Whether they concern new theories, proposed explanations of phenomena, novel solutions to technological problems, or fresh interpretations of old data, scientists and engineers use reasoning and argumentation to make their case. In science, the production of knowledge is dependent on a process of reasoning that requires a scientist to make a justified claim about the world. In response, other scientists attempt to identify the claim’s weaknesses and limitations. Their arguments can be based on deductions from premises, on inductive generalizations of existing patterns, or on inferences about the best possible explanation. Argumentation is also needed to resolve questions involving, for example, the best experimental design, the most appropriate techniques of data analysis, or the best interpretation of a given data set.


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