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Carl Sagan. Promoter of skepticism, maker of mind-mendingly weird tv shows and general cool guy.

Hi, my name is Olly Martin. I am a recent graduate who is fascinated by the impact science has on us, the general population. Never before in human history has science been so important to our lives, it’s thanks to discoveries in science & technology that I am capable of typing these words and that you are able to read them. It’s also thanks to advances in medicine and the accumulation of knowledge on how our bodies that work, that me, and countless others are even alive today. The Scientific process fuels our planes, cars, mobile phones, weapons and computers and yet so many of us are left misinformed.  Afterall, research is a complicated process. We are left relying on the newspapers, tv documentaries and the internet to explain to us how things work and whether they work at all. Think about the following IMPORTANT issues:

  • Climate change
  • Cancer
  • Vaccination
  • Evolution
  • Ghosts

A quick search on the web or a flick through the newspapers leaves us with a huge variety of different opinions and conflicting reports. Some think that climate change is a big fraud, others claim that overcooked food causes cancer. Many believe that harmful toxins in vaccines are more harm than good. How can you tell the difference between fact and fiction?

Answer: through learning about how science works, what makes a good study and what are the hallmarks of a bad study, how peer review works and why it is essential as well as through appreciating the value of a scientific consensus, we can make up our own minds. It’s not about simply asking for evidence, (there have been countless weakly positive studies on the capacity for acupuncture to help cure various ailments) it’s about questioning the quality of the evidence and the plausibility of a claim before making your mind up. That’s being skeptical.

Which is exactly why I decided to write a totally irreverent blog. Go figure.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Jenny Pepper permalink
    May 17, 2010 12:24 pm

    Hi Olly. Interesting blog but I’m fascinated by the Tom Sellick photo! Is the photo above actually you, or is it also some Hollywood star I ought to know about?


    • May 17, 2010 3:49 pm

      Ah, that’s no hollywood star, that’s Carl Sagan, an Astrophysicist, author and general cool guy. He worked with NASA and is famous for promoting science through books and a tv series called cosmos. You should check it out. It’s rather like being on drugs.

      Tom Selleck and Carl Sagan are my heroes. Which explains why i’ve plastered my blog with their faces.

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