In this category, I will be posting about how scientific findings can be twisted or misreported by science reporters and navigate some of the issues that may cause, usually in the form of public misinformation. This often leads to actions in response to findings that may not even really exist and do more harm than good. What can be done about this? Honestly, I don’t know at this point but I sure hope I find out!
The series will also talk about actual scientific studies and where they may have failed to follow proper scientific procedure, whether it be shady funding practices, bad research design, flawed analysis or presentation, misrepresentation of the facts, or downright fraud (I’m not likely to accuse anyone of this last one without proof.) Here I will admit to being less knowledgeable and will have to do extensive research on them, as my last research design and practice class was years ago. As well each field has their own limitations which need to be considered, and I will do my best to be fair. This is also being done primarily so that the general public can be educated on misinformation, as I have often seen these studies go on to have very extreme, and horrible effects on public health and safety – the notorious study by Andrew Wakefield and the ensuing vocal and annoying anti-vaxxers movement comes to mind.
In other news… My readers will notice that I have moved away slightly from the strictly psychology and neuroscience theme. This is because although I have an undergraduate degree in psychology, my overall science education has tended to be multidisciplinary and I tend to struggle how to define it. I have previously worked in a social psychology lab and decided it was not for me. Then I went on to work in basic psychology in emotional processing and worked with eye-trackers. While very interesting, this