Also this week: individual responsibility vs. climate change, and more.
A correction for Start and Gilbert 2017 EcoLetts. I link to this because some of the issues it corrects aren’t the sort of thing one usually sees corrected. In particular, it’s not every day you see a correction that says (in so many words) ‘Organisms were not assigned randomly to experimental units, as stated in the original paper. Actually, they were assigned to experimental units in a maximally non-random fashion.’ The strange thing is, the correction states a scientific rationale for the non-random assignment. So why wasn’t it stated in the first place? The correction addresses many though not all of the issues raised in the PubPeer comment thread about the paper.
An interesting podcast conversation (and transcript) with historian of science Patricia Fara. Covers the greatest female scientific illustrators, Isaac Newton at the Royal Mint, how the Scientific Revolution wasn’t actually a revolution, what we know about ancient science, why basic geology took so long to get right, the history of taxonomy, and more.
Jessica Hullman on the challenges of choosing one’s scientific methods and practices so as to send the right “signals” to others. I’m not quite sure what to make of this, and worry that I’ve misunderstood it. Personally, I’d recommend just doing science as best you can, and not worrying about any implicit signals you think your methodological choices might be sending to anyone else. But YMMV, apparently.
Philosopher Säde Hormio on individual responsibility for the “structural” harms of climate change. I don’t completely agree with this. I think it’s too confident our ability to infer the small and indirect effects of individual choices, and insufficiently concerned with the effects of our choices on other things besides the “structural” harms of climate change. But I wanted to link to it, because it had me thinking back to this very good old post by Mark Vellend, and the associated comment thread.