The 17 Steps of the New Scientific Method

The old scientific method was okay, but let’s face facts: It was naïve, paid literally no attention to popularity or profitability, and tended to breed conspiracy theorists. The new scientific method resolves these inconveniences by adding twelve steps to the original five. Please update your textbooks as follows to reflect this market-based change. (Original steps are indicated in bold.)

1. Formulate a question.

2. Ask your Facebook friends if it’s okay with them if you ask that question.

3. Revise the question in light of popular opinion.

4. Submit the revised question to Facebook for approval.

5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until all controversy is eliminated.

6. Formulate a hypothesis.

7. Make a prediction.

8. Seek funding from your government, university, or interested private party.

9. Revise your question, hypothesis and prediction in line with funding requirements.

10. Test your hypothesis and measure it against your prediction.

11. Analyze the test results. Does it confirm or deny your prediction?

12. Redesign and rerun your test if it does not confirm your prediction.

13. Remove all inconclusive or conflicting test results from the record.

14. Present your favorable findings to your funding source(s).

15. Get more funding.

16. Get drunk to forget your conscience.

17. Keep an eye on Facebook, the news, and your friends and family for more social cues.

2 thoughts on “The 17 Steps of the New Scientific Method”

  1. Ah, takes me back to my days of wine and roses in grad school in physics. Alas no Facebook/Twitter then, so no steps 2 & 4 (or 17), but still, a pretty accurate representation. Well done!

    1. Thanks for the confirmation, Michael! Having not been through a science degree but still trying to keep in touch with the world of science and all other human thought, I wrote this from the perspective of a sincerely searching layman.

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