Thursday, April 19, 2012

Some Myths and Facts About Science

An outstanding set of quotes from the FJC's How Science Works:

"... Because science is an adversary process in which each idea deserves the most vigorous possible defense, it is useful for the successful progress of science that scientists tenaciously hang on to their own ideas, even in the face of contrary evidence (and they do, they do) ..."

"... There is a very large component of skill in making cutting-edge experiments work. Often, the only way to import a new technique into a laboratory is to hire someone (usually a postdoctoral fellow) who has already made it work elsewhere. Nevertheless, scientists have a solemn responsibility to describe the methods they use as fully and accurately as possible. And, eventually, the skill will be acquired by enough people to make the new technique commonplace."

The take-away from this section of the publication; every scientist who comes up with a new way of examining/processing evidence has a duty to defend it vigorously by documenting it as fully and accurately as possible - then sharing it with the greater community so that this new method will eventually become commonplace.

Enjoy.

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