Where are all the awesome "Scientific Method" slides?

I said it before - the scientific method is awesome: but where are the cool visuals for it? You do a Google image search for the term "scientific method" and you're awash with pretty basic and frankly uncool flowcharts. There's even a weird acrostic involving slow rabbits, which is kind of funny, but hardly something that exudes awesomeness.

The one below is the one that I've made for my lectures, but unfortunately, my artistic talent is pretty much limited to "using a pretty font."

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Slide link

Here's another I use for making hypotheses, with the scenario being a decline in birth rate and a decline in stork population occurring at the same time. Still, this is just using my other artistic talent which equates to "use the other pretty font you like."

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Slide link

Would be wonderful though, if there are some out there that use cool illustrations or just nail it in the visual information department. If you know of any do pass them on in the comments.


  1. Here’s what I wrote on the scientific method a few years ago:


    It includes a messy flowchart that’s my visualization of the scientific method. (The “theory” box is bigger than it ought to be, because the context of this was a talk about science and religion trying to explain that “theory” in scientific jargon doesn’t mean “speculation”.)

  2. Just had an idea. If you do have an awesome scientific method slide and/or plan to make one (plus you have a Flickr account), maybe you can tag the visual with “awesomescientificmethod” and we can build a small collection?

    1. “Reason why” is a perfectly natural phrase that adults use all the time. I like the colloquial feel of it, especially with the “dump on you” bit.

  3. You could certainly do a lot worse than Clarendon and Gill Sans for typeface choices! The flowchart in Gill is particularly fine.

  4. A reinterpretation of the rabbit acrostic would be brilliant. Maybe in the style similar to Chris Ware or Marcel Dzama.

  5. I love what you’ve done here, David. The best visual I’ve seen yet is this:

    What’s so wonderful there is the way you get deeper the more you look at one dimension or aspect of the process of science. It’s also very accessible, designed expressly with the lay public in mind, and with dispelling myths about how lockstep the scientific method might proceed, to instead show it as a fluid, iterative, recursive process.

    Thanks for your part in simplifying things, though. Nothing so elegant as an explanation that’s easy to take in and remember! Will use it with our students.

    1. I agree: the main problem with everyone having access to the tools of graphic design is the fallacy that you need to pretty things up with pictures and colours.

      If you wouldn’t put it on your walls, why would you put it on a slide?

      A well-designed text-based presentation with select images and graphics is a pleasure for your audience. Perfect your uses of text and layout and you can pretty much do anything.

      Having said that, I like what I’ve seen here.

  6. You know, there’s a whole profession based around “using a pretty font”: typographers. I think these slides are fine, design-wise.

  7. There is no scientific method.

    Or rather, there are as many methods as their are scientists.

    The basic idea is to make an argument based on evidence that can be reproduced and falsified.

    Beyond that, it’s a jungle.

  8. There is no “scientific method” that is used by all scientists in all fields. Over time and under criticism, relatively reliable consensual knowledge emerges, with never a final certainty; see the “knowledge filter” model in my book, “Scientific literacy and the myth of the scientific method”

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