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  • #76
    Originally posted by BogT View Post
    There is the idea that scientist need to do more to popularize what they do to the public. Popularization of science is fine, but that is not their main job for a scientist, not by far. At the push of the public, science has seen a dumbing down in recent years ("cuz if I don't get it, its your fault"). The problem emerges when articles like the one linked in the original post gives the wrong impression, presented to the public as some kind of hidden truth rather than an obvious fact in the field. And like in all fields, there are crappy scientist, but they get removed by the system (in god part) or placed in positions that they can manage (like writing popularization articles).
    Unfortunately, scientists do need to get better at promotion (especially those in controversial subjects).
    Because you are going to get folks who have zero background knowledge, cherry-pick at best (and that's optimistically assuming their source is a primary peer-reviewed journal) and yell "It's my opinion" (then say that their opinion has weight because "I'm a mom" or "Anyone can google"). And usually, those give the easiest answer that satisfies confirmation biases.
    It has become a scientist's duty to not only interpret information but also put it out. Bad social skills are bad enough, It gets worse, even when anti-intellectualism isn't on the rise, when that runs into the ivory tower effect.
    It was on display during a symposium on conservation I attended; despite being in Bangkok, over 3/4 of the faces there were white and everyone there was Western-educated. You can probably imagine how people can take advantage of that when us scientists go on about how bad clearing forests for palm plantations is.

    Of course, it's likely impossible to sway the google professors, but the job is to make sure the message from scientists (be it about environmental issues, vaccination, or evolution in the classroom).

    Comment


    • #77
      Originally posted by IraGlacialis View Post
      Unfortunately, scientists do need to get better at promotion (especially those in controversial subjects).
      Because you are going to get folks who have zero background knowledge, cherry-pick at best (and that's optimistically assuming their source is a primary peer-reviewed journal) and yell "It's my opinion" (then say that their opinion has weight because "I'm a mom" or "Anyone can google"). And usually, those give the easiest answer that satisfies confirmation biases.
      It has become a scientist's duty to not only interpret information but also put it out. Bad social skills are bad enough, It gets worse, even when anti-intellectualism isn't on the rise, when that runs into the ivory tower effect.
      It was on display during a symposium on conservation I attended; despite being in Bangkok, over 3/4 of the faces there were white and everyone there was Western-educated. You can probably imagine how people can take advantage of that when us scientists go on about how bad clearing forests for palm plantations is.

      Of course, it's likely impossible to sway the google professors, but the job is to make sure the message from scientists (be it about environmental issues, vaccination, or evolution in the classroom).
      I agree that scientists...or at least the ones I am familiar with...... need to learn to "promote" science and be more friendly to the public. the science of archeology (assuming you scientists call it a science) are well known for their lack of cooperation with collectors and lack of sharing the hard earned data they harvest. One of my favorite non-archeologists is Vietnam war pilot Forrest Fenn of New Mexico. He wrote an open letter to archeologists some years back and I will link to some of it and quote part.......
      http://www.friendsofpast.org/forum/mother.html

      Public money for archaeological research is rapidly becoming an endangered species, necessitating an increased dependence on private funding, much of which comes either directly from collectors or is heavily influenced by them. There are things professional archaeologists can do to help themselves. Here is some advice and a few observations from Indiana Jones to the SAA
      1. I am born of you and am nourished by your lectures, your reports, and your beautiful museum displays. Thank you for giving me life.
      2. Leave the jargon at home. Your future depends on increased public interest, and that's where your future funding will originate. If 14-year-old students don't understand your report, you're doing it wrong. And incidentally, color in books is OK.
      3. Stop whining about what amateurs are doing. You have bigger problems at home, like unreported field work, for starters.
      4. Collectors are not going away, and you're heavily outnumbered. Get used to it and learn from them.
      5. Don't get carried away with your importance. Private property rights come first, now and always.
      6. If it's a Canis Latrans bone, give us a break; say it's part of a coyote.
      7. Your peers already know you're smart, so write for the rest of us sometime. We'll buy your book and read it; they probably won't
      8. Lighten up. It's not as if dreaded diseases are being cured or famines being prevented by archaeology. You should be enjoying it more.
      Forrest Fenn

