Viewing entries tagged
practices

Simple Isn't Easy

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Simple Isn't Easy

So if you ever think science isn't for you, or science is beyond what you can possibly wonder about the universe, think again. As long as you can ask very simple questions, you can think exactly like a scientist.

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Science is Facing a Brain Drain

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Science is Facing a Brain Drain

A significant fraction of the best and brightest coming into graduate programs in the physical sciences simply aren't interested in the physical sciences long-term. And those will include some of the best and brightest and most ambitious and most clever and the best humanity has to offer.

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Check Your Bias

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Check Your Bias

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.

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Getting Your Hands Dirty With Data

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Getting Your Hands Dirty With Data

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?

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Inference is Destiny

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Inference is Destiny

Take the case of the interior of a black hole (a question I get a lot). We'll never see inside a black hole, and if you were to visit one you would a) die horribly, and b) never be able to communicate your gruesome results to the outside world. So how do we know what's inside?

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Challenge Accepted

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Challenge Accepted

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.

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Dumb Science

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Dumb Science

First off, the very act of using natural language to describe scientific concepts can be considered "dumbing down".

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Stop, Collaborate, and Listen

There are many features of the scientific enterprise that we can incorporate into our everyday lives. These are all well and good, and with a properly trained mind can be wielded to great effect. But there's one more feature of science that has only emerged in relatively recent times: the rise of the collaboration.

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Know Your Errors

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Know Your Errors

The most interesting stories are when theory connects to observations, when there's a strong attempt to refute or bolster some piece of (un)known science. And here the name of the game is error bars.

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The Feynman Technique on Learning

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The Feynman Technique on Learning

The end goal of this process is to achieve a mastery of the subject. And a handy side effect of having an understanding of a topic with this particular technique is that you're perfectly positioned to explain it to audiences who have no prior experience using simple, uncomplicated language with lots of metaphors.

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Good Enough Isn't

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Good Enough Isn't

If a single person walks away from an educational moment not understanding the concept, we have to assume that it's entirely our fault.

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