Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Science 2.0

Just saw this on SciAm and love it:
It seems to me the only risk is a certain self important types who never had an original thought in their lives may be exposed as such. This is a great example of how the internet will completely transform certain aspects of human endeavour. Although the 20th century has seen a blossoming of science, it has also created a world where most people don't feel part of this exciting and vital human activity. In victorian times for instance many gifted amateurs made significant contributions to sceintific knowledge. In the 20th century the convention arose that only those with a Phd who are actively publishing can be considered scientists and therefore qualified to opine on scientific matters. However studies have shown that this situation leads to vast amounts of virtually worthless research filling the pages of the myriad journals.
I understand the need for rigour in the peer reviewing process, but the ultimate test of science is "does it work?"
Original thinkers with a strong sense of curiosity about the natural world and a willingness to practice sound scientific technique have nothing to fear here.

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