Want to know what a scientist looks like? Look in the mirror.
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What does peer review mean? Does it mean a paper is correct? No. Does it mean a paper is the final word? No. Does it mean that the scientific community has accepted the results? No. It means that one or a couple random reviewers thought the paper was interesting, new, and not obviously wrong.
Theories are the structures that science builds. The artifacts. The things that last. The starting points for even more.
If you apply your skepticism to some statements (or categories of statements) but not others, why are you even bothering?
One of the most powerful lessons we can learn from science is that it can be applied to...not science.
What hidden dangers lurk behind even the simplest assumptions?
There’s a certain liberation in being able to constantly update your beliefs based on the evidence.
There's another source of bias that is much more pernicious and insidious. But it's surprisingly easy to find that source of bias: just look in the mirror.
Is the presentation of the data hiding something? Was anything excluded or minimized? Was anything glossed over? Was one part of the graph highlighted or emphasized to draw attention away from something else?
It's a part of the training to become a scientist, but it's not one you learn through any class. Instead, over the course of years you begin to recognize that what at first feels like harsh, personal critique is actually a vital part of the scientific process itself.
In a perfect world we would just open up the doors, let folks filter in to take their seats, and start talking about science. They would listen, agree that it's pretty awesome, and go home to tell their friends and family what they just learned.
I've had a pithy saying that I like to toss around. I don't know where I got it, and I can't find a source for it, so I'll go ahead and take credit for it: the first thing that lies to you is the data. Never, ever trust it.
Okay, there's one phrase that absolutely drives me up wall. I do my best in all public interactions to stay cool and respectful of differing opinions and approaches to understanding, but when I hear these two little words I instantly Hulk out and start (mentally) smashing things…
What makes it so hard to talk about climate science? Or course the short answer is "politics", but why is it political, and why does that prevent us from speaking clearly about the subject?