articles and perspectives about the Scientific method made me realize that everything I am learning is so interconnected and interdependent.

  3. I also agree that i didn’t give the scientifc method enough credit in the past. I always thought it was an annoying method to try and follow. Although, I am a sociolgoy minor and almost all of the theories we study follow the scientific method. It does not always have to be so structured and strict i realized. there are so many ways to take the scientific method and make it your own, in accordance with what you are studying. Recently i have been reading Marx, and his ideas about capitalism and the rise, or lack there of, of the oppresed classes. While he does not explicity state that he is using the scientific method, it is easy to pick apart his theory and place the different parts into the multiple steps of the scientific method.

  4. I think that the connection you make to cooking here is very interesting, and as it and the comments above show, there are myriad example of scientific method-type processes everywhere. I also agree with the earlier comment that the scientific method as it relates to the social sciences is a bit different and less intimidating, as it is more based in theory and problem-solving than the types of calculations and experimentation we often associate with scientists studying germs in labs. But even with this greater understanding of the theory behind the scientific method, and that the type of thinking behind it is so applicable to a wide variety of subejcts, I still have to admit that I’m glad we’re only studying it for a short period.

  5. I can really relate to everything that has been posted above. In addition, I feel like our examination of statistics is something I was hesitant to read about as well. I am a double major in Business Administration and Leadership Studies, and have therefore taken a wide variety of math and statistic classes. In these classes we are constantly reinforced of the idea that the data we collect and report is strong, sufficient evidence for research and studies. However, both this course and my Leadership 102 class have provided me with amazing insight of the statistical world. I always figured numbers we numbers, and since they had been calculated, they must be right. I have learned that this is not the case and that we have to be cautious with any statistics we see. We should not always assume they are accurate and must have (or obtain) further information to make them more valid.

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