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  1. #81
    Mojibake sprinkles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyuuei View Post
    I don't think we are. I think a professional attitude can be attained while still striking a balance between what's needed from either side.

    I see really unfortunate shit going on like Discovery Channel's demolition of shark week for the sake of cashing in on reality TV garbage. And tricking those poor biologists in the process.. But those biologists are REALLY well-educated people. And they still didn't know they were being deceived for devious footage that was far different from the science they wanted to present. Education level does not mean you're not an idiot in other ways. People want to be informed about science because, as Sprinkles pointed out, science permeates our whole life. Whether we chose it or not. Every one of us and everything we do. And stupid stuff... like putting limits on passwords and characters used and things like that are actually hurting the public when they think they're protecting their own information following those stupid, uninformed formats most websites use. And people don't even know it. It's there everywhere we go. And unless the scientific community embraces this challenge and steps up to the plate a bit more, people are only going to know a guy for what t-shirt he wore instead of the fact he landed on a god damn comet.

    When people make science more accessible to others (like STEM programs for children and such) they help create a generation of better informed people. Appealing to children is the best thing STEM fields have done in a long time towards embracing the public's needs while maintaining integrity and autonomy.
    STEM is another form of education which is what we already have. There's nothing wrong with it, but it's a far cry from what we've been talking about so far because it's essentially school and you have to attend the classes, and the argument has been made that people don't have the time for that already.

    Accessible education is a completely different issue from what I've been talking about lately.

  2. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyuuei View Post
    Yeah, because there's an actual office to create basics. When it comes to understanding research, though, you really just jump into the deep end or stare at the water. There are a lot of aspects of science that we absolutely should know better about that just isn't touched. Either you're in the know, or you aren't and eff you. That's really the attitude.. and the more education I am receiving as I go along, that's how it is delivered more and more.

    If rawfoodsos.com can translate research for fun into something people understand, I know scientists can translate their own research so that people aren't twisting their words without others being able to call them out on their ill informed bullshit. I know it can be done.
    The more you translate something, the less true it is. Translate it enough and it eventually becomes useless, and eventually what you think they mean is probably not what they're trying to tell you.

    Edit:
    Also I don't find that site to be particularly great.

  3. #83
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sprinkles View Post
    STEM is another form of education which is what we already have. There's nothing wrong with it, but it's a far cry from what we've been talking about so far because it's essentially school and you have to attend the classes, and the argument has been made that people don't have the time for that already.

    Accessible education is a completely different issue from what I've been talking about lately.
    I'm pretty sure the thread is about why science is so hard to believe and understand for people. You literally took a quote I wrote for Ygolo.. but since you did... All you've talked about his how people are stupid and they need to stop whining.. which is ironically nothing but whining.

    Children growing up exposed to science and its importance is what creates more scientists, science-related fields, and bridges the gap between people who never even got a chance at a real education (because hey, there was a time we thought everyone was too stupid for school so we gave them a silly test, and whatever grade they made determined the rest of their lives ala The Giver style.. and those people are the ages that populate much of the older adult populations now-a-days.. surprise surprise, when we don't encourage education in everyone everyone suffers as a result!) and people who, even if they didn't pursue it, still got exposed to it which is a far cry from recent history.

    If you really want to just be bitter and whine, that's cool man. But don't try to blame others and the whole world on your jaded outlook. That's all on you man, your shoulders are carrying that weight. The world isn't pushing that onto you. 'Translating makes it useless' said no one ever. According to you, they should've just broken the rosetta stone the moment they discovered it because, hey, explaining things in a different way makes it useless.

    I'm pretty sure there aren't many things you do find great.
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  4. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyuuei View Post
    I'm pretty sure the thread is about why science is so hard to believe and understand for people. You literally took a quote I wrote for Ygolo.. but since you did... All you've talked about his how people are stupid and they need to stop whining.. which is ironically nothing but whining.

    Children growing up exposed to science and its importance is what creates more scientists, science-related fields, and bridges the gap between people who never even got a chance at a real education (because hey, there was a time we thought everyone was too stupid for school so we gave them a silly test, and whatever grade they made determined the rest of their lives ala The Giver style.. and those people are the ages that populate much of the older adult populations now-a-days.. surprise surprise, when we don't encourage education in everyone everyone suffers as a result!) and people who, even if they didn't pursue it, still got exposed to it which is a far cry from recent history.

