National Geographic

When Science Goes Wrong And Ways to Fix It: Video of My Lecture At Vanderbilt

Yesterday I had the pleasure of delivering the Flexner Discovery Lecture at Vanderbilt to a packed room. My talk was entitled, “When Science Goes Wrong and Ways To Fix It.” I talked about some of the struggles the science community is facing with poorly replicated research and misconduct, and how we science journalists can make things worse by seizing on research to make huge claims. The video (complete with slides) is now online. Check it out.

There are 7 Comments. Add Yours.

  1. Casey Ydenberg (@CAYdenberg)
    October 4, 2013

    Thank you. It takes guts to stand up in a roomful of scientists and talk about some of the problems that are plaguing out profession, but I thought you were spot-on. Was there no time for questions or was the video simply stopped at that point?

  2. Anarcissie
    October 4, 2013

    I wonder if you could prevail on Vanderbilt’s media department to make videos available in some way that does not involve Microsoft software at the other end. There are sure a lot of other people who can, so it is not that extraordinary a performance. Microsoft is no longer some kind of universal standard, thank Dog, and should not be treated as such.

  3. DR. EDWARD SIEGEL
    October 4, 2013

    The overabundant flood of “science” writers/journalists and talking-head experts have turned would bev “sciences” into alas mere SEANCES!!!
    Because of their deadlines and quotas everything, thiough qualified by: might, could, may,…ad infinitum ad nauseum, is media-hype spin-doctoring P.R. “show-biz” aka in the classic vernacular of “The Great One”(Jacjie Gleason) “Bushwaaa-…-aaah!!!”. My realization of this chicanery started at Materials Research Society and then American Physical Society meetings/conferences when anything and everything was exaggerated to be “the next big thing:”, “cutting edge”, “the final solution to the whatever problem”. Cases in point: New York Times: “rocks on Mars made of silica”, but so what else is new? Now if it was gorgonzola cheese that would be amazing! Or the claimed extra-solar “Cinderella planets” ecclipsing stars. But they might just be large coke machines! Everything latest is billed as the greatest; everything new supplants old. Its like the kiddies in rge schoolyard gossiping about the latest pop tune or group or movie, full of fury but signifying absolutely nothing! If all the latest “scientists” doing these latest breakthroughs are indian chiefs and the earlier scientists” merely indian braves then there are a lot of pissed off naked birds in the bushes.
    “Scientific” fraud is rampant!!! Many books attest to this. But would be “science” but alas merely SEANCE “show-biz” is even worse sociological-dysfunctionality via jargonial-obfuscation, aka “lotsa fancy shmancy lingo to snow the rubes”, not just the pubklic, but the would be “science” but alas mere SEANCE writers/journalists!!!

    • Casey Ydenberg (@CAYdenberg)
      October 5, 2013

      @Edward Siegel: Unplug your brain. Wait 10 sec. Plug it back in. Watch the video again.
      After you do all that, IF you have something that makes sense, by all means post it as a comment.

  4. Edmond Cohen
    October 4, 2013

    Making big claims in science is not worst as claims in religions.
    Hold it!!
    With science you mostly deal with matter. With religions you deal with the collective human mind. And that’s where the biggest danger for humanity lies. Religions, or belief systems are lies covering the layers of ignorance; as the blindfolded specimen stumble through the dark tunnels of Life.
    Bring a new light.

  5. John Zellie
    October 6, 2013

    Science goes wrong or the fairytale of global warming and political transgression.

  6. transcendentape
    October 7, 2013

    Would be nice if the presentation were accessible.

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