The role of science in agricultural progress:
- Research as the means to the development and application of effective technological and intellectual resources.
- Forms of data as evidence; types (quantitative and qualitative) and methods of handling for description and analysis.
- Methodological approaches to obtaining data; the role of observation, experimentation and deduction in both natural and social sciences.
- Development of hypotheses, testing; acceptance, rejection and reformulation.
- The role of statistics; applications and limitations.
- Descriptive statistics and data presentation.
- Inferential statistics and decision-making.
- Case studies, surveys and questionnaires
- Computer based application of statistics to agricultural research.
Communication in agricultural science:
- Writers and audiences.
- Forms of publication; written and electronic.
- Standards in research reporting; the peer review process.
- Interface with popular journals and e-information.
Techniques in writing science
- Technical writing.
Rhetoric and science:
- Persuasion and communication.
Forms of science writing:
- Research papers, reports, dissertations and theses.
Science and public debate
To achieve credit for this module, students must be able to:
- Understand the nature of scientific investigation and methodology.
- Apply appropriate quantitative techniques to the analysis of experimental and investigational data.
- Understand the role of scientific methods in the development and advancement of production agriculture and associated industries.
|Coursework||1 x data analysis and presentation project||100%|
Students should be familiar with the content of at least one of the following:
- Ireland, C.R. (2010) Experimental statistics for agriculture and horticulture. CABI.
- Van Emden, H (2008) Statistics for terrified biologists Blackwell Publishing
- Berk, K N & Carey, P (2004) Data analysis with MS Excel: updated for windows XP. Thomson Learning (nb CD held at library counter)
- Clewer A G & Scarisbrick D H (1991) Introduction to the Principles of Crop Experimentation. BASF plc and Wye College.
- Saunders M N K, LEWIS P and Thornhill A (2007) Research methods for business students. (4th edition) Pearson Education .
- Barrass, R (2002) Scientists must write: a guide to better writing for scientists, engineers and students. Routledge
- Malmfors, B (et al) (2004) Writing and Presenting Scientific Papers. (2nd edition) Nottingham University Press
- Pears, R and Shields, G. (2005) Cite them right: The essential guide to referencing and plagiarism. Pear Tree Books
- Li, X and Crane, N B. (1995) Electronic style: a guide to citing electronic Information. Mecklermedia
- Sense about Science website http://www.senseaboutscience.org.uk/