In an earlier episode of The Joy of Science Shambhavi Chidambaram spoke to Professor Shravan Vasishth about, among other things, the joy of psycholinguistics. In this interview, Professor Vasishth talks in detail about teaching statistics and the need to understand uncertainty both to students and the general public. He is the author of “Shravan Vasishth’s Slog”, a blog about statistics. This interview has been edited for clarity and conciseness and has been run past Prof Vasishth for accuracy before publication.
Joy of Science
Disgusting, annoying or beneficial? What would you call these pestering fruit flies that don’t miss an opportunity to sit on your favourite cut fruit or visit your kitchen a few times? Whatever you call them, did you know we owe a great deal of our knowledge on evolution to these pesky flies? Ever wondered what’s the lifestyle of Drosophila melanogaster, as they are scientifically called, within the four walls of a laboratory where they are experimented upon? Here is a sneak peek.
This article is the second part of the series ‘The How and the Why: Interpreting Scientific Studies’, brought to you by Research Matters. The series focuses on the method of scientific studies, including emphasising the importance of meta-analyses, the repercussions of the replication crisis and the inclusion of ethics in experimental biology. We hope this series will better enable our readers to understand and evaluate scientific research they are interested in and those that could impact their lives.
Jack: That, my dear Algy, is the whole truth pure and simple.
Algernon: The truth is rarely pure and never simple.
— Oscar Wilde in The Importance of Being Earnest
In a series of articles, Research Matters tries to explain the commonly accepted process of scientific methodology, the interpretation of scientific studies and the obvious pitfalls. It is hoped that this series will help lay public in analysing any understanding published scientific studies for what they are, instead of believing just because ‘scientists say so’. This article is the first in the series.