SCI-ART LAB

Science, Art, Litt, Science based Art & Science Communication

Q: You described  how to think scientifically on this  network. We really benefited from it. Now I want to ask you another question based on it. 

Will scientific point of view change our world? How can it benefit us?

Krishna: Thanks for asking this Q. 

My answer is based on what people said about their experiences with me and this world of science.

I have answered  thousands of questions people asked me till now both here and elsewhere. I wrote on several topics too. People told me my write ups and answers 're completely different from what they think 's truth. They showed a completely different view of the world.

That is what science does! It shows a realistic picture. It takes you away from a pseudo and imaginative world into a real world. It removes myths, misconceptions, misunderstanding, misguiding perceptions and leads you towards the right direction. We can show you evidence of what we say here. Only after seeing the evidence, can you trust us. No blind beliefs please. This is the world of science. 

You can question us and only when you are convinced of the reality, you can come the scientific way.

Science makes you very courageous and fearless. When you understand something clearly your fright melts away. You feel confident in dealing with it. You also realize how foolish you were all these days for fearing such silly things.

Peace and calmness fills your mind and body.  

If you have a complete view of the scientific world, you will get  the answers to your Qs, well almost all.  For instance, if you understand the human biology, you will not get overwhelmed by any condition, disease because you understand why it happens and most importantly why it happened to you. Then you don’t feel the betrayal at all like you feel when you are ignorant about any condition. You can tackle it more efficiently and successfully.

When you understand how this universe works, all the walls that divide  people will melt away. Read here how:  Science and Spirituality

You can deal with tragedies, fears, and inadequacies more efficiently if your thinking is scientific. Read here how ... 

science-s-rules-are-unyielding-they-will-not-be-bent-for-anybody-

science-tries-to-strengthen-your-minds-permanently-by-making-you-

Science makes you live a healthy and clean life. The knowledge you get through science makes this possible. You will get this knowledge here: some-science

How science saves lives? There is more than medical science that is important in saving lives. Read here what it is: how-scientific-illiteracy-can-harm-you 

Courage, confidence, cleanliness, calmness, universal outlook,  broadmindedness, good health, peace,

realistic outlook, knowledge, thrill and saving lives. These are the things science brings into your life. These are the things people told me they got because of their association with this network based on science.

Get into the world of science only if you are sure of the benefits. Stick with it only if you are convinced.

A warning though: You will get drunk on science here and you cannot escape the addiction! :)

Q: how can I get a highly scientific spirit?

There is no other way to become a genuine person of science.

 Q: Why don't opinions count in science? 

Krishna: Yes, in the world of science, opinions don’t count much. So we stopped taking them seriously, even if they come from the scientists themselves.

When something is based on peoples’ perception and not reality, why should we even bother about their biases, strange interpretations, conditioning of their minds, emotions, ignorance and beliefs?

We just play with them for a brief period to understand people around, and then move on.

Many of my colleagues say ... Show evidence or shut up!

That is science for you. Nobody has time for nonsense here. 

Q: You give citations for your articles to help us. But when we try to read these research papers, we are unable to understand anything. This despite my PG in sciences. Why do you give references when they are of no use to us? 

Q: How do you understand tough research papers?

Krishna: I knew most people visiting this network cannot understand original research papers. But still I give references to authenticate what I say here. I want to provide evidence. That is the purpose of adding references.

I am trained for several years in scientific research. Learning and Understanding scientific language is a part of it. Writing, publishing and understanding research papers are, therefore,  not difficult for me.

I too published some research papers. So I don't find any difficulty in understanding them.

The language of life sciences is not difficult at all for me because I am from the field. But when I read research papers from other areas of science, I face some difficulty. As I was trained in understanding the language, with some effort I can overcome it. I studied chemistry ( Biochemistry), Physics, statistics (Biometry), and maths even in my PG and wrote exams and passed them. So I am familiar with the subjects.

But still if a paper proves very tough, I take the help of my friends in those fields.

People told me the moment they open a research paper, they get intimidated by the tables, graphs, data presented, language used and numbers and formulas that run all along the paper.

These things overwhelm them. They face a mind block and immediately close the pages. 

That is why science communication came into existence. We entered the field of science communication to simplify things for you. We work hard hours together to make things easy for you.

I don't use any numbers, graphs, formulas, tables or graphs ( except art works like these that are fun

AS-56-GRAPH

( art work done by Dr. Krishna Kumari Challa)

to deal with. I use art, poems, simple text and videos. And I tell this to my colleagues...

Fellow scientists, beg your pardon
I abandoned the jargon
In the communication garden
Complication is a mind burden

Instead, I hugged the art
And the literature part 
Which made my messages effective dart
That locked onto mind's heart! 
(Poem written by Dr. Krishna Kumari Challa

So, don't worry about original research papers. Just relax and read what I present here and you will find science easy to understand.

