Asking Questions in Biology

Series
Pearson
Author
Chris Barnard / Francis Gilbert / Peter Mcgregor  
Publisher
Pearson
Cover
Softcover
Edition
5
Language
English
Total pages
280
Pub.-date
March 2017
ISBN13
9781292085999
ISBN
1292085991
Related Titles



Description

Asking and answering questions is the cornerstone of science, yet formal training in understanding this key process is often overlooked.

Asking Questions in Biology unpacks this crucial process of enquiry, from a biological perspective, at its various stages.

 

Features

·    A range of boxes within the text highlight key concepts, present worked examples spanning topics from ecology, and behaviour to toxicology and parasitology

·    Coverage of a range of tests including repeated measures designs, analysis of covariance, multiple regression and principal components analysis

·    An easy to use test finder and quick test finder guides

·    A set of useful self test questions and answers

·    Sections on using online literature databases, plagiarism, presenting findings to a non-scientific audience and ethical considerations

 

New to this Edition

This edition has been completely reorganised and the statistical sections have been fully updated.

New section on extracting information from the scientific literature.

Table of Contents

Preface

1   Doing science:

Where do questions come from?

1.1 Science as asking questions

1.2 Basic considerations

1.3 The skill of asking questions

1.4 Where do questions come from?

1.5 What this book is about

References

2   Asking questions:

The art of framing hypotheses and predictions

2.1 Observation

2.2 Exploratory analysis

2.3 Forming hypotheses

2.4 Summary

References

3   Answering questions:

What do the results say?

3.1 Confirmatory analysis

3.2 What is statistical significance?

3.3 Significance tests

3.4 Testing hypotheses

3.5 Testing predictions

3.6 Refining hypotheses and predictions

3.7 Summary

References

4   Presenting information:

How to communicate outcomes and conclusions

4.1 Presenting figures and tables

4.2 Presenting results in the text

4.3 Writing reports

4.4 Writing for a more general readership

4.5 Presenting in person: spoken papers and poster presentations

4.6 Plagiarism

4.7 Summary

Reference

 Test finder and help guide

Some self-test questions

Appendix I: Table of confidence limits to the median

Appendix II: How to calculate some simple significance tests

Appendix III: Significance tables

Appendix IV: The common codes for the important graphical parameters of R

Answers to self-test questions

Index

Quick test finders

Back Cover

Asking and answering questions is the cornerstone of science, yet formal training in understanding this key process is often overlooked.

 

Asking Questions in Biology unpacks this crucial process of enquiry, from a biological perspective, at its various stages. It begins with an overview of scientific question-asking in general, before moving on to demonstrate how to derive hypotheses from unstructured observations. In the main sections of the book, it then explains how to use statistical tests as tools to analyse data and answer the questions, before finally showing the best practice in presenting scientific reports.

This edition has been revised, reorganised and updated throughout with additional coverage of topics such as extracting information from the scientific literature.   Throughout, examples are shown using R, by far the most important statistical tool available for the modern student.

 

The book is an indispensable companion to all students of biology, but particularly those enrolled in courses concerning experimental design, data analysis, hypothesis testing, research methods, or any practical project work.

 

The late Chris Barnard was Professor of Animal Behaviour at Nottingham University. Francis Gilbert is Professor of Ecology at Nottingham University. Peter McGregor is Research Co-ordinator for Science & Natural Environment at Cornwall College.

Author

The late Chris Barnard was Professor of Animal Behaviour at Nottingham University. Francis Gilbert is Professor of Ecology at Nottingham University. Peter McGregor is Research Co-ordinator for Science & Natural Environment at Cornwall College.