      Comment


      • #78
        Originally posted by commanding View Post

        I agree that scientists...or at least the ones I am familiar with...... need to learn to "promote" science and be more friendly to the public. the science of archeology (assuming you scientists call it a science) are well known for their lack of cooperation with collectors and lack of sharing the hard earned data they harvest. One of my favorite non-archeologists is Vietnam war pilot Forrest Fenn of New Mexico. He wrote an open letter to archeologists some years back and I will link to some of it and quote part.......
        http://www.friendsofpast.org/forum/mother.html
        Hi commanding, I'm just going to touch on some small things related to what you quoted.

        I do not like jargon as it makes things opaque. Even "at home" I don't like it and people should learn to spell out acronyms (btw. that goes for this forum as well). However familiarity with the jargon means familiarity with the subject studied; not knowledge of ability to comprehend a subject mind you, just familiarity. So the people that complain about the jargon are the people that are not familiar with subject; the rest, whom typically work in that filed, find jargon to be a much faster way of communicating (because the jargon has a clear significance and can transmit in one word an entire phrase).

        However, should scientific reports be at the level of a 14 year old? My answer is no! People confuse scientific reports with popularization pamphlets. In popularization pamphlets is fine to simplify (or even oversimplify things) and "use color" to describe your work. But you should not expect rigor in pamphlets. Scientific reports should be done as a matter of record, for the benefit of the scientific field, not the public.

        This is why I find the idea of removing scientific names (Canis Latrans) that mean something from reports to be quite insulting (I do not see "Canis Latrans" as jargon, but as a properly defined term). There is no "break" to give. Learn the proper names if you want to read the scientific reports, or just stick to popularization materials otherwise.

        And last, scientists are not public relations agents. The pamphlets are not done by scientist, but by some other (contracted) people. Even though we are talking about public money in most cases, the public should not feel entitled to writings "for the rest of us". That is not what they are paying for and that's not what scientist sign up for either. In practice a balance is achieved (in the end scientists want to explain what they do to their parents or impress their friends) but the public should not expect that every scientific work comes attached with a laymen translation.

        -----

        Is archeology a science? Yes as it follows the scientific method at its core, however, different disciplines have different certainties associated to them.

        For the sake of argument, see mathematics as 100% certain (as internal consistency is what defines it in the end), followed by physics, biology, medicine, history (archeology).

        As systems become more complex and information harder to extract you have a larger interval of uncertainty. By filling in the gaps with assumptions you can move forward with your study (it's fine as the scientific method will invalidate your assumptions if wrong, at some point), however your interval of uncertainty around one idea increases (in archeology let's say this would be the +/- thousands of years when dating Neolithic findings). Most scientific debate happens inside this interval and it's normal (and hopefully helps reduce this interval with new findings).

        I think you are curious about the idea of making laws based on uncertain scientific findings. You can do so simply by taking the upper bound (or lower one depending on the situation) of the uncertainty interval (if X amount give you cancer, +/- 20% due to uncertainty, you than say X-20%X is the maximal amount allowed -- I oversimplified things).

        What if everything was wrong? Well shit happens, but the likelihood of that happening is still low. Also, you do not base strict laws on disciplines that are notoriously uncertain (because a upper or lower bound would make the law unpractical).

        ----

        Oh and, if it was me, I would not share data with competitors (that is everybody else, the scientific community, the public) until the work its published. The reason? Science is not a hobby for scientist, but a job, and no one want to give their work for free.

