The Language of Science ( by Diego Fdez-Sevilla)


The Language of Science (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla)

archimedes

In the latest days one of my previous publications has taken some attention on LinkedIn thanks to a fellow blogger Jeffrey Strickland, Ph.D., CMSP whom shared it crediting its positive value (thanks Jeffrey):

The scope of Environmental Science and scientific thought. From Thought-driven to Data-driven, from Critical Thinking to Data Management. (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla)
Posted on June 26, 2015

In this publication I discuss my point of view about the relevance of understanding bias and the limitations of the approaches applied in scientific studies.

I understand the usefulness of technology. I have used sensors for my projects and even designed and implemented some methodologies in Aerobiological studies. I use it everyday and most of the work that I publish in this blog relies on it.

I am only trying to bring forward the relevance of “bias” as a component which starts with our own perception of things. And by “things” in science I mean bias from the moment in which we identify what do we want to monitor and focus our attention into, the limitation of the instrument chosen, the meaning of the data and level of uncertainty within, the narrowing in representing a reality from the capabilities of our method to handle the data and the narrow perspective applied when we interpret the potential meaning of our results.

My point is that assumptions and assessments have to incorporate these uncertainties as part of the validation of the final result. And the most important role played by these considerations come when we have to decide how we can improve what we have or even incorporate something new which fill up the gaps on existent protocols, instruments, etc.

The Language of Science

This situation has created some welcomed feedback, which I really appreciate. In particular, I have answered to a comment in a way that I want to leave as a publication on its own.

(Bertjan Broeksema commented: It is becoming more and more important to put thought to and come with viable solutions for making users aware of what happens to their data throughout an analytical process. Where does uncertainty come from? Which analytical step add more uncertainty? How does uncertainty propagate through the analytical pipeline? I’m not saying that all these questions can or should be addressed with visualization alone, but there’s still a lot of room for improvement in these areas.

Understanding “Bias” is a multidisciplinary field and yet, I feel that multidisciplinary knowledge is not an advantage in scientific profiles anymore. Specialization has become the rule in scientific training despite loosing the capacity of connecting dots between unrelated fields. (more: Cross-pollinators and the risks of specialization. The screw and the knife. (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla))

Then there is management, where senior researchers don´t “have” or “use” enough time to supervise the research being carried by less experienced subordinates pursuing massive generation of publications. (more: Peer reviews are not easy for authors and neither for reviewers. (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla))

Furthermore, common sense on its own is decreasingly valued as part of the scientific language, being replaced by amounts of “data”.

If there was a time when you could develop scientific knowledge based on an apple or a bathtub, in today’s time, it seems to be enough to use “data” and “statistics” even if you can not explain what the results mean or find a theory matching numbers with observational developments.

In my research on Climatic developments I have used the analogies of a pressure cooker and a Thermo flask (see related post here) and a freezer (see related post here), applying cooking as a methodology (see related post here and here) to explain the mechanics behind climatic developments following thermodynamics (see related post here).

This format would not be seen with good eyes as scientific language to be published by journals, and yet, it seems that the actual observations match all those features with the theory that I defend in climatic developments (see related posts here and here).

I believe that understanding the complexity of things starts by identifying the analogies between “complex scientific topics” and the “simple world” around us in our daily routines. An apple, a bathtub, a pressure cooker, a thermo flask and a freezer can tell us how the world works as well as a satellite.

All words in blue have a link extending the discussion on the matter. Please follow those links to understand those points of view.

More about this video here

—- xxx —-

(This post is part of a more complex piece of independent research. I don´t have founding, political agenda or publishing revenues from visits. Any scientist working in disciplines related with the topics that I treat in my blog knows how to judge the contribution that my work could potentially add to the state of knowledge. Since I am in transition looking for a position in research, if you are one of those scientists, by just acknowledging any value you might see from my contribution, would not only make justice to my effort as independent researcher, but ultimately, it will help me to enhance my chances to find a position with resources to further develop my work.

I believe that the hypothesis that I have presented in previous posts in this blog (here,here and here) could help to understand present and possible future scenarios in atmospheric circulation. However, this is an assessment based on observation which needs to be validated throughout open discussion and data gathering. So please feel free to incorporate your thoughts and comments in a constructive manner.

If you feel like sharing this post I would appreciate to have a reference about the place or platform, by private or public message, in order for me to have the opportunity to join the debate and be aware of the repercussion which might generate d.fdezsevilla(at)gmail.com)

For anybody interested in the posts related with this discussion here I leave you those more relevant in chronological order (there are comments bellow some of them. Please check them out):

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About Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD.

Citing This Site "Title", published online "Month"+"Year", retrieved on "Month""Day", "Year" from http://www.diegofdezsevilla.wordpress.com. By Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD. More guidance on citing this web as a source can be found at NASA webpage: http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/bibliography/citations#! DOIs can be generated on demand by request at email: d.fdezsevilla(at)gmail.com for those publications missing at the ResearchGate profile vinculated with this project. **Author´s profile: Born in 1974. Bachelor in General Biology, Masters degree "Licenciado" in Environmental Sciences (2001, Spain). PhD in Aerobiology (2007, UK). Lived, acquired training and worked in Spain, UK, Germany and Poland. I have shared the outcome from my work previous to 2013 as scientific speaker in events held in those countries as well as in Switzerland and Finland. After 12 years performing research and working in institutions linked with environmental research and management, in 2013 I found myself in a period of transition searching for a new position or funding to support my own line of research. In the current competitive scenario, in order to demonstrate my capacities instead of just moving my cv waiting for my next opportunity to arrive, I decided to invest my energy and time in opening my own line of research sharing it in this blog. In March 2017 the budget reserved for this project has ended and its weekly basis time frame discontinued until new forms of economic and/or institutional support are incorporated into the project. The value of the data and the original nature of the research presented in this platform and at LinkedIn has proved to be worthy of consideration by the scientific community as well as for publication in scientific journals. However, without a position as member of an institution, it becomes very challenging to be published. I hope that this handicap do not overshadow the value of my achievements and that the Intellectual Property Rights generated with the license of attribution attached are respected and considered by the scientist involved in similar lines of research. **Any comment and feedback aimed to be constructive is welcome as well as any approach exploring professional opportunities to be part of.** In this blog I publish pieces of research focused on addressing relevant environmental questions. Furthermore, I try to break the barrier that academic publications very often offer isolating scientific findings from the general public. In that way I address those topics which I am familiar with, thanks to my training in environmental research, making them available throughout my posts. (see "Framework and Timeline" for a complete index). At this moment, 2017, I am living in Spain with no affiliation attachments. Free to relocate geographically worldwide. If you feel that I could be a contribution to your institution, team and projects don´t hesitate in contact me at d.fdezsevilla (at) gmail.com or consult my profile at LinkedIn, ResearchGate and Academia.edu. Also, I'd appreciate information about any opportunity that you might know and believe it could match with my aptitudes. The conclusions and ideas expressed in each post as part of my own creativity are part of my Intellectual Portfolio and are protected by Intellectual Property Laws. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial conditions. In citing my work from this website, be sure to include the date of access. (c)Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD, 2017. Filling in or Finding Out the gaps around. Publication accessed 20YY-MM-DD at https://diegofdezsevilla.wordpress.com/
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One Response to The Language of Science ( by Diego Fdez-Sevilla)

  1. Pingback: Settled Science (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla) | diego fdez-sevilla

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