    If you really want to just be bitter and whine, that's cool man. But don't try to blame others and the whole world on your jaded outlook. That's all on you man, your shoulders are carrying that weight. The world isn't pushing that onto you. 'Translating makes it useless' said no one ever. According to you, they should've just broken the rosetta stone the moment they discovered it because, hey, explaining things in a different way makes it useless.
    You obviously haven't read enough of my posts in the thread if you're going to accuse me of calling people stupid or lecture me on how hard it is to get educated.

    Edit:
    And a lot of times in fields like physics and electronics, explaining things differently often DOES make it effectively useless.

  5. #85

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    Quote Originally Posted by kyuuei View Post
    I don't think we are. I think a professional attitude can be attained while still striking a balance between what's needed from either side.

    I see really unfortunate shit going on like Discovery Channel's demolition of shark week for the sake of cashing in on reality TV garbage. And tricking those poor biologists in the process.. But those biologists are REALLY well-educated people. And they still didn't know they were being deceived for devious footage that was far different from the science they wanted to present. Education level does not mean you're not an idiot in other ways. People want to be informed about science because, as Sprinkles pointed out, science permeates our whole life. Whether we chose it or not. Every one of us and everything we do. And stupid stuff... like putting limits on passwords and characters used and things like that are actually hurting the public when they think they're protecting their own information following those stupid, uninformed formats most websites use. And people don't even know it. It's there everywhere we go. And unless the scientific community embraces this challenge and steps up to the plate a bit more, people are only going to know a guy for what t-shirt he wore instead of the fact he landed on a god damn comet.

    When people make science more accessible to others (like STEM programs for children and such) they help create a generation of better informed people. Appealing to children is the best thing STEM fields have done in a long time towards embracing the public's needs while maintaining integrity and autonomy.
    It is actually unprofessional to take money from people who want a particular result from an investigation. I would also consider it unprofessional to give a B.S. time estimate, or to pontificate on predictions I know that my understanding cannot make (though people with more successful careers have no qualms about these things). Often, these are the things people want.

    I have never yelled at a student, a client, or subordinate for not understanding something. I have only raised my voice to one or two bosses (though we were on rather good terms by then). Most of my griping is on online forums such as this.

    Also, people keep saying that somehow there is a matter of intelligence involved. But that is not the gripe. The gripe is not that the public is stupid, far from it.

    Rather the gripe is that many people want me to lie to them (or at least B.S. them) in various ways, and I don't want to do that.

    I agree that science education will help a lot. But we've been educating people for ages. So what needs to be different to help that?

    I personally struggle with communication, and will continue to. It is not due to lack of effort. More than one professional has said I have Autistic traits. But I seem to have some talent for something, so I played my proverbial cards along that strategy. This is true of a lot of scientists.

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  6. #86
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    I personally struggle with communication, and will continue to. It is not due to lack of effort. More than one professional has said I have Autistic traits. But I seem to have some talent for something, so I played my proverbial cards along that strategy. This is true of a lot of scientists.
    This is the heart of my original post. That scientists have a disconnect with society. They say "We are doing things!" and society is not responding to the things being done positively. And I know the desire is there.
    @Bamboo and I had a really interesting conversation where he discussed how things get watered down in cultures.. whether that was good or bad, or neutral and just a fact of life. If only a few monks exist that do things in a traditional sense .. but everyone participates in the festivals and flood the temple once a year.. are they all destroying what the monks hold dear? Or embracing it? Or changing it permanently.. or can the two co-exist simultaneously without destruction of the traditions and roots? .. He explained it better than I could.. but essentially my point is there has to be a coming together. A realm of "Yeah, unless you're a scientist, sorry this just won't be understood" is expected as in any profession.. but scientists do not really rely on the public as much as the public relies on them, and there is a definite disconnect there between the two..

    There's an unnecessary dichotomy between liberal arts degrees and science-oriented degrees that just doesn't need to be there. I think there is a big key in linking these two fields together to get people to really appreciate science and understanding.. like the TV USED to do for science and zoology and history. Television, sadly enough, inspired me to enjoy science and learning about things. School ... definitely lacked luster. There's a lot more outlets than radio and television and public schools now-a-days that can join actors and photographers and film artists and scientists and up-and-coming researchers and professionals that want to tell a story to the public in a way they better understand the concept. THere are some preeeetty awesome science-based shows now-a-days, definitely, but I know the community can be touched more. That's all.
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  7. #87
    Mojibake sprinkles's Avatar
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    @kyuuei
    Why do you think there's a rift? Is it magic? Spite?

    Do you really believe that scientists just one day upped and decided to be assholes and not share their information with everybody for no good reason?

