from Science: Its a Girl Thing
“Science: It’s a Sexy Thing”
(I had this kvetch on “draft” since 6/27/12, but then we lost electricity and I didn’t bother posting it. It strikes me as even more outrageous than when I first saw it!)
This comically absurd music video, “Science: It’s a Girl Thing” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/22/science-its-a-girl-thing-_n_1620235.html?utm_hp_ref=science is understandably evoking outrage and/or guffaws. Scantily clad girls and women are Continue reading
I suppose this is somewhat of a joke from the ISBA, prompted by Dennis Lindley–right?– but as I accord the actual degree of jokiness to be only ~33%, I’m raising it on my Msc Kvetching page. Lindley (according to O’Hagan) wonders why scientists require so high a level of statistical significance before claiming to have evidence of a Higgs boson. It is asked: “Are the particle physics community completely wedded to frequentist analysis? If so, has anyone tried to explain what bad science that is?”
Bad science? I’d really like to understand what these representatives from the ISBA would recommend, if there is even a shred of seriousness here (or is Lindley just peeved that significance levels are getting so much press in connection with so important a discovery in particle physics?)
Well, read the letter and see what you think. Continue reading
The hunt for the “OPERA error” now seems all but over. The solution to the (Duhemian) problem of where to lay the “blame” for the anomalous speed of light result appears to be at hand, after some months of sleuthing. Note how the same, remodeled, and new data are used both to identify and warrant inferences to rule out and (finally) identify sources. Searching does not penalize in such identifications of known effects. Had they inferred the experimental malfunction(s) Ai earlier (faulty fiber-optic cables), would you accord it greater, lesser, or identical weight? Why?* Continue reading
Scientific Study: Men Grow Peacock Tails Around Attractive women:
Am I the only one who occasionally feels that when an ordinary phenomenon, familiar to most women, becomes the focus of a “rigorous scientific” study like this that the whole dynamics is converted in a distorted, unflattering and rather (pea)cockamamie light?
Men put on their best behaviour when attractive ladies are close by. When the scenario is reversed however, the behaviour of women remains the same. These findings are published today, 2 February 2012, in the British Psychological Society’s British Journal of Psychology via the Wiley Online Library.
The research, which also found that the number of kind and selfless acts by men corresponded to the attractiveness of ladies, was undertaken by Dr Wendy Iredale of Sheffield Hallam University and Mark Van Vugt of the VU University in Amsterdam and the University of Oxford. Continue reading
Does this really count as censorship of science? Is it warranted? Likely to be effective in avoiding “Contagion”?
The government advisory board that oversees biosecurity in the U.S. is asking the scientific journals Nature and Science to censor details of recent studies on bird flu due to concerns about biological terrorism. Researchers created mutations of the H5N1 virus, making it transferable between mammals through the air. In 60 percent of human cases, this strain of avian flu is fatal. At present, only 350 people worldwide have died because of the flu, only because it can be contracted via direct contact with infected birds.
D. A. Henderson, Christine Gorman
Categories: phil sci
One of the faculty members here in The Netherlands (Richard Gill) told me about this social scientist (Diederik Stapel) who long fabricated data purporting to provide evidence for things like: thinking of eating meat causes anti-social behavior. He was only very recently fired. My cynical question is: isn’t there enough latitude in any data purporting to provide evidence for such claims to avoid the need for outright fabrication? Continue reading
Driven in this rather far-out pink Hummer car rental (not my idea, but cute–takes deisel too), I quickly got to the Zurich airport. Next stop: a workshop on error in the sciences ( Lorentz Center in the Netherlands). Now last week I’d read that there was a fairly blatant error in the statistical analysis (or in the prediction) involved in the experiments on faster-than-the speed-of-light-particles by the OPERA group (Oscillation Project with Emulsion-tRacking Apparatus), but now it appears there is back-tracking on the back-tracking. What do readers think? Can anyone update me on this? (Hunches ok too.)
Categories: phil sci