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Teaching Science With Humor
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Teaching Science With Humor

The topic of researchers doing "p-hacking" and "harking" (hypothesizing after the results are known) to find significant results is most certainly an important one.  How can the public trust the results of scientific studies when many scientists are motivated (by the need for tenure, promotion or funding) to find significant results in their studies when they actually didn't find anything?

 

It's an important topic, but maybe a little...well, dull.  Comedian John Oliver provides a humorous presentation on the misuse of research in the following clip.  It's definitely a bit "off-color" and also NSFW, but he does a good job of explaining how both researchers, the media and the public need to be more careful in our reporting and sharing  of scientific studies.

 

Whether this is NSFC (not safe for class) I'll leave up to you. 

 

 

 

Of course, there's an irony here: as Oliver himself points out: conducting scientific studies is, well, dull. So should we present this information to students in a "fun" way....?

 

Resources

 

The 7 biggest problems facing science, according to 270 scientists

 

How scientists fool themselves — and how they can stop

 

Statisticians Found One Thing They Can Agree On: It’s Time To Stop Misusing P-Values