Scientific U-turns: eight occasions when science changed its mind

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The Scientific Method is the series of processes by which hypotheses, ideas and theories are shown to be true beyond a reasonable scientific doubt. Most science ‘fact’ is expressed in terms of probabilities rather than certainties. Thus, by means of statistical calculations, researchers aim to determine whether an observed association between two events or characteristics may have occurred by chance (coincidence), whether they frequently occur together (correlation) or whether they occur together because one causes the other (causative relationship). In this article we review the Scientific Method and consider the statistical tests that are applied. We then focus on the occasions when science changes its mind and review eight such occurrences.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-129
Number of pages9
JournalThe School Science Review
Issue number366
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2017


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