Q: What is your IQ?

Krishna: Who knows? Never went for any tests. Because I knew my IQ would be shown as 20 or something like that in these test results! :)

I cannot do these tests in the limited time frame. Read here why: Ungifted: Intelligence Redefined

IQ tests are severely flawed and no intelligent person would trust them. Most clever people deride the use of IQ scores in almost any endeavor as they clearly see the limitations. My 'intellectual quotient' doesn't allow me to go for these 'intelligent quotient' tests. 

Intelligence - By Isaac Asimov

The Inappropriately Excluded

Q: Don't 'people of science' like you get possessed by demons/ ghosts/Gods or get any negative effects like black magic?

Krishna: "Possessed by something" is actually psychological phenomena or mental illnesses. People without rational thinking or scientific analysis of a situation bring unknown or untested factors into their perception and think it is true. 

As we have scientific knowledge about various diseases or mental conditions we know what causes a condition and try to treat it appropriately. 

Yes, we don't 'get possessed' by anything. We don't get 'effected' by negative aspects of fear.

We just understand things and solve our problems using our knowledge.

Q: What is the science behind ''success breeds success while failure breeds failure"?

Krishna: This is a phenomenon known as the "Matthew effect". It happens in science too.

The Matthew effect of accumulated advantage, described in sociology, is a phenomenon sometimes summarized by the adage that "the rich get richer and the poor get poorer."

A small number of scientists stand at the top of their fields, commanding the lion's share of research funding, awards, citations, and prestigious academic appointments. But are they better and smarter than their peers?

Mathijs De Vaan, an assistant professor in the Haas Management of Organizations Group, finds it's clearly the Mathew Effect.  In a paper published recently (1) in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, "The Matthew Effect in Science Funding," De Vaan presents the results of a study of Dutch research grants that shows precisely how much of an advantage early achievement confers, and identifies the reasons behind the boost. 
The term "Matthew effect" was coined by sociologist Robert Merton in the 1960s to describe how eminent scientists get more recognition for their work than less-well-known researchers—the reference is to the New Testament parable that, to those who have, more will be given. Previous attempts to study this phenomenon have yielded inconclusive results, in part because it is hard to prove that differences in achievement don't reflect differences in work quality.

To get around the quality question, De Vaan and his co-authors took advantage of special features of the main science funding organization in the Netherlands, IRIS, which awards grants based on a point system. Everyone whose application scores above the point threshold gets money, while everyone below is left out. The authors zeroed in on researchers who came in just above and just below the funding threshold, assuming that, for practical purposes, their applications were equal in quality.

First off, they found the benefits of winning an early-career grant were enormous. Recent PhDs who scored just above the funding threshold later received more than twice as much research money as their counterparts who scored immediately below the threshold. The winners also had a 47 percent greater chance of eventually landing a full professorship. "Even though the differences between individuals were virtually zero, over time a giant gap in success became evident," De Vaan notes.

 De Vaan says that two main mechanisms may explain the Matthew effect in science funding. First, winners achieve status that can tilt the playing field in their direction when it comes to funding, awards, and job opportunities. The second is participation, meaning that successful applicants continue seeking grant money, while unsuccessful applicants often give up, withdrawing from future competition.

De Vaan and his coauthors argue that the Matthew effect erodes the quality of scientific research because projects tend to get funded based on an applicant's status, not merit. Groundbreaking work may not get done because the researchers are unknown or too discouraged to compete for funds. They recommend several reforms to the funding process, including limiting information grant application reviewers have about previous awards. They also suggest that rejected applicants learn their scores, which might encourage those just below the threshold to try again.

These findings may apply in many areas beyond science. For example, the Matthew effect may also widen a gulf between winning and losing entrepreneurs in the race for venture capital. Even the Academy Awards may favor big movie industry names over lesser-known talent. "There are a lot of social settings with large amounts of inequality, which could be ripe for the study of the Matthew effect," De Vaan stresses.

Well, this happens everywhere. When people complain that all the big pieces of a cake are going to the the famous and the successful ones, take them seriously. This is a fact, not just complaint. And try to remove these imbalances.

Curious that we spend more time congratulating people who have succeeded than encouraging people who have not - Neil deGrasse Tyson

Q: What is your response to the statement, "psychology isn't a real science"? Why?

Krishna: You can’t exactly pinpoint results in psychology because human nature differs, perceptions, conditioning of minds, and several other things differ from person to person and effect the results.

If you take happiness as an example, if you ask the Q ‘What makes you happy?’, each person might give a different answer! Then how can you come to a good conclusion on ‘what makes human beings happy’?

