SCI-ART LAB

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

What does 'keep a dog and bark yourself mean'? 

The proverbial saying 'don't keep a dog and bark yourself' is advice that you should not pay someone to do a task and then do it yourself.

A Science teacher from England recently criticised all the people who express their 'opinions' on scientific problems and arenas. She 's annoyed at science enthusiasts  who just talk and talk and talk on various social media outlets even though they don't have any knowledge about the subject misleading people and spreading junk science and fake information. 

She said there are scientists who do science, paid to do this and therefore can also communicate science better than people who just express their opinions on the subject. 

'When you pay scientists to do their job, why open your mouths to bark so much about a subject you don't know much about?' , she asked.  "Let scientists do their job. Just shut up and listen to them".

She added, 'There is also the belief that all opinions are equally valid when they are not. Those opinions/views based upon evidence are more valid than those ideas coming out of an uneducated brain. And sadly the understanding among the general public about science is poor. But instead of learning from the scholars, they are trying to spread their ignorance more by opening their mouths over and over again'. 

She went about expressing her concern, 'A lot more needs to be done about not only communicating scientific advances/findings without sensationalising them. But as is evident from the numerous opinions about science on social media, the public needs to understand the principles or ways in which science is conducted. That’s were the real power of science lies. The other thing the public needs to learn is that instead of giving a definitive answer to a difficult question it is usually prudent to accept and say “I don’t know” and be clear that any  thing said is meant to be tentative and subject to revision'.

Well said, Ma'am!

But she also criticised scientists for not communicating science.

So I want to add a few more things  ....

Why do so many people disregard professional view point when it comes to science?

People simply reject evidence based facts and say there is no difference between them and opinions/beliefs. When a scientist states facts, he or she says them because  they have evidence in this regard. If you don't learn the difference between evidence based facts and opinions/beliefs and argue endlessly, what is the use? 

Most of my colleagues told me several times they wanted to  shout during their arguments 'put up (evidence) or shut up' but couldn't do that because their upbringing didn't allow them to do so. They just kept quiet and left unable to bear this stupidity. But that gave more confidence to the ignorant  and they started arguing more often.  

'What should be done about it?' 's the question we discussed several times. We can't argue with the ignorance, obstinance and stupidity and win.  At the same time if we leave the battlefield, the enemy ( ignorance) feels elated.  

" We don't want to waste our time on people who say the Earth is flat or the world 's created in seven days. Working in a lab is more peaceful and easy.  That is why we stay away from sci-com" - so many of my colleagues and friends say this. 

But still I stayed in the battle field hoping that a change would come some day. And people like you are helping us to some extent. Thank you for that, Ma'am.

And shall I tell you what makes scientists stay away from general public? I will give examples here. 

I run a science communication space on Quora. Some other trained scientists too do this. We maintain strict standards to eliminate junk science. We present quality science directly from the labs.

But there are several science enthusiasts too who run various science spaces on the same platform. 

They accept and add all sorts of misinformation, pseudo-science, silly and stupid stories, theories, opinions, irrational beliefs based on strange interpretations of science and all sorts of rubbish.

Know what, people love the second type and not the first type. 

Moreover, majority of people want only 'entertainment type of science', which get the most up votes not 'knowledge based ones'. 

We tried to drill some sense into people but they wouldn't listen. 

It takes two hands to clap. If one hand doesn't co-operate, what can the other hand alone do? It is easy to blame scientists. 

You need to learn some difficult things too to get maximum benefit from science. If you refuse to give more work to your brain and only want to get entertained, sorry, that would keep us away because it makes things more hard for us.

We, the genuine people of science, can only go so far, we cannot degrade science to make it look like a Bollywood item number to attract more people. Sorry.

Scientists say it is better to work in a lab than deal with people who expect us to dance to their tunes.

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