Science is a way to learn about the world.

If you want to do science, here’s what you do: Make an educated guess about how something works, then try really hard to prove that your guess is wrong. Maybe there’s a little more to it than that, but you get the idea.

Science is slow, but it works pretty well. It’s how we got rockets, sour gummy candy, the polio vaccine, smartphones, and the five-day weather forecast.

Some people throw around the word “science” or “scientific” when they’re selling something they want you to buy: a scientific formula, a scientific breakthrough, proven by science. They want you to think science supports their idea/product the same way it supports sending a remote-controlled laboratory to Mars. Almost always, it doesn’t.

You don’t have to be a scientist yourself to see through that stuff. A lot of the time, you only need to ask yourself: How hard has this person tried to prove himself wrong? How hard would a real scientist have to try?