- I'm currently an unholy hybrid of an analytical/development chemist and computer programmer, someone once tried to tell me that was called chemoinformatics but then I passed the module and no longer care.
- To make it weirder, I work in the most non-nuclear part of the nuclear industry.
- I'm English, but as I enjoy being punished, my wife is Welsh.
- I'm skeptical of skeptics, unless they're skeptical of that, in which case that's the right question.
- Used to be a christian, now I'm not. I'd like to be a strong atheist, but don't have the faith for it. I guess that makes me a weak atheist or, in my own words, I don't give a shit.
- Prone to troll-baiting creationists.
most of all.... Proud to be a scientist!
The biggest obstacle to science today
Forget psuedoscience, forget science denial, forget willful ignorance, the biggest and most dangerous impediment to proper, day-in/day-out science today is.... In a word: Managers.
To be more precise: managers without a clue as to how science works, especially statistics, and that phrase I hate most of all "but it's always been done like that".
Generally speaking, managers in a lab that's based more on trained monkey work (ie, not research) and requires minimal qualification to gain an entry-level position are those who've worked hard, learnt the established methods and said the right things to the right people. This results in a level of managers who know the current system inside out, are reasonable people-managers but, and this is the crucial part, don't understand the underlying science.
Eventually they make dumb-ass decisions that go against the proper scientific procedure and demand pointless statements inserted into analytical result certificates that go off to customers that just underline the fact that we don't know what we're talking about. Referring to a system of calculating uncertainties in radiometric analysis as "3 sigma" is fine if you've worked in the building for 20 years and that's the way it's referred to. Telling a customer that is not fine. Trying to convince management that the proper (or the least worst) way of referring to it is "approximately 95% confidence" will fall on deaf ears.
</rant> Sorry 'bout that.
Ever see, hear or read about that science fiction with other alien races that are much more advanced than us, who are either paragons of what it means to be an advanced civilisation or the scary Machine of Doom that other, less advanced alien races are afraid of?
Has it ever occurred to you that the reason we haven’t encountered any other alien races yet is that we're the first?
Has it ever occurred to you that we might be that 'advanced' civilisation?
Does that not instil in you a feeling of dread? Much in the same way when it suddenly hits you that you're a parent and you're supposed to be 'responsible'?
It just cracks me up that in a 1000 years time we might be the Alien Race of Awe to a primitive planet looking to do Bad Things in their barbarian ignorance.
I seem to suffer from an over-abundance of detailed, intricate imaginary universes but lack the appropriate literary skills to project an interesting story within. Like a crap Tolkien but without the ability to write novels. If anyone is wanting to be an author but lacks a universe in which to set it or likes writing without getting bogged down in trying to come with detailed nuances about a world, let me know, perhaps we can get a collaborative novel written. I've got about 6 now, all with histories, culture notes and potential plot hooks. Most of them are alternate universes, a couple are cross-over (like Narnia but more mature), a mix of both sci-fi and fantasy and one even has steampunk elements.
Lapsang Souchong FTW (v.hot, strong, black, with a little bit of sweetener).