13 APR 2012 by ideonexus

 What It Means to be a Scientist

In reality, scientists are just people like you and me. Most of us don't wear lab coats (I don't) or work with bubbling beakers or sparking van de Graf generators (unless they are chemists or physicists who actually work with that equipment). Most scientists are not geniuses either. It is true that, on average, scientists tend to be better educated than the typical person on the street, but that education is a necessity to learn all the information that allows a scientist to make discoveries....
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It's not about how they dress or their education, but their adherence to the scientific method.

30 MAR 2011 by ideonexus


This is, in fact the critical discovery of science. That we often perceive what we expect or want to perceive, often at variance with what is objectively true. The Cro Magnon genius of trumping objective evidence with subjective belief. The original and only true form of magic.How has science dealt with this quandary? By encouraging open enquiry and vigorous reciprocal accountability. And by enticing younger researchers to take risks and challenge portions of the edifice that may be weak, w...
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An acronym that expresses an important scientific principle: "Criticism Is The Only Known Antidote To Error"

03 JAN 2011 by ideonexus

 Science is Patient Observation

I think it is very important--at least it was to me--that if you are going to teach people to make observations, you should show that something wonderful can come from them. I learned then what science was about. It was patience. If you looked, and you watched, and you paid attention, you got a great reward from it (although possible not every time). As a result, when I became a more mature man, I would painstakingly, hour after hour, for years, work on problems--sometimes many years, sometim...
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Wonderful things can come from watching the world patiently.

03 JAN 2011 by ideonexus

 Doubt as a Scientific Virtue

I would now like to turn to a third value that science has. It is a little more indirect, but not much. The scientist has a lot of experience with ignorance and doubt and uncertainty, and this experience is of very great importance, I think. When a scientist doesn't now the answer to a problem, he is ignorant. When he as a hunch as to what the result is, he is uncertain. And when he is pretty darn sure of what the result is going to be, he is in some doubt. We have found it of paramount impor...
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The importance of doubt, and a lack of absolute certainty, in science, which is non-authoritarian.