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According to the ingame Statistics menu, Science is defined as

"Affects skill at prospecting, and researching new technologies."

Research progresses at a rate of .28 + science skill *.01. I.E. a science skill of 5 will give you a .33 science multiplier, meaning every 3 hours spent in research will give you 1 man's hour worth of progress.

Technology Research Edit

Small Research Bench
Research Category Item Req. Prerequisites Needed for
Item Storage Core
Small House Core
Public Sales Core
Tech Level 2 Core
Improved Stone Mining Industry
Iron Plates Industry
Storage Boxes Industry
Storage Boxes: Farming Industry
Fuel Generator Theory Electrics
Indoor Lighting Electrics
Wind Generator Theory Electrics
Baking Farming
Cactus Farming Farming
Cooking Farming
Cotton Farming Farming
Riceweed Farming Farming
Wheatstraw Farming Farming
Research Bench II
Research Category Item Req. Prerequisites Needed for
Basic Furniture Core Blueprint
Beds Core
Medium Building Shells Core
Random Furniture Core Blueprint
Tech Level 3 Core
Improved Stone Mining 2 Industry
Iron Plates 2 Industry
Powered Stone Refinery Industry
Stone Refinery Upgrade Industry
Storage Boxes: Crafting Industry
Storage Boxes: Ore Industry
Wells II Industry
Basic Exterior Lighting Electrics
Biofuel Electrics
Light Post Electrics
Light Wind Generator Theory Electrics
Advanced Cooking Farming
Desert Cooking Farming
Grog Distillation Farming
Hemp Farming Farming
Rum Brewing Farming
Sake Distillation Farming
Research Bench III
Research Category Item Req. Prerequisites Needed for
Advanced Outposts Core
Heavy Building Foundations Core
Large Building Shells Core
Outpost Type III Core
Tech Level 4 Core
Automated Mining Tech Industry
Automated Ore Mines Industry
Improved Stone Mining 3 Industry
Iron Plates 3 Industry
Steel Bars Industry
Stone Refinery Upgrade Industry
Wells III Industry
Batteries Electrics
Battery Capacity 1 - 4 Electrics
Battery Power 1 - 4 Electrics
Electrical Crafting Electrics
Heavy Generator Theory Electrics
Hemp Oil Biofuel Electrics
Light Post Efficiency Electrics
Search Lights Electrics
Skeleton Repair Beds Electrics
Upgraded Small Generators 1 & 2 Electrics
Research Bench IV
Research Category Item Req. Prerequisites Needed for
Copper Alloys Core
Outpost Type IV Core
Tech Level 5 Core
Advanced Stone Mining 1-2 Industry
Iron Plates 4 Industry
Steel Bars 2 Industry
Stone Refinery Upgrade 2-3 Industry
Advanced Wind Generator Theory Electrics
Research Bench V
Research Category Item Req. Prerequisites Needed for
Tech Level 6 Core
Fully Automatic Ore Drill Industry
Hybrid Stone Mine Industry
Semi-Automatic Ore Drill Industry
Advanced Battery Capacity 1-6 Electrics
Advanced Battery Power 1-6 Electrics
Amplified Generators 1-2 Electrics
Hydroponics Farming
Hydroponic Hemp Farming
Hydroponic Riceweed Farming
Hydroponic Vegetables Farming
Hydroponic Wheatstraw Farming
Farming
Research Bench VI
Research Category Item Req. Prerequisites Needed for
Steel Bars 3 Industry
Automated Stone Mine Industry