    If you need the scientist to explain things then who is in the better position to decide what is and is not hard to explain? Is it the person who needs the explanation? I'm inclined to disagree.

  8. #88

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    Quote Originally Posted by kyuuei View Post
    This is the heart of my original post. That scientists have a disconnect with society. They say "We are doing things!" and society is not responding to the things being done positively. And I know the desire is there.
    @Bamboo and I had a really interesting conversation where he discussed how things get watered down in cultures.. whether that was good or bad, or neutral and just a fact of life. If only a few monks exist that do things in a traditional sense .. but everyone participates in the festivals and flood the temple once a year.. are they all destroying what the monks hold dear? Or embracing it? Or changing it permanently.. or can the two co-exist simultaneously without destruction of the traditions and roots? .. He explained it better than I could.. but essentially my point is there has to be a coming together. A realm of "Yeah, unless you're a scientist, sorry this just won't be understood" is expected as in any profession.. but scientists do not really rely on the public as much as the public relies on them, and there is a definite disconnect there between the two..

    There's an unnecessary dichotomy between liberal arts degrees and science-oriented degrees that just doesn't need to be there. I think there is a big key in linking these two fields together to get people to really appreciate science and understanding.. like the TV USED to do for science and zoology and history. Television, sadly enough, inspired me to enjoy science and learning about things. School ... definitely lacked luster. There's a lot more outlets than radio and television and public schools now-a-days that can join actors and photographers and film artists and scientists and up-and-coming researchers and professionals that want to tell a story to the public in a way they better understand the concept. THere are some preeeetty awesome science-based shows now-a-days, definitely, but I know the community can be touched more. That's all.
    I feel like our exchange of posts is in itself a microchosm of the troubles.

    I am rather sure we both want to understand each other, and am fairly sure we like each other. Nevertheless, there is a disconnect. We both acknowledge that.

    To be frank, I feel like you are ignoring the more substantive aspects of what I post, and focusing on responses that I think everyone would agree with. Is this "watering down"?

    Also, I looked through rawfoodsos.com, and I find it hard to categorize this as a science blog. She mentions a lot of studies, but does little to explain them. There is a clear animal product advocate bias towards her posts (not that she's wrong). She seems to know her science, and does some rather interesting self experimentation. Nevertheless, I'm not sure this is devoid of the problems I have with what people want in science explanation.

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  9. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    Also, I looked through rawfoodsos.com, and I find it hard to categorize this as a science blog. She mentions a lot of studies, but does little to explain them. There is a clear animal product advocate bias towards her posts (not that she's wrong). She seems to know her science, and does some rather interesting self experimentation. Nevertheless, I'm not sure this is devoid of the problems I have with what people want in science explanation.
    This outlines the whole issue I have with this deal. The fact that a mere passing understanding is really not enough to legitimately decide important matters like research funding, or really do anything significant with.

    Just getting people to understand a little bit is what we've already got (though admittedly even that is dying) but really it it isn't enough for anything important, and it never was.

    You can watch NOVA all you want but making funding decisions and such based off it is nearly as bad as making decisions based on nothing at all.

  10. #90

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    Perhaps to make things more visual, this show was one of my favorite shows as a kid:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rbKFgIxv5nU


    It was made by the author of one of my favorite textbooks in college:
    Classical Mechanics: John R. Taylor: 9781891389221: Amazon.com: Books

    He obviously created these for different audiences. This kind of thing has been done for a long time. Faraday did it. Feynman did it. Bill Nye does it. I would love to do this myself sometime.

    But, presently the wonderful Mr. Wizzard show, is also drowned out by things like this:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DfPeprQ7oGc


    What's wrong with that video? There is almost no explanation in it. It is mostly correct (qualitatively), but it is embedded in one of the worst science misinformation documentaries ever made.
    Here's the documentary:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qRHKVArA690


    How does a scientist guard against the public being misinformed in this way? How can we get the general public to think critically enough to filter out BS?

    Edit: To show that I can be taken in by B.S. too. I realized that even though Mr. Wizard on the back of Taylor's is shown there, the show I watched as a kid was not him. It was Don Herbert. For whatever reason, just seeing Mr. Wizard on the back of the book after sufficient time had passed had me believe it was the same guy. That emotional moment created for me a false belief--That I only now figured out.

    Edit 2: Mr. Wizard was still a good show. Faraday did still make wonderful experiments, and Feynman was still a lucid lecturer for the general public.

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
    Robot Fusion
    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

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