This Article Follows the Science: The Most Misused Word of 2020

Let’s use science to unite, not to divide us

Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash

Takeaway #1: Consider the viewpoint or agenda

First things first, I want to be clear that CDC guidance, Dr. Fauci himself, and the law in most states says to wear a face mask in public settings to protect yourself from spreading the virus. This is a good thing to do and please do it whenever reasonably possible. Okay, with that disclaimer, let’s continue.

Takeaway #2: Science is a methodology, not an entity

What is science really? It is the process by which we attempt to learn things using repeatable experiments and data. We draw conclusions from the observed results. At the risk of being overly pedantic, the scientific method is:

  1. Define an experiment with controlled variables such that you can isolate the question at hand
  2. Conduct the experiment and capture the data
  3. Conclude whether your theory/hypothesis is accurate within a given confidence level (i.e. 95%)

Takeaway #3: Science doesn’t prove things, it ascertains confidence

One of my favorite philosophers and scientists is Rene Descartes. Descartes pointed out that the only thing you can prove in life is essentially mathematics. We can prove that 2 + 2 = 4, and all essentially agree on this. It is undisputed.

Takeaway #4: Bad experiment design leads to bad results

It is challenging to design a good experiment. The world is a complex place with millions of variables. Isolating a single variable for causation is the trick.

Takeaway #5: Let’s use science the way it was intended

Science should not be a political sledgehammer. Rather, it seeks the truth through experimentation and data. Conclusions may change over time as new data becomes available, or unfortunately in some cases as the bias of certain practitioners becomes clear.

President of The Broemmer Group, technologist, and author. Science enthusiast. A desire to inspire through the written word.

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