Psychology often does not meet the five basic requirements for a field to be considered scientifically rigorous: clearly defined terminology, quantifiability, highly controlled experimental conditions, reproducibility and, finally, predictability and testability.

Reproducibility is the main problem and it was reported, because of the points mentioned in my first and second paras, over half of the psychology studies fail reproducibility test.

Over half of psychology studies fail reproducibility test

Inaccurate interpretations cannot define science.

Yes, I want to protect my field by saying so.

Q based on the above answer of mine on psychology: I can’t help but feel you’ve conflated multiple meanings of “reproducibility.” To have a scientific experiment, the experiment must be reproducible. That is, one must be able to conduct the same experiment again. The point of that reproducibility is to see if there are consistent outcomes. The process of science is, in part, to separate out the actual relationships from chance. So when you say half of studies are not reproducible (and ignoring the oversimplification of the actual finding), what you’re describing is the self-correcting nature of the scientific process. To wit, they reproduced experiments to see if the original findings were robust, and discovered that there is more complexity to be explored and understood.

Krishna: You are applying old definition of science here:  Originally, the word "science" (from Latin scientia) generically meant "study", "investigation", and the "knowledge" coming from them. Only later  it came to denote more specifically the application of the "scientific method".

To get established as a scientific fact, to confirm theories, reproducibility is a must. Any one can conduct any number of times experiments without getting the same results. Where do you go from there? The process becomes incomplete. That is seen in psychology.

“Interpretation of results in anyway you want ’’ becomes the norm instead of establishing facts - facts in the scientific sense - not in actual sense. How can you falsify them if you cannot establish facts in the first place?

Moreover, defining the words clearly becomes difficult with so much complexity. Without clear cut definitions, again you cannot conclude something and it becomes hazy.

How do you control experiments in the first place if you cannot have consistency and uniformity? How do you predict things using earlier results?

Yes, it was understood that there is more complexity to psychology. Therefore, you cannot have fact establishment, or theory confirmation. You cannot depend on earlier results to work on them and build knowledge based on it. Scientific methods and methodologies go for a toss.

That is why main stream science doesn’t accept psychology as real science. Maybe you can say, as you can conduct experiments in a scientific way, you can get inconsistent results that lead nowhere, it is half science! Here in this part of the world psychology is taught as one of the art subjects because of this.

Q: Again based on the above reply: What is its scientific equivalent? 

Krishna: Half science? It is actually taught as an 'art subject' here!

Q: Do you think the scientists who worked on the Manhattan Project are  virtuous?

If you are patriotic, you would say ‘yes’.

If you have no other go to earn a livelihood, or forced by your government to work for it, you would again say ‘yes’.

If you are a real independent scientist, who believe in universality, you would say ‘no’.

I come under the second category.

Q: What will happen if we ban science from the world now?

Krishna: Go head and do it! You will become a mass murderer!

No agriculture as we know it now, half of the population would die of starvation. No medicines, another one fourth would die of diseases. Some women and babies die during child birth. You would be infected with parasites making you feel sick all the time! No safe houses to shelter you, no weather warnings and one-tenth of people would die of natural calamities!

No power, no reliable water supply, no good food, no transportation, no good jobs, no healthy economy, no health care, and finally no gadgets for people who survive.

Am I exaggerating things? No! I am painting the exact picture you would face if you ban science. 

Q: What do you call the psychological condition when someone thinks that his/her opinion is the only valid one and everyone should accept it? I am interested in scientific terminology, not some popular statements. 

When you are talking of science, a valid theory or an evidence based statement carries more weight. When you say the Earth is a sphere or an oblate spheroid and show evidence, everyone should accept it. If you say it is flat and that scientists are trying to ‘impose’ their ‘opinion’ on you, you would be treated as a ‘moron’, not the scientists.

On the other hand if you think and say ‘women are inferior to men’ and try to make others around accept it forcefully and try to change them, you would be treated as a person with a ‘personality disorder’.

Q: What purpose might the source serve in my research project in critical thinking?

Identify, construct and evaluate arguments. We live in interesting times…times when misinformation, alternative facts, and opinion carry equal or more weight than empirical data. Therefore, search for evidence, facts, or knowledge by identifying relevant and highly reliable sources and gathering objective, subjective, historical, and current data from only those sources. Take into consideration only the data and facts of information exactly as they are presented to you or come to your notice - forget rest of the things. In order to do this you should develop the ability to understand and recognize what elements you will need in order to determine an accurate conclusion or hypothesis from the information you have at your disposal. You should be able to discard the useless things without any hesitation. This selection process is extremely important to have an accurate judgement.

Refine the ability to evaluate the credibility of statements or descriptions of a person’s conclusion or observations presented/noted in order to measure the validity of the information.

Critical Thinking

References: 

1: Thijs Bol et al, The Matthew effect in science funding, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2018). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1719557115 

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