SCIENCE

The scientist’s 10 commandments. There are many things that separate… | by Ethan Siegel | Starts With A Bang! | Jul, 2024


In 1896, Einstein was admitted into Zurich Polytechnic Institute, where he would graduate in 1900 4th in his graduating class of 5. Although he was held in low esteem by the most famed and prestigious of his professors, he would go on to surpass them all. Although they were never stated, his greatest achievements are all examples of him following the scientist’s 10 commandments. (Credit: Zurich Polytechnic Institute)

There are many things that separate science from ideology, politics, philosophy, or religion. Follow these 10 commandments to get it right.

From the 10 biblical commandments to the first 10 amendments of the US constitution which comprise the Bill of Rights, there are many lists of governing rules that apply to our individual lives as members of civilized society. Yet for scientists, there are many other “best practices” we need to constantly keep in mind as we investigate the natural phenomena around us, from the subatomic world to the cosmic realm and everything in between. Although we often talk about following the scientific method, we rarely lay out anything more than a rough procedure to follow when it comes to conducting science itself.

Sure, it’s important to have ideas, formulate hypotheses, and then devise methods to test those hypotheses, gather results, and draw conclusions that either support and validate or contradict and refute those hypotheses: the rough outline of how science is performed. But there’s so much more that goes into being a scientist that gets to the very core of what it means to investigate the origin, nature, and root cause of any phenomena that we dare to observe, design experiments around, and measure. Here, without further ado, are the 10…



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