« The new airline re-booking policy | Main | Automakers and data sleaze »


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


I saw a speaker once (at a skeptics' conference) who laid out the cliched popular-culture tropes about "Science" and showed how inaccurate they are - the scientific community doesn't speak with one voice, knowledge doesn't 'progress', falsificationism doesn't work, etc. He then showed, at rather greater length, how all of these tropes were endorsed by Richard Dawkins, who effectively celebrated them as proof of just how solid and reliable scientific knowledge is - and I suspect the demonstration could be repeated for other prominent rationalists. "Science Tells Us..." has a firm grip on a lot of people's minds.


Phil: And there you are talking about proper science. We also have "fake" science... Most of "data science" is not "science" in that the scientific method is absent; and yet, the people doing those studies speak at the same or higher level of confidence as proper scientists.


Most psychology departments require that students at some stage take part in a study. End result is that there are lots of studies, most of which are never published except for the ones that achieve statistical significance. A great way of producing spurious relationships. The requirement for study registration would help, as then it would be possible to work out the proportion of studies at each institution that were published and therefore which institutions were just trying hypotheses until they got a result. Good science should mean that everything is publishable, irrespective of result.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Get new posts by email:
Kaiser Fung. Business analytics and data visualization expert. Author and Speaker.
Visit my website. Follow my Twitter. See my articles at Daily Beast, 538, HBR, Wired.

See my Youtube and Flickr.


  • only in Big Data
Numbers Rule Your World:
Amazon - Barnes&Noble

Amazon - Barnes&Noble

Junk Charts Blog

Link to junkcharts

Graphics design by Amanda Lee

Next Events

Jan: 10 NYPL Data Science Careers Talk, New York, NY

Past Events

Aug: 15 NYPL Analytics Resume Review Workshop, New York, NY

Apr: 2 Data Visualization Seminar, Pasadena, CA

Mar: 30 ASA DataFest, New York, NY

See more here

Principal Analytics Prep

Link to Principal Analytics Prep