By: Shop Manager 2
Posted on: June 9, 2023
If we listen to the science, we can attempt to take the best path possible forward through the greatest challenges facing modern society. We can choose to ignore it, but if we do, the consequences will only increase in severity. And yet, there are major cities in the world, like Portland, OR or Calgary, Alberta, where the public or city council, respectively, has voted (in the case of Portland, repeatedly) to not add fluoride to their drinking water. As expected, the typical cavity rates in children — when controlled for socioeconomic demographics — are about 40% higher than in places where the water is fluoridated, hitting those of lower economic demographics the hardest.
Unfortunately, there’s much the public doesn’t understand about science, including the enduring myth that science proves. However, if you’re really convinced nearly all of the world’s experts are wrong, become https://www.xcritical.com/ an expert and do your own (real) research. While these provide useful information, especially if the results are in line with other measures of the consensus, they aren’t as reliable as literature reviews.
In other cases, non-experts may make important contributions without making any true claims. A non-expert might be able to pose a challenge to the consensus view to which the genuine experts are unable to respond immediately, but which motivates them to extend their theory in productive ways. Both evolutionary theory and the science of climate science plausibly benefitted from ill-motivated attacks by non-experts, which nevertheless identified gaps or obscurities and led to their filling (see Dennett, 1996 for examples from the history of evolutionary theory). Reading tertiary sources prepares you to move to more in-depth sources–books for beginners, magazine articles for laypeople, etc.
Likewise, the sheer volume of information online means that important revelations can be lost in the “infoglut” (Andrejevic 2013). But on many questions we can produce evidence against the official story through exploratory inquiry. Inquiry is exploratory only if we’re disposed to take our failure to confirm the official story as evidence that our inquiry is defective, rather than that the story is false. A sufficient number https://www.xcritical.com/blog/how-to-do-your-own-research-dyor-before-investing-in-crypto/ and variety of attempts to fail to confirm the story can begin to provide evidence against it. Engaging in exploratory inquiry can thereby reap the epistemic benefits of truth-directed inquiry—it can yield truths that might otherwise be hidden—while minimizing the risks. The (very unlikely, but very valuable) possibility of uncovering a conspiracy or bringing to light new evidence is one epistemic benefit of lay research.
You can be expert at telling reliable cardiologists from quacks without knowing how to separate serious authorities from pretenders on economic policy. Their experience makes them less willing to listen to well-informed advisers than they would have been otherwise. Even if you don’t have access to libraries with deep enough pockets to acquire science-specific journals, it’s likely they’ve been maintaining a repository of COVID-specific information for people in your area. ProQuest in particular has a COVID-dedicated collection that they’ve offered to institutions. But you can also use what’s been made available to you — even the smallest regional libraries should have at least some version of a database package with general authoritative information. After all, we can thank science and resulting technology for our modern quality of life.
A study found that U.S. consumer injuries from pneumatic nail guns increased about 200 percent between 1991 and 2005, apparently as a result of the increased availability of nail guns that were affordable for nonprofessionals. (Yes, it’s very meta.) Synthesis reports aren’t always available, but if they are, they provide excellent evidence of a consensus. To find research syntheses, search for your keywords and the words “systematic review” or “meta-analysis.” Be sure to check the quality of the journal, and keep in mind that syntheses are only as good as the research that goes into them. What this means, besides being a familiar and famous quote from The Mummy (1999) starring Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz, is that I have extensive formal education in Doing Research.
This fraud-driven controversy created an enormous public health disaster that’s still ongoing today. For example, you don’t have to be a scientist in a lab to do legitimate research, because not all research is original scientific research. Also, do we really want to tell people that they shouldn’t do research to become better informed? Do we want people to get into the habit of believing whatever those in authority tell them to believe, without even asking questions or seeing supporting evidence?
On the other hand, having watched hundreds of people “doing their own research”, I also know it can go very, very wrong. Many people just don’t have a very clear idea of what research is, or how to do it. The phrase “do your own research” (DYOR) was made a slogan by American conspiracy theorist Milton William “Bill” Cooper in the 1990s (Ballantyne et al., 2022) and has been frequently used by anti-vaccine advocates online since the 2010s (Kata, 2012). These calls encourage individuals to seek additional or alternative sources of information, verify facts, and examine evidence to make informed decisions that best suit one’s individual circumstances. 10The distinction between exploratory and truth-directed research is orthogonal to the distinction between shallow and deep research.
Find her exclamations about books and pho on twitter (JessIsReading) and instagram (jess_is_reading). The process of systematic disconfirmation is designed to root out confirmation bias. Those insisting on “scientific proof” before accepting well-established science are either misled or willfully using a fundamental characteristic of science to avoid accepting the science. Scientists set out to disprove their explanations, and when they can’t, they accept them. (And scientists LOVE to disagree. Anyone who thinks scientists are able to conspire has never had a conversation with one.) The best way for a scientist to make a name for themselves is to discover something unknown or disprove a longstanding conclusion. The literature is also messy, as different studies provide different types and qualities of evidence.