Scientific articles

I reflect back to the last class meeting and I recall a conversation about statistics in publishing. It’s absence had been so clever that I myself had failed to notice such a gap in media. Real numbers though, not just contrived correlations that bolster one’s own bias. It seems to me as if that particular form of information to be relatively taboo. Instead we are blighted with listicles or sensationalism as predominant players in the foreground of public media.

I myself am interested in scientific articles, but the numbers or scale they often retain are outside the realm of “everyday life” and thus outside a captive audience. Here are two examples. The Rosetta Philae probe landed on the first comet in history on November 12, 2014. A colossal victory in the understanding of comets, and their precious hypothesized nucleus, not to mention a plethora of other discoveries to be made from such a feat. However such information, decays over the vast distance of space and was heralded in relative silence. Nor was the “whole community” in uproar as Senator Lisa Murkowski re-prompted drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. But Alaska is so far away, and no one lives there so who cares anyways right? The intangibility of greenhouse gases, or their delayed fuse in the degradation of this planets carbon cycle are concepts to obscure to popularize in everyday media.

Why not shed more cultural light on the forces that rule us? That shape our future. The less proximal the information the more ethereal, however equally important.

Sources:

http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/225079-republicans-set-their-sights-on-drilling-in-arctic-refuge

http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Rosetta/Touchdown!_Rosetta_s_Philae_probe_lands_on_comet

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One thought on “Scientific articles

  1. davinadhani February 4, 2015 / 11:06 pm

    I really enjoyed your writing style in this piece. I agree with the idea of holding news media and other sources of information accountable for not just the bare facts of their statements but also their claims regarding the impact of those statements. I find that if I happen to hear a piece of information that I do not see personal value in, I am far more likely not to question it and to passively intake information. This is terrible habit because while not all of the information we hear directly affects us, we still have the obligation to determine the accuracy of these statements. It is easy to simply take in information without necessarily judging it as true or false, but that doesn’t undermine the necessity of asking those questions.

    Like

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