Category Archives: Nature of Science

Training to be a scientist: It’s not an indoctrination and it’s more than just reading

Many people seem to have some rather strange preconceptions about how higher education in science works. I often encounter people who insist that graduate school “indoctrinates” students, robs them of creativity, and “brainwashes” them to “blindly accept scientific dogma.” Further, … Continue reading

Posted in Nature of Science | 8 Comments

When can correlation equal causation?

“Correlation does not equal causation.” It is a phrase that everyone has probably heard, but many people seem to ignore or misunderstand it. Indeed, although useful, the phrase itself can be misleading because it often leads to the misconception that … Continue reading

Posted in Nature of Science, Rules of Logic | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Anti-vaccers, climate change deniers, and anti-GMO activists are all the same

I imagine that quite a few people were upset by the title for this post, so let me explain what I mean, and please hear me out before you sharpen your pitchforks. The arguments used by all three of these … Continue reading

Posted in Global Warming, GMO, Nature of Science, Vaccines/Alternative Medicine | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 82 Comments

Another terrible anti-vaccine study bites the dust

Lately, anti-vaccers have been touting a “new” vaccinated vs. unvaccinated study that purportedly shows that vaccines are associated with all manner of detrimental health conditions. I put the word “new” in quotes, because this study was actually accepted for publication … Continue reading

Posted in Nature of Science, Vaccines/Alternative Medicine | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments

Science matters because it works

Why should you support science? Because it works! It’s crazy to me that I even have to say that, but this is where we are as a society. Various forms and degrees of science denial are running rampant throughout our … Continue reading

Posted in Global Warming, GMO, Nature of Science, Vaccines/Alternative Medicine | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Basic Statistics Part 6: Confounding Factors and Experimental Design

The topic of confounding factors is extremely important for understanding experimental design and evaluating published papers. Nevertheless, confounding factors are poorly understood among the general public, and even professional scientists often fail to appropriately account for them, which results in … Continue reading

Posted in Nature of Science | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

The image that took me two months to obtain: A window into what it is like to do research

Most people don’t really understand what scientists actually do or what is required to do scientific research. As a result, they don’t appreciate the amount of training and work that goes into being a scientists and conducting research. I personally … Continue reading

Posted in Nature of Science | Tagged , | 3 Comments