        Comment


        • #79
          Originally posted by IraGlacialis View Post
          Unfortunately, scientists do need to get better at promotion (especially those in controversial subjects).
          Because you are going to get folks who have zero background knowledge, cherry-pick at best (and that's optimistically assuming their source is a primary peer-reviewed journal) and yell "It's my opinion" (then say that their opinion has weight because "I'm a mom" or "Anyone can google"). And usually, those give the easiest answer that satisfies confirmation biases.
          It has become a scientist's duty to not only interpret information but also put it out. Bad social skills are bad enough, It gets worse, even when anti-intellectualism isn't on the rise, when that runs into the ivory tower effect.
          It was on display during a symposium on conservation I attended; despite being in Bangkok, over 3/4 of the faces there were white and everyone there was Western-educated. You can probably imagine how people can take advantage of that when us scientists go on about how bad clearing forests for palm plantations is.

          Of course, it's likely impossible to sway the google professors, but the job is to make sure the message from scientists (be it about environmental issues, vaccination, or evolution in the classroom).

          I'm going the other way... scientists need to stop paying attention to the public and concentrate on their work. The reason for this: the internet is making proper individual promotion unfeasible. For every good popularization article you get 10 that are pure crap and some of these are pushed via questionable money. Rather than trying to convince the public and fight an uphill battle (never wrestle with a pig, you both get dirty but the pig likes it), just state that all are crap, even is one or two are fine (you remove a bit of good tissues when cutting away tumors).

          Most people don't care to read about science, from the ones that read there are the ones that don't care about facts (and seek to just to support their ideas; they are the problem), while the rest won't mind having to dig to find knowledge. For the benefit of the latter you can let institutions like NASA pay people to put together popularization articles for the field (so not individual works).

          Comment


          • #80
            Thinking some more on this subject:

            Science is not a democracy, given a choice between A and B, if more people want for A to be true that does not mean that it will be the case.

            If you don't understand why B is correct and A is wrong, that is your problem. You have the obligation to put in the work and follow the prof provided (the only obligation of the scientist). Maybe take a class or two...

            Being inclined or gifted in one field just means that you will take less to understand things (so you will move faster), so there is no excuse for not understanding something if you put in the work. If you do not have the mental capacity (4 year olds, mental disorders, etc.) or you don't want to spend time on it, then you will have to trust others that they know what they are taking about.

            Since you will not be able to understand everything in your lifetime, you will need to accept the opinion of others that know better, as deemed so by a community.

            Science should not be taken for granted. You need to pay for it, if you don't want to live in a backwards society.

            Although you pay for it, it's not a public service, so don't feel entitled to be part of all aspects.

            Getting popularization articles in the process is just a nice byproduct, not its goal of science.

            Crappy individual scientists don't make the entire field wrong. So feel free to ignore individuals, but do not dismiss fields of science just because you do not understand them or you don't like them.

            ---

            I think these are hard to accept for societies build on individualism like the ones in US. You have to accept what others are telling you and that you don't have a say in it even though you pay for things. I think this is why we see less science deniers in Europe (creationists, flat earthers, anti vaccines, moon landing conspiracies --- all started in the US).



            P.S. I'll take a break from posting here (I'll still read the replies). I'm depressing myself... and I'm becoming less inclined on accepting more middle of the road ideas.

            Comment


            • #81
              Originally posted by BogT View Post

              Hi commanding, I'm just going to touch on some small things related to what you quoted.

              I do not like jargon as it makes things opaque. Even "at home" I don't like it and people should learn to spell out acronyms (btw. that goes for this forum as well). However familiarity with the jargon means familiarity with the subject studied; not knowledge of ability to comprehend a subject mind you, just familiarity. So the people that complain about the jargon are the people that are not familiar with subject; the rest, whom typically work in that filed, find jargon to be a much faster way of communicating (because the jargon has a clear significance and can transmit in one word an entire phrase).

              However, should scientific reports be at the level of a 14 year old? My answer is no! People confuse scientific reports with popularization pamphlets. In popularization pamphlets is fine to simplify (or even oversimplify things) and "use color" to describe your work. But you should not expect rigor in pamphlets. Scientific reports should be done as a matter of record, for the benefit of the scientific field, not the public.

              This is why I find the idea of removing scientific names (Canis Latrans) that mean something from reports to be quite insulting (I do not see "Canis Latrans" as jargon, but as a properly defined term). There is no "break" to give. Learn the proper names if you want to read the scientific reports, or just stick to popularization materials otherwise.

