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  1. #161
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xander View Post
    All that's going on at the moment (and this includes the WHO) is scare mongering and scandal. Hardly a good light for "science" to be shown in and yet that's the word which keeps being bandied about. Basically the vaping community seems to be ignoring all of them. The thing is, what if one of them is right? If so....which bloody one?
    What you are describing is certainly a problem, but it is the fault of politicians and, to some degree, the general public, not of scientists. If it is important enough to have a definitive answer about the safety of vaping, then someone, ideally a few someones, needs to fund specific research on this question. As with any health issue, this will take some time since negative effects of things that enter our bodies, especially things to which we have frequent or long term exposure, sometimes take years to manifest. But patience is almost as scarce as money. It is easier to be an alarmist ideologue.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  2. #162
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    What you are describing is certainly a problem, but it is the fault of politicians and, to some degree, the general public, not of scientists. If it is important enough to have a definitive answer about the safety of vaping, then someone, ideally a few someones, needs to fund specific research on this question. As with any health issue, this will take some time since negative effects of things that enter our bodies, especially things to which we have frequent or long term exposure, sometimes take years to manifest. But patience is almost as scarce as money. It is easier to be an alarmist ideologue.
    All true but due to the terms scientist and science being bandied about by such bodies it is made suspicious by association.

    It's like second hand car dealers or double glazing salesmen. The rotten apples spoil the whole crop.

    The challenge is how to reverse this. How to get real science out to people without the bullshit in a format they can understand.

    However, after a new scientist reader told me to unplug my computer from the power when it's not in use so it can't be hacked... I'm thinking it might be an uphill struggle.
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

  3. #163
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xander View Post
    All true but due to the terms scientist and science being bandied about by such bodies it is made suspicious by association.
    Are you suggesting that this is something scientists are responsible for fixing, or even capable of fixing?
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  4. #164
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    Are you suggesting that this is something scientists are responsible for fixing, or even capable of fixing?
    If you don't take responsibility then who cares enough to do it?

    I don't think it's fixable in any statistically provable, business case, could be explained to a guy with cash and no brains, no. However neither can half the projects engaged in.

    A scientists isn't responsible for finding the God particle until they've done it. So why do they bother beforehand when it's theoretical and uncertain.

    I'm about as low in my organisation as you can get but I still poke the beast when I see it needing it. I don't believe that it will do my bidding but it's cowardice or nihilistic not to try.
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

  5. #165
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xander View Post
    If you don't take responsibility then who cares enough to do it?
    The people who get upset about politicians and marketers playing fast and loose with scientific information. Yes, scientists are among this group, but we are a small minority as has already been pointed out. If public statements by scientists, or even the interactions between individual scientists and their non-scientist friends, relatives, and neighbors, were enough to counteract the misinformation, the problem wouldn't exist.

    Quote Originally Posted by Xander View Post
    I don't think it's fixable in any statistically provable, business case, could be explained to a guy with cash and no brains, no. However neither can half the projects engaged in.

    A scientists isn't responsible for finding the God particle until they've done it. So why do they bother beforehand when it's theoretical and uncertain.

    I'm about as low in my organisation as you can get but I still poke the beast when I see it needing it. I don't believe that it will do my bidding but it's cowardice or nihilistic not to try.
    Not to discourage you at all, but that's about as effective as Don Quixote tilting at windmills. I see it in my own organization as well and have even done my share of it. This is why I am finally trying to do the only thing left to me: vote with my feet and leave.

    Fixing the problem requires a combination of taking responsibility AND having the ability (resources, position, influence, etc.) to affect the situation. Scientists can be a part of this, but cannot even come close to fixing the problem on our own.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  6. #166
    deplorable basketcase Tellenbach's Avatar
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    The solution is to use market based forces to fund science. When you have politicians awarding grants for scientific research, that research becomes corrupted and agenda driven. How likely is it for climate change skeptics to get government funding for their research? They don't and that is why most most climate scientists are believers.
    Senator Rand Paul is alive because of modern medicine and because his attacker punches like a girl.

  7. #167
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Default Science and Epistemology

    It's not possible to explain science to the public in a form they can understand.

    It is not possible because the public have a particular way of understanding and the science has another way of understanding.

    The problem is not one of making science explicable to the public, the problem is epistemological.

    And it is unlikely that the epistemology of the public will change.

  8. #168
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    Fixing the problem requires a combination of taking responsibility AND having the ability (resources, position, influence, etc.) to affect the situation. Scientists can be a part of this, but cannot even come close to fixing the problem on our own.
    Perhaps then more scientists need to enter the world of politics and media.

    A wise man said "perhaps you are busy doing the wrong things".

    I know that science isn't don't in a public forum or a house of democracy but it also doesn't exist apart from it and that seems to be the danger. Whatever is developed is removed from the world by several steps of bureaucracy and middle management. There seems to be little credible coming through.
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

  9. #169
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mole View Post
    It's not possible to explain science to the public in a form they can understand.

    It is not possible because the public have a particular way of understanding and the science has another way of understanding.

    The problem is not one of making science explicable to the public, the problem is epistemological.

    And it is unlikely that the epistemology of the public will change.
    I have faith in the adage that if something is understood well enough then it can be explained simply.

    People adopting new information has always been a problem. You only have to look at the world of religion to see that.
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

  10. #170
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xander View Post
    I have faith in the adage that if something is understood well enough then it can be explained simply.

    People adopting new information has always been a problem. You only have to look at the world of religion to see that.
    The problem is not understanding well enough but understanding understanding.

    These are two different problems. A solution for the first will not do for the second.

    If we try to solve the second problem in terms of the first, we will continue to go round in circles.

    In our naïveté we mistake the second problem for the first.

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