SCI-ART LAB

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

Q: Can a non-science person share their thoughts with a scientist, and how?

Krishna: Yes, But you have to keep some things in mind while doing that.

A scientist’s mind and world might be different to yours because of his/her knowledge based perception. You have to have the open-mindedness to understand it.

Scientists give more importance to their time. So respect their time and don’t waste it with avoidable arguments.

If you are discussing science, share only evidence based facts. Your opinions don’t count in science.

You can challenge science but using only scientific methods. The problem is not that science is being challenged, it is what it is being challenged with. And of course how it is challenged. Never use your beliefs and irrational thoughts to challenge scientists. If the challenge only permits to help people understand, analyze, critique and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of existing scientific theories covered in the course being taught and to encourage them to respond appropriately and respectfully to differences of opinion about controversial issues which include evolution, global warming, etc., so as to develop critical thinking skills, science embraces such a healthy debate. Science should be challenged only by scientific means and in a scientific way. If everybody tries to propagate his or her irrational theory by challenging science, there will be utter chaos.

The problem with “I’m entitled to my opinion” is that, all too often, it’s used to shelter disastrous beliefs that should have been abandoned long back. It becomes shorthand for “I can say or think whatever I like” – and by extension, continuing to argue is somehow disrespectful. And this attitude feeds, into the false equivalence between experts and non-experts that is an increasingly pernicious feature of our public discourse. Perhaps that’s one reason why enthusiastic amateurs think they’re entitled to disagree with climate scientists and immunologists and have their views “respected.” And do you respect ignorance, misconceptions and superstitions in the same way as facts based on evidence and true knowledge? NO! There is evidence based on a scientists' years of toil, thorough analysis and testing and there is rubbish based on wild imaginations, misconceptions and perceptions and it’s not appropriate to give the latter equal time and space with serious expertise.

Someone who objects to scientific facts on non-scientific grounds simply cannot form part of the debate.There is the data and what it means. And there are facts whether anybody agrees with them or not.

If you have a brilliant idea or theory, it would be better if you first test it, get the right results and if possible publish it before meeting the scientist to discuss it.

If people don’t understand and follow these things while dealing with scientists, the latter might simply shut off the doors on you because they have more important things to do.

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