The course covers the philosophical and ethical foundations of scientific work, and the basics of conducting scientific research, from writing a research proposal, designing research projects, to the collection, interpretation and oral and written presentation of scientific data. Lectures will deal with the philosophy and ethics of science, the scientific method and experimental design, including the difference between experiments and other research methods, hypothesis formation, pilot studies, replication, pseudoreplication, randomization, accuracy, and precision. Experimental design will also be related to common statistical methods. Emphasis is mainly on research in aquatic biology and aquaculture, but will reflect the research interests of students enrolled each time. The students read, present and criticize papers from the published scientific literature. The students will also conduct assignments related to (i) the philosophy and/or ethics of science, (ii) experimental design and procedures and (iii) statistical methods. The students will also hand in written exercises related to research proposal and/or a scientific paper, aimed at improving their scientific writing skills.
Upon completion of the course, the student should be able to
- explain and synthesize specific topics on the philosophy and ethics of scientific work
- interpret and scrutinize scientific results and research papers
- design scientific studies, both observational and experimental
- write research proposals and grant applications
- present scientific results, both orally and in writing