Albert Einstein, the stereotypical 'mad scientist'

In order to understand the conclusions of scientists, it is important to understand the way that science works. Science has its own way of thinking and its own way of speaking, that despite our best efforts, doesn’t translate well. Scientists speak in terms of uncertainty, hypotheses, error calculations, conclusions, theories, equations and all sorts of other jargon that doesn’t necessarily mean what you might expect it to.

Here we try to simplify some of this jargon, and clarify what it means when a scientist uses some of these terms.

Theory or fact?