What do researchers do


“The School of Athens” is a painting from 1510 and 1511. The painter Raffael shows many famous scientists and philosophers from ancient Greece.

Science is a certain way of dealing with knowledge. Research is carried out to increase knowledge. The new knowledge needs to be thought about before it is eventually spread further.

Scientists do all of this, in a university or in a club. They work “scientifically” when they work very thoroughly. This is important so that other scientists can understand what you have found out. For example, if someone claims that you can make gold out of lead, they have to explain how other scientists can do it. Now and then people happen to discover something. But if you spend time to find out and also write down what you have tried, what did not work and what did, then that is called research.

Some people say something like, "That's what science found". But actually there is not a single science. There are now a lot of sciences, the individual sciences. Linguistics, for example, is interested in languages, and geography in everything that has to do with the earth.

What kind of sciences are there?

These scientists in Italy have just completed a great job together: they have listed how many different bacteria live in the human body. 150,000 were found. For fun, they show up in the photo with toy bacteria.

Science is often divided into three groups. The humanities or human sciences have questions about what people do and think or have written. This includes history, which wants to know what people did in the past, and literary studies, which are interested in novels, among other things.

Social sciences ask about what people do together or how they live together. Here are a few examples: Religious scholars research what people believe in. Education is interested in how children learn and are brought up. Political science is, among other things, about states and communities, about who can decide something.

Natural sciences or real sciences deal with nature. In chemistry, for example, research is carried out on substances such as iron, oxygen or phosphorus. Astronomers observe the sky, biologies are interested in animals and plants.

You can't really separate it all: pedagogy is partly humanities, if you ask what great philosophers have written about it. Pedagogy is also a social science if one examines how children behave in a school class.

Because there is more and more knowledge, new sciences are also emerging. Often they are only concerned with a small part of the knowledge. Some sciences, on the other hand, are summarized in such a large field of knowledge: The geosciences deal with all questions about the earth.

  • These are still young scientists who are currently doing research in the USA. You are researching gravitational waves.

  • This is what it looks like in the office of Taavi Pae, a geography professor in Estonia.

  • Many scientists are still sitting in the laboratory late in the evening, like Mileidys Perez here in Spain.

  • Here in Russia, on the Taman Peninsula, an ancient settlement is being excavated.

  • With this little submarine, marine biologists take a look at the animals in the Pacific Ocean. It dives to a depth of 6,000 meters.