While it will not be needed for every plot line knowing what makes good science is something you should know. And just as important is knowing how to make bad science.
For example if your writing about Jor-Ell and the fall of Krypton you want him to sound like he knows what he is doing, and the mainstream scientists to sound wrong. You don’t want him to sound like a crazy who does not know what he is talking about.
The first thing to understand is that good science is open and freely available. By this I mean that the data the scientists used is freely available for review, as are the papers and such. They should want people to point out what they did wrong, if anything.
For bad science you can have some of the data set’s be secret, maybe classified or patented.
Good science is also repeatable, some would say this is the very definition of science in the first place. If you wanted to have bad science being believed one way would be to make the experiment hard to repeat, it costs too much money, it took a lot of time ect.
Lastly good science is unbiased, by this I mean that the scientists do not allow anything but logic and data sway their views. However they are as human as anyone else.
Things like political opinions can effect their views. Or it could be that if they come to the wrong conclusion they lose their job. If they built a carrier around saying the planet is stable, and mining can continue, they will hardly be the first to say it should stop.