              And last, scientists are not public relations agents. The pamphlets are not done by scientist, but by some other (contracted) people. Even though we are talking about public money in most cases, the public should not feel entitled to writings "for the rest of us". That is not what they are paying for and that's not what scientist sign up for either. In practice a balance is achieved (in the end scientists want to explain what they do to their parents or impress their friends) but the public should not expect that every scientific work comes attached with a laymen translation.



              Is archeology a science? Yes as it follows the scientific method at its core, however, different disciplines have different certainties associated to them.

              .
              BogT

              you comments and post are too long for me to answer each and every point....so I will stick with points I feel I am more qualified to answer, as mostly you were responding to Mr. Forrest Fenn's words in his letter (BTW, Mr./Major Forrest B. Fenn, is a decorated Vietnam war fighter pilot, having earned the US silver star for VALOR there, in Dec. 1968 http://valor.militarytimes.com/recip...ipientid=97268 )

              first you make generalized statements about "scientific reports", "popularization pamplets" , and "scientific names" vs common names, and how pamplets are NOT done by scientists, but by other contracted people, and that the "public should not feel entitled to writings for the rest of us". It may not be what they signed up for.....but I seriously ask you how many jobs include duties which the employee did not sign up for???

              Now let us look at this issue of "scientific reports' vs "popularization pamplets" (your terms): (all concerning archeology in the US)
              ************************************************** **************************************

              first a "scientific report" paid for by the state of Texas, dated 1985, published in black and white illustrations, no color, dated 1985, 85 pages:

              yes it is sparse, black and white due to tax money paying for the publication, and also the public interest on a small insignificant archy site is VERY small, so I have no problem with being small, black and white etc.

              ****************************
              next, these small pamplets concern many archy finds, published by a state of Texas UNIVERSITY, but under the auspices of a broader archy organization, small thin pamplets but with general appeal as well as professional appeal, much like a news magazine, nicely done:

              Mammoth Trumpet:

              still no color, tax money involved, but well done
              ******************************************

              Now back in time, to the first of these done in 1957!! These were/are published by a PRIVATE "hobby" organization of the Texas archeological Association, a club/association of "hobby" archeologists, the same "collectors" and amateurs that Major Fenn spoke of as those who actually buy the report books that professional archeologists write......

              These bulletins, were the first to report MAJOR finds of archeology in the 1950s, which pushed back the date of first occupation of North America....
              These were NOT reports by professional archeologists with a few exceptions and were funded by association dues, not governments, or tax money.
              no color photos but only black and white illustrations, but keep in mind the time frame of publication back to 1957....



              ************************************************** *******

              Now a group of 3 or so, what I call "books" but all archeology, all published by professional archeologists, published (IMO) for both professional and public consumption, all these are hardback books, thick with illustrations, scientific data, graphs, charts, scientific names etc.
              including:
              Kennewick Man, ....by Doug Owsley, PhD, Richard Jantz, .......665 pages (not a PAMPLET in my estimation) beautiful color photogaphs, charts etc)

              Hogeye Clovis Cache, ....by Mike Waters, PhD, and Thomas Jenninghs, 65 pages, hardback, full color photographs, charts graphs, etc

              and on the bottom: Clovis on the Edge of a new Understanding....by Smallwood and Jennings.....364 pages, no color photos, but has graphs, data, maps etc.



              ************************************************** ******
              and a photo of the two bottom books above, see above for description


              ***********************************

              and lastly the book Across Atlantic Ice, by Dennis Stanford, PhD and Bruce Bradley, Phd, and forward by Mike Collins, Phd.....
              no color illustrations, but well done black and white illustrations, 313 pages, IMO written for the public rather than scientific community but informative


              ******************************************
              keep in mind the above books and pamplets/ bulletins were written across a wide range of years from 1957 to 2015. Most of them are satisfactory to me, with the possible exception of the state of Texas public funded booklet on the Burnet county Texas site 41BT6 which is the kind of publication I think Major Fenn objected to....although that publication does refer to white tail deer by their common name, not the scientific name, same with fresh water mussels, and the oak tree rather than scientific name. So not all "scientific" reports resort to pure science naming standards.

