Stephen Curry and Bill Hanage on how science really works
“Scientists are not in the business of handing down incontrovertible truths. We deal in observations and theories, couched in uncertainty, to produce our best models of how the world works; it is a messy and difficult business.”
- Stephen Curry and Bill Hanage, writing in The Guardian
As a direct rebuttal to the author of our previously featured quote , two of LabLit’s regular contributors defend the peer review process and explain exactly why the notion that scientists are up on pedestals impervious to criticism is a bewildering fallacy.
Curry and Hanage, who are professors at Imperial College London, also wrote a longer version of the rebuttal on Curry’s blog Reciprocal Space. From this post, our favorite quote says it all:
The great strength of science in the long run is its ability to transcend the acknowledged frailties of individual scientists. This is clearly seen in the fact that most of their mistakes are unearthed not by journalists or sceptical bloggers but by other scientists.
You can read the entire piece and its lively comment thread in The Guardian online.