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Dangerous Data

A link to Wikipedia in an academic article is often frowned on (I do it when I’m reviewing an article unless the topic is one that doesn’t yet have an established research base). Earlier this year, in Dangerous Data, Jean-Claude Bradley argues that the real issue isn’t with Wikipedia – it’s with the role of trust in science:

If I did my job correctly they should have learned that no sources should be trusted implicitly… trust should have no part in science. It is probably one of the most insidious factors infesting the scientific process as we currently use it…As long as scientists don’t provide – and are not required to provide by publishers – the full experimental details recorded in their lab notebooks, this type of uncertainty will continue to plague science and make the communication of knowledge much more difficult than it need be.

One Comment

  1. Thanks for the post! I’m teaching the class again this term and this time we’re collecting all the data into a Google Spreadsheet to quantify how much different properties vary based on the source.

    Monday, October 11, 2010 at 8:02 am | Permalink