Tag: Scientific Process

Science and Ethics

Science and Ethics

So let’s say, hypothetically, that your lab receives blood samples from a group of individuals to study genetic links with diabetes.  However, these samples would also provide important insights into other diseases.  But the researchers did not get consent from the blood samples donors for…

Avoiding the blank stare: workshop at UNC helps researchers communicate their work to the public

Avoiding the blank stare: workshop at UNC helps researchers communicate their work to the public

From graduate students to faculty members, scientific researchers generally receive training in writing technical documents. Usually these documents are intended to communicate findings to other scientists.

New Perspectives on The Scientific Method

New Perspectives on The Scientific Method

The giant whiteboard outside our lab has a simple to do list: Plan the experiments to answer all the questions Be better This list is a joke, of course, but I’m starting to appreciate some truths in the humor. Doing good science requires planning and…

Four Bad Graphs, and How to be a Better “Citizen Statistician”

Four Bad Graphs, and How to be a Better “Citizen Statistician”

Statistics. Ugh. Why force-feed such a dreary topic to countless innocent students across the globe? Well, statistics is actually an outrageously important field of study. People make graphs to summarize statistical results (it’s more useful to look at a graph than a big spreadsheet full…

Traveling trees: how fast can they migrate to track climate change?

Traveling trees: how fast can they migrate to track climate change?

Most readers are probably familiar with some of the implications of climate change: sea level rise; more frequent extreme weather events; habitat loss for arctic species. Other implications are equally important to understand and reach into many realms of ecology (as well as other disciplines),…

The Trouble with Reproducibility in Science

As scientists, many of us have read a paper, been inspired by the glamorous data, carefully followed the methods section in order to replicate the results in our own hands, and failed to validate the original results. I’ve often attributed these issues to my own…