In our most recent TOK lesson, we were given a photo of a volcanic eruption and tasked to come up with a research question, hypothesis and research methodology looking at the photo from the lens of natural science and human science. The research question that I developed that related to natural science looked more specifically at the tectonic movements that triggered the event and focused on the effect on soil fertility and future tectonic movements in the region affected, whereas the research question related to human science looks at the social implications of the disaster, as well as the economic effects of the eruption.
The data collected to answer the natural scientific research question would be solely factual and based on measurements of changes soil fertility, tectonic measurements and other forms of objective data collection which would provide scientists with information about the cause and effect of the disaster on the natural world. The reliability of this information would be based on the ability of the scientists to control variables set out before the conducting of their experiments. The certainty again relies on the methods of collection and the ability of a carefully followed scientific method to provide objective and accurate results. Data collected from the perspective of a human scientist would look at information based on polls of the population which relate to the economic and social impacts of the disaster, and would also look at formal population and economic statistics from before and after the eruption to make a judgment about the extent of the disaster. The reliability of this data is reliant on researchers collecting information from a large proportion of the population in order to eliminate the effect of outliers on conclusions made.