A Conversation for Science as Religion

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Post 21

Gone again

Ben is concerned: <...a researcher who chose not to write entries was coming up with a wide range of criticisms about the entry, but was not coming up with any ways of making it better. This is not an exactly parallel case, but it IS close enough for me to be having deja vu...>

I wouldn't be concerned, if I were you, Ben. Hoovooloo is polite and constructive, and lacking in, er, venom smiley - winkeye, compared with the psycho you had to deal with. We disagree quite strongly, but that's OK. It makes the world go round. Or was that money....

Pattern-chaser

"Who cares, wins"


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Post 22

Hoovooloo

"Do you really think that the reason for public mistrust is diffidence on the part of scientists? "

Absolutely. It's *such* a common occurrence to have a scientist appear on "Today" on R4, or some such programme, and make a statement they're comfortable with (e.g. "the risk is very low", with sundry qualifications), and then be badgered by the questioner for something more definitive - which shows up the questioner for what they are, i.e. merely a journalist, and lacking the education to understand that science *cannot* make definitive statements in the way journalists would like. Or rather, they *can*, but they won't in many cases because they know that they'd be talking nonsense. But you just can't get that over to someone who dropped physics like a hot brick at fourteen so they could get on with easier subjects where there are no "wrong" answers.

And you're right - scientists who allow themselves to be conned into making definitive statements that they can't back up are just as responsible. But for the scientist being interviewed, it's a rock and a hard place - do you stick to the facts and sound shifty because you won't commit, or do you say something definitive in defiance of the statistics, and risk being shown to be making stuff up?

The public and journalists make unreasonable demands on science, and then complain when it doesn't meet them. smiley - shrug (why isn't there a smiley - shrug smiley???)

H.


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Post 23

Hoovooloo

smiley - yikes

"Hoovooloo is polite and constructive, and lacking in, er, venom,"

Wow! Oh, hang on...

" compared with "

Phew, I thought my reputation was in danger there.... smiley - winkeye

H.


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Post 24

a girl called Ben

Okie dokie - I will let you guys get on with it. Though I have to say that I don't think I had to deal with venom as such. Actually, this reminds me, I really ought to check out that thread.

Take care guys, and don't beat each other up, eh?

B


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Post 25

Gone again



For sure (as they say across the Pond)!! smiley - winkeye



"Venom" was a sort of pun.... smiley - biggrin

Pattern-chaser

"Who cares, wins"


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Post 26

a girl called Ben

And a really good one, as I realised when I re-read the thread after posting.

It worries me when I start missing puns.

All the best, you are two of the good-guys here in your very different ways.

B


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Post 27

Gone again

OK, HVL, back to the plot: smiley - winkeye

You think scientists are unpopular because of diffidence, I think it's due to unwise pronouncements. The trouble is, these are anecdotal claims that neither one of us can quantify, yes? smiley - sadface D'you think there's a way we could reach a more definite conclusion?

Pattern-chaser

"Who cares, wins"


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Post 28

Fathom


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