Choosing ‘the best scientist’ requires a roadmap to the science of tomorrow (Part 2)


In my first post in this three-part series on the biomedical system, I discussed the fundamental flaw in using ‘the best’ indiscriminately, without acknowledging that, more often than not, there is no universal, Platonic ideal. In this post, I’m going to explore how choosing our ranking system requires a deeper conversation about where it is that we, as a scientific community, want to be in twenty or thirty years.[1] Continue reading

A Scientist’s Behind-the-Scenes Look at FiveThirtyEight

Recently I decided to branch out and try my hand at writing an article for Nate Silver’s revamped FiveThirtyEight site, which espouses “data-driven journalism”. As a scientist, I was pretty excited about the idea of journalism using numbers more to support their articles and of increasing numerical literacy, more generally. And I was even more excited that they didn’t seem skittish about science.

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A HoTBAS Primer

I am a scientist.

And I am extraordinarily proud to write those words. Being a scientist is a noble profession: we explore the untamed wilderness of the universe and chart its rises and falls, its rivers and oceans, deserts and mountains, and those far-off distant places that exist beyond even our imagination. But scientists are more than just cartographers—we bring order to this so-called chaos, always striving to illuminate the rationale underlying this wild, most beautiful topography.

Uncovering the whats and the hows and the whys, we are the universe’s storytellers.

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