The March for Science: Some Perspectives
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24-04-2017, 02:48 PM
The March for Science: Some Perspectives
The Usefulness of a March for Science

7 takeaways from the March for Science

March for Science Demonstrators Say They’re the Real Patriots

The Problem With the March for Science

I find the last of these the most telling, and the most disturbing.

--
Dr H

"So, I became an anarchist, and all I got was this lousy T-shirt."
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24-04-2017, 02:59 PM
RE: The March for Science: Some Perspectives
Would've been better if they did the marches on hoverboards.

#sigh
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24-04-2017, 05:05 PM
RE: The March for Science: Some Perspectives
(24-04-2017 02:59 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  Would've been better if they did the marches on hoverboards.

That certainly would have been eye-catching, anyway.

Seriously, though, one of the problems we have in this country is that the hoi-polloi, or at least that portion of it that seems to be led about by right-wing talk radio, have been indoctrinated to consider science "elitist". Never mind that the view is illogical, it is a popular view, nonetheless.

I'm not sure that these marches did anything to dispel that image of elitism, and in many cases they may actually have reinforced it.

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Dr H

"So, I became an anarchist, and all I got was this lousy T-shirt."
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24-04-2017, 06:55 PM
RE: The March for Science: Some Perspectives
(24-04-2017 05:05 PM)Dr H Wrote:  Seriously, though, one of the problems we have in this country is that the hoi-polloi, or at least that portion of it that seems to be led about by right-wing talk radio, have been indoctrinated to consider science "elitist". Never mind that the view is illogical, it is a popular view, nonetheless.

I'm not sure that these marches did anything to dispel that image of elitism, and in many cases they may actually have reinforced it.

It's kind of odd that many view Trump and his ilk as down to earth good old boys who can relate to them while the poor bastard grad student making $12K/year eating peanut butter and ramen sandwiches doing real science is viewed as elitist. Makes me think "Tell me what was wrong with eugenics again?"

#sigh
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24-04-2017, 07:46 PM
RE: The March for Science: Some Perspectives
(24-04-2017 02:48 PM)Dr H Wrote:  I find the last of these the most telling, and the most disturbing.

There are pluses and minuses to everything. Only our enemies only see our faults.
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25-04-2017, 01:12 AM
RE: The March for Science: Some Perspectives
I have mixed feelings on the last article. The article seemed to struggle to get to the main point, if there was one at all and seems circular at times: people do not understand science because if you see these examples, people don't understand science. What are the exogenous factors that lead to anti-science beliefs? Money? Religion? Human nature? All of them? Some of them? Does it vary from issue to issue? etc.

I feel the article barely scratched the surface on that. Sure, quasi-religious nature, p-hacking, and crappy scientific journalism are--granted--issues and while people are probably smarter--or at least more knowledgeable--practicing science broadly construed (i.e. something closer to freethought than the textbook scientific method), why people end up being wrong goes much deeper than a single article, let alone a single march, could explore. I should also add I felt Shawn Otto's book, The War on Science, actually *did* provide a very good answer to that question.

Regardless such questions such as what exogeneous features can lead to anti-science beliefs seem very distant when confronted with something as simple as how are we going to handle a president who doesn't believe in climate change and could potentially make nation-altering decision that will effect the next generation for years to come. Yes, there's a lot of work ahead, but I don't see any problem with starting with the elephant in the room. If Feynman is right and "The first principle [of science] is that you must not fool yourself—and you are the easiest person to fool" then fact a march was led by fools who have fooled themselves was but inevitable, in which case Faust made a trite observation.
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25-04-2017, 03:14 AM
RE: The March for Science: Some Perspectives
(25-04-2017 01:12 AM)ZoraPrime Wrote:  I have mixed feelings on the last article.

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25-04-2017, 04:36 AM (This post was last modified: 25-04-2017 04:44 AM by cactus.)
RE: The March for Science: Some Perspectives
I'm sorry, but if someone thinks the Earth is 6000 years old, they're probably not ready for a discussion about p-hacking and the file drawer effect. This march was entirely about the low-hanging fruit, but that's still alright I guess, since I still think this march will inspire a few science lovers to make a positive difference.

Did this thing ever have a chance at being effective in changing policy right now?......... lol Laugh out load
but was it fun to watch? Hell yeah Smile

I don't fucking love IFLS, but mainly just because of the way that Facebook works (also because it tends to attract a lot of people who, shall we say... don't enjoy statistics very much). It makes everything you do public by default, so anything you post comes across a some kind of elitist, snarky, overly-politicized tirade that gets shoved in the face of everyone you've ever met. Marches like this are basically the same thing. It's like an IRL Facebook meme, for people who are fed up with obvious bullshit, by people who are fed up with obvious bullshit. That's fun and everything, but to an outside observer, it can be mega cringe.

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25-04-2017, 09:56 AM
RE: The March for Science: Some Perspectives
(25-04-2017 01:12 AM)ZoraPrime Wrote:  I have mixed feelings on the last article.
I always cringe when someone compares science to religion, but the article does have some very valid points.

There is a difference between association and cause, and popularized accounts of scientific (and quasi-scientific, and poorly designed scientific) research constantly run afoul of this distinction because associations produce attention-grabbing headlines and deliver eyeballs.

There is a difference between science and scientism.

There are lots of poorly designed studies, lots of funding for scientific dead-end objectives based on ideological motives, and a fundamentally flawed peer review system. Also, the bias towards skepticism is sometimes overdetermined, making it difficult to break through with innovative, out of the box thinking. It becomes less something to guard against confirmation bias and more something to protect sacred cows.

None of this reflects badly on the actual Scientific Method or the fact that properly following that method is far and away the best shot we have at figuring out what is real and true. But it feeds into the notion on the part of the religious, the right, and the religious right that science followers follow science for reasons not unlike how they follow religion.
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25-04-2017, 11:00 AM
RE: The March for Science: Some Perspectives
I think if a few popular singers would write some pro-science country songs, it would go a long way.

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