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Definition: A reliable way to find out things about nature by making use of appropriate combinations of these key activities: making observations, gathering data, proposing hypotheses, performing experiments, interpreting the results of those observations and experiments, checking to ensure that the results are repeatable, publishing the results, establishing scientific laws, and formulating theories.
Source: Kelter P, Mosher M, and Scott A (2008). Chemistry: the Practical Science. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company.