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Thread: "...the field has real standards of scholarly validity."

  1. #41

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    Re: "...the field has real standards of scholarly validity."

    Quote Originally Posted by Jody_S View Post
    Re. your now deleted comments on scientists and their disdain for, and misuse of, statistics: in the field in which I studied, now a small sub-field of biology, no one that I ever met did their own statistics. For that matter, they had little involvement in the actual construction of experiments. All of this was left to their slaves, er, 'research assistants'. Once in a while, they would bring a mess of data to the biology dep't resident statistician (a lovely woman named Rhonda), and ask her to 'fix' it. Important errors are obviously made, every day. The idea of it all is that the system is supposed to be self-correcting. And given the current rate of progress in the field of biology, I tend to agree that it is.
    Thanks. I sincerely appologize for my earlier blathering on. When I was still doing statistics, I worked mainly with engineers and physicists. The physicists were alot like the biologist you describe. It was the engineers I was referring to in my prior (redacted) post. Many had very little backround in statistics and seemingly little respect for the field. Most would also quickly recognize the value when a properly designed experiment produced useful results in an efficient manner (for example).

    I also agree that science is self correcting and do not believe that "Science is in crisis". Science is messy and imperfect yet, progress tends to be made. It is amusing when people outside the scientific community peek behind the curtain and, not understanding the process, proclaim stuff like "Science is in crisis".

  2. #42
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    Re: "...the field has real standards of scholarly validity."

    Quote Originally Posted by Jody_S View Post
    Important errors are obviously made, every day. The idea of it all is that the system is supposed to be self-correcting. And given the current rate of progress in the field of biology, I tend to agree that it is.
    We should not be complacent. Resources for biomedical research are limited. Researchers waste scarce time and resources barking up wrong trees to which they have been pointed by invalid results. In extreme cases, patients may end up participating in trials of new diagnostic methods or treatments that should never have reached the clinic. Human error is inevitable. But consumption of scarce resources, diversion of precious time and energy of other researchers and - in some cases - imposition of risk and inconvenience on vulnerable patients because of correctable failure to apply known good practice is indefensible.

  3. #43
    Randy Moe's Avatar
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    Re: "...the field has real standards of scholarly validity."

    I suppose you guys saw, 'Minority Report (2002)' where future crime is prevented.

  4. #44

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    Re: "...the field has real standards of scholarly validity."

    Quote Originally Posted by Jody_S View Post
    in the field in which I studied, now a small sub-field of biology, no one that I ever met did their own statistics. For that matter, they had little involvement in the actual construction of experiments. All of this was left to their slaves, er, 'research assistants'.
    This is terrifying. RAs are trainees, need tight supervision. I never let RAs take charge, they couldn't be trusted. I didn't micromanage, I let them make mistakes but I checked their work and used the mistakes as an opportunity to teach.

    But I'm afraid you're right. I just read a paper on, among other things, habitat partitioning between, believe it or not, the guppy and a close relative in Trinidad. Multiple authors, but still a piece of the senior author's dissertation. There's a model to explain how the two fishes divide the universe. Two equations, one for each species, one with no significant coefficients, the other with one. Eh, wot? How'd the guy defend his thesis? How'd the paper pass review? That's what you get when the senior people in the field don't know ...

  5. #45

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    Re: "...the field has real standards of scholarly validity."

    More terror: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2...10fa_fact_aviv

    I know David Wake. He's a person of the highest integrity. He says Tyrone Hayes is OK. Tyrone Hayes is OK, end of that discussion. Syngenta and the scientists it hired to push the Syngenta line lack integrity.

  6. #46
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: "...the field has real standards of scholarly validity."

    Wow, that is scary.
    "Why can't we all just get along?" President Dale, Mars Attacks

  7. #47
    Jac@stafford.net's Avatar
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    Re: "...the field has real standards of scholarly validity."

    Does the sudden leap from scientific metrics to poetry not strike anyone as ABSURD? The article is invalid.

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