The Key to Science
During my exploration with famed physicist, Richard Feynman, I came across a video that is a good reminder of what science is (to me) — a continuous cycle of testing and proving to find consistent answers. Even if we do get to conclusions, it’s not enough to satisfy with what you got but to see if that holds true. Most of the time, it’ll fall to another finding. This is why peer-review papers are so important. Holes will be poked in your findings and you might get discouraged or frustrated, but to me, that’s the beauty of science, you get to try again and test yourself against this challenge.
Now I don’t have any background in research, but I do understand the pressures of securing funding and other political influences that will affect how you conduct the research and present your findings. Especially nowadays in 2022, some findings are presented as the only solution and are enforced by influential figures to ensure that becomes widespread.
Which in all is sad to see for both the general public and scientists.
This quote by Feynman sums it up:
“If it disagrees with experiment, its wrong. In that simple statement is the key to science. It doesn’t make a difference how beautiful your guess is, it doesn’t make a difference how smart you are, who made the guess or what his name is… if it disagrees with experiment, its wrong. Thats all there is to it.”
Rightful thinking but he underestimated the power of politics and the influence of media.
Another area of opportunity I’ve seen with doctors is when a patient is questioning a method of treatment and how it can be used as a teaching opportunity. Instead, it’s mostly met with a superiority complex. “I’ve been in medicine much longer, how dare you tell me that your google search is better!” Again, the doctor isn’t wrong, but instead of trying to stroke the ego, better use of your experience would be to teach and understand why there is hesitancy in the first place. You would have more success in helping them to see different options versus letting them know how “little” they know about the topic.
Perhaps another key to science is to how to properly and effectively communicate our findings along with the skepticism that our findings aren’t 100 % true. A scientist should always be skeptical, just like how we should always be skeptical as the general public. It’s in our nature to find out the truth and it would be great to have experts in their field side by side to help. This collaboration will build unspeakable trust.
Of course, this will require a lot of humility to admit we don’t know all of the answers, but that’s the beauty of science, we can figure it out. In the best-case scenario, we’ll figure it out together.