In science, an auxiliary hypothesis that is taken as true for the purposes of interpreting a particular test. All tests involve making assumptions. If an assumption of a test turns out to be inaccurate, it can cause the test results to be incorrectly interpreted. However, assumptions can be independently tested to help establish their accuracy. To learn more, visit Making assumptions.
Research undertaken with the explicit goal of solving a problem or developing a technology. The boundary between pure and applied science is fuzzy. Research undertaken in the pure pursuit of knowledge often ends up having useful applications, and research begun with an application in mind often ends up informing our understanding of the natural world more broadly.
In science, an observation that differs from the expectations generated by an established scientific idea. Anomalous observations may inspire scientists to reconsider, modify, or come up with alternatives to an accepted theory or hypothesis.
To take as the best explanation based on the evidence. In the scientific community, an idea is generally accepted when it is supported by many lines of evidence and meets other criteria (e.g., consistency with well-established ideas in related fields). To learn more about how and why scientific ideas are accepted, visit Competing ideas: A perfect fit for the evidence. To learn more about the difference between acceptance and belief, visit our misconception on the topic.