[ASC-list] What is and isn't science?

Prismatic Sciences jesse at prismaticsciences.com
Wed Apr 14 14:56:34 UTC 2010

When some people's world view or vested interest is challenged by a
scientific concept they seek to undermine it with a play on words that sways
many of the less scientifically literate swinging voters. 'It's only a
theory, isn't it?' places climate change science and  evolution on a par
with idle speculation and pseudoscience.


One of the things ASC can contribute to ongoing debates about the validity
and role of scientific information is to develop various ways of explaining
what science is and what it isn't to suit different audiences and uses. 


If you have any good answers or references to 'What is science?' and 'What
isn't science?'  please send them to me. I know there are some good papers
that address this topic but wouldn't it also be good to have a one-liner or
two  ready to destroy a doubter's argument? OK, it may  need to be a short
paragraph with additional cleverly worded information if needed; remember
we're seeking a range of styles of answers for different purposes. No
research papers please, unless they would make effective interview material
on the Colbert Report.


We'll have a group of people collate and assess the replies and put the best
ones on our website. Then we will seek to promote them far and wide. I'm not
promising prizes for the best contributions (not yet anyway) nor can I
guarantee your name in lights but there may be some sort of acknowledgement


There is no deadline for this as it will be a work in progress for some
time. But I ask you to get the ball rolling now by sending me any goodies
you have to hand. 


I feel this could become an email-athon (is there such a thing?). "Our
science assessors are on-line to take your contributions now."


Have a scientifically wonderful day.



Jesse Shore

President, Australian Science Communicators, 2010



Jesse Shore PhD
Science Communicator
P:   (02) 9810 2328
M:   0415 841 276
E:     <mailto:jesse at prismaticsciences.com> jesse at prismaticsciences.com
W:   <http://www.prismaticsciences.com/> www.prismaticsciences.com


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