you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, it’ll change your life

TIME TO STOP CALLING PEOPLE “SCIENTISTS”

Inspired by this article from Cheryl and STR (see previous post for links)

We don’t call a mechanic a scientist, though he carefully examines the functioning of a physical system, makes a hypothesis, and an experiment that quickly plays out in the real world. Calling someone a “scientist” is like calling someone an “Artist”. It might cover the general sense but it could mean a master painter or a throat singer. Or even something even more bizarly inexplicable.

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One response

  1. Interesting point. Glad you seemed to have enjoyed today’s STR.

    If you really want to blow your smokestack, though, see Krugman’s take on the subject: http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/07/11/science-has-a-well-known-liberal-bias/ I’ve got a rant coming on that one–basically, in his title he conflates “scientists” with “Science,” and also it’s the umpteenth misappropriation I’ve seen of Stephen Colbert’s genius line, “Reality has a well-known liberal bias.” Because scientists are liberal, he thinks it somehow proves that left-wing politics are objectively correct!! There, I’ve blown my own smokestack.

    Yeah, so, you’re right–scientists and artists are definitely similar in some ways–they tend to lean left, and they think they’re knowledgeable about how the economy and government should work. I’ll probably fume about this in a later post. We’ve made it so only the people in white coats in tax-funded labs are considered scientists, however, when a lot of people outside official laboratories actually make better scientists, as you said. Awesome! I’ll stop braindumping all over your blog now.

    July 30, 2009 at 7:50 am

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