Lesson 1: Process of Science

The Process of Science

Understanding the process of science is critical to understanding what science can and cannot say. Science is a process of exploration and discovery. Science is not static but can change and deepen with new evidence. In this lesson, you will learn about the way scientists build consensus, deal with uncertainty, determine correlation vs. causation, present evidence and conclusions, and the language of science.

Note: This lesson was written by Eliza Richardson. All first person references in the lesson content refer to Eliza.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this lesson, you should be able to:

  • understand program goals, requirements, and the rules of engagement.
  • identify the components of the scientific process.
  • differentiate between what science can and can't say.
  • evaluate assumptions and their importance to interpretations/conclusions (general and specific, related to data).

Lesson Roadmap

Lesson Roadmap
To Read
To Do


If you have questions or need further references you may contact Penn State hydrogeologist Dave Yoxtheimer, at the Earth & Environmental Systems Institute. His email address is day122@psu.edu.