              *********do I have some point I am making, not really other than "things have improved" over the years, publishing is now less costly and color and photos are more easily done for less money, and there have been huge strides in making scientific FINDINGS more easily available to the public, who I believe have both a legal and moral right to know. (tax money that pay the salary of these archeologists........ comes from the public, and should benefit the public, not just scientists!!!!)

              Comment


              • #82
                ^^^These days I find myself more and more intransigent on this subject. It's not my intent to overreact... maybe I'm just tired of mediocrity camouflaged as popularization of science and I'm lashing out. Just in case, I hope that I did not belittle anyone (present or not on this forum) simply because I disagree with them or I have critiques of their statements; that it's not my intent.

                But I'm writing to I say that you have a nice collection. I genuinely would love to have something similar as a hobby. Oh, and you have all the rights to be proud of the Texas Archeological Society (I always forget about the ability of Americans to self-organize around things they support).


                P.S. Off topic, but related to the idea of experimental archeology, I recently enjoyed these videos where a guy recreates an environment using only "stone-age" tools: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAL...D3nQdBA/videos
                Last edited by BogT; 01-12-2017, 11:43 AM.

                Comment


                • #83
                  Hey Commander that Hogeye Clovis cache. Were those tools buried together like they also did in Europe?

                  Comment


                  • #84
                    Originally posted by primer View Post
                    Hey Commander that Hogeye Clovis cache. Were those tools buried together like they also did in Europe?
                    yes sir they were. those that know, seem to think, from what I can tell, they buried thinned large bifaces, in a cache, to keep from having to walk a long way back to the source of the "flint" (which is called chert here as they consider true flint only coming from Europe IIRC). anyway, you can imagine if you were on foot, with women and children, walking thru uncleared forest and undergrowth, with snakes, mountain lions, wolves, etc....that a walk of 50 miles to get some chert might not be a wise idea. if you could bury it somewhere you could find it next season.

                    Comment


                    • #85
                      Originally posted by BogT View Post
                      .........

                      ---

                      I think these are hard to accept for societies build on individualism like the ones in US. You have to accept what others are telling you and that you don't have a say in it even though you pay for things. I think this is why we see less science deniers in Europe (creationists, flat earthers, anti vaccines, moon landing conspiracies --- all started in the US).



                      P.S. I'll take a break from posting here (I'll still read the replies). I'm depressing myself... and I'm becoming less inclined on accepting more middle of the road ideas.
                      Not sure if serious or trying to be sarcastic or something else.

                      Creationism ... European origin
                      Flat Earth ... Middle Eastern and/or European origins
                      Anti vaccines movement ... first serious protest from Great Britain
                      Moon Landing conspiracies ... debated whether it was American Bill Kaysing or of Soviet origin. Probably simultaneous .

                      Your score <25% accuracy.

                      Math and logic rely on proofs. Science relies on evidence. Evidence can be interpreted differently (ex: wave/particle and consciousness relationship). The Earth is 99.9999% empty space, the remaining substance consist of nothing tangible. Brains are of similar build. Therefore difference between a denier and a believer is .0001% of nothing tangible.

                      Comment


                      • #86
                        There is fact, Know to be true under the conditions defined. Subjective fact,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, is subjective under any situation. It gets back down to people, the need to believe. (maybe not the best term). There is a lot we just do not know, Scary shit for many.

                        Comment


                        • #87
                          Hollis, that's David Chalmers' Hard Problem of consciousness, "Why do we have subjective experiences", how do we reconcile consciousness and physical reality? Science has learned a lot about the brain lately but nothing about how mind arises from it or how we experience qualia. This is a dilemma for science since it is accepted there is a connection between mind and matter on the most fundamental level and it affects what is observed.

                          Comment


                          • #88
                            Originally posted by RobertKLR View Post

                            Not sure if serious or trying to be sarcastic or something else.

                            Creationism ... European origin
                            Flat Earth ... Middle Eastern and/or European origins
                            Anti vaccines movement ... first serious protest from Great Britain
                            Moon Landing conspiracies ... debated whether it was American Bill Kaysing or of Soviet origin. Probably simultaneous .

                            Your score <25% accuracy.
                            Yes, you are right. I meant my statement as movements that reached a critical mass and entered the public space in modern times (they become prominent due to US); but that's not what I said...


                            Originally posted by RobertKLR View Post
                            (ex: wave/particle and consciousness relationship).
                            Care to elaborate on this?

                            If you mean... http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20170...uantum-physics
                            ... that is pure speculation.

                            Btw, I have no problem with the first part of your full statement if you refer to Natural Sciences as Science. Regarding Earth being 99.9999% empty... it depends on what you mean by empty in this context (while most of atoms mass are due to their nucleus, which are at least 3 orders of magnitude smaller than the atoms, the atoms are not empty from an interaction perspective; it's misleading to simply look at the mass distribution).

                            Comment


                            • #89
                              Originally posted by RobertKLR View Post

                              Not sure if serious or trying to be sarcastic or something else.

                              Creationism ... European origin
                              Flat Earth ... Middle Eastern and/or European origins
                              Anti vaccines movement ... first serious protest from Great Britain
                              Moon Landing conspiracies ... debated whether it was American Bill Kaysing or of Soviet origin. Probably simultaneous .

                              Your score <25% accuracy.

                              Math and logic rely on proofs. Science relies on evidence. Evidence can be interpreted differently (ex: wave/particle and consciousness relationship). The Earth is 99.9999% empty space, the remaining substance consist of nothing tangible. Brains are of similar build. Therefore difference between a denier and a believer is .0001% of nothing tangible.
                              He has all right to be dead serious
                              Your numbers are historicaly correct

                              Yes flat earth and creationnism concepts were born in Europe during Antiquity and Middle Age
                              However the new echo chambers are in USA
                              Who has a registered Flat Earth Society ?
                              Who has Museum about Creationnism, boards about Creationnism, Schools where creationnism is teached (admitely they are private but still)
                              The only other "european country" where creationnism is getting a big entrance in schools is Turkey under Erdogan. Gives you the level

                              The influence of para-sciences new ages-sciences, pseudo-sciences and religion influence on sciences subjects is way greater in USA than in European countries
                              It's mainly because your freedom of speech Constitution Article.
                              If the influence llevel of those pseudo science is OK for you, well, good but you'll excuse some of us to feel the trend worrying ....

                              Comment


                              • #90
                                In the constant discussion of how much man's activities cause drastic change in the earth environs.......I was reading online this morning and wish to quote some information from an archeology website in Texas:

                                Looking back to the time of the first peoples at Kincaid, the scene would have appeared quite different from what we see today. During the relatively cool and moist Late Pleistocene period, the Sabinal was a more constantly flowing river able to support wildlife such as alligators and aquatic turtles, as indicated by faunal material from the lower deposits of the shelter. Megafauna—mammoth and large bison—as well as camel, horse, and sloth roamed the region. The climate appears to have experienced a relatively brief dry period sometimes called the Clovis Drought around 13,000 years ago. By 12,000 years ago the climate shifted to a moderately moist period that lasted to perhaps 9,000 years ago, followed by a prolonged period of warm and dry conditions that lasted for over 4,000 years punctuated by a a brief moist interlude sometime between 5,000 and 6,000 years ago. By about 4,000 years ago, the climate shifted back to somewhat wetter conditions similar to the modern climate.
                                As the climate fluctuated between dry and moist periods over time, the vegetation and animal communities shifted as well. Prehistoric hunters and gatherers, keenly attuned to the land and its changing resources, would have adapted or moved on
                                source: https://www.texasbeyondhistory.net/kincaid/env.html

                                my point being that the earth's historical climate has always been in change, and always will be, without man even being present in large numbers. These numbers were in north America where the population of humans was extremely low at that time.

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