Physics307L:Schedule/Week 2 agenda/Small group exercise2011

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These are the results from 2011. See also the 2010 exercise

  • Goals
    • Learn something about what makes "good" science
    • Get used to talking and contributing to class discussions
  • Task
    1. Make small groups of 2 or at most 3 people
    2. Brainstorm about what necessary things you need to do in order to perform a "good" scientific study.
    3. After about 5 minutes, pick your favorites and email or txt them to me (txt 505-750-3279)
    4. I'll collect them and then we'll argue as a group about what is most important

Brainstorming results

  • Making ALL raw data available, reproducability,publish how data was obtained including setup and settings on equipment
  • 1. Maintain impartiality and utilize logic 2. Experiments need to be reproducible 3. Using transparent and well explained processes 4. Do COOL things
  • Objective approach , id variables, verification by peers, enough accurate data, understanding previous work like it
  • Evan & Zeke: Doing unbiased research. This allows shortcomings of current models/theories to be discovered and future progress to be made.
  • 1. Enough info for easy duplication. 2. Accuracy and integrity of information. 3. Information that others can use, build on, or avoid in other experiments
  • Planning, record detailed data, have clear goals, do lots of trials, check your surroundings to make sure there is nothing giving you bad data-rhett eller
  • Detailed procedures so it can be reproduced, large data sets, good organization, reducing errors and knowledge of what the errors are, comparing the results to similar studies.


  • Planning (2)
  • verification by peers (4) (6)
  • Do cool stuff (2)
  • Reproducibility (detailed procedures) (12) (15)
  • Objectivity, unbiased (5) (4)
  • Communication within a research group (1)

Steve Koch 16:43, 31 August 2011 (EDT): Results: Once again, reproducibility was voted to be the most important thing to good science by the students. I tried not to influence the vote, at least consciously, but I'd already talked about good notebooks and open notebook science. Interestingly, students told me that reproducibility has been beaten into their heads by gradeschool and highschool science teachers, which surprised me, pleasantly. Lots of great arguments were made by the students, making me feel very optimistic about this generation of scientists. One student (I think Skylar) made a good argument that "verification by peers" encompassed reproducibility and many of the other nominations.