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. Continue reading
Academic biomedical research, by many measures, is not working very well right now. To be blunt, there just isn’t enough money to go around. Continue reading
I always find it astonishing how bad we are, generally, at if-then statements. Even scientists make blunders with logic fundamentals—usually in life outside the lab, when we’re not paying close attention to those common pitfalls.
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.
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.