2020 Day 1: 25th May Presentation

Observation and Experiment: Debates in Science

Sarita G

Department of Education, University of Delhi 

Science is a kind of knowledge which has such authority in all the domains of our life, whether it is health, education, market and even religion. This high status of science is because of the ‘Scientific Method’ which makes the knowledge reliable and objective. What is this scientific method which defines the objective nature of science has always been a question of philosophical inquiry. This paper focuses on the two vital aspects of this Scientific Method namely, Observation and Experiment. Here the purpose of the paper is to discuss the debates on the role of observation and experiment in the generation of knowledge in Science. Observation and experiment form the base for scientific knowledge as it provides the content of analysis in the area of science. Observation is a way to form the perception about any phenomenon through senses. This arises the debate whether the observation of any phenomenon is a private and passive affair or it is public and active. Similarly, experiment used to verify certain facts which are based on some kind of observation. Experiments give rise to debates of its dependency on judgement of theory and advancing technology. This paper concludes that experiment and observation are two important aspects of scientific methods to claim objectivity. Both observation and experiment are objective but there is scope of fallibility and revision with respect to change in theories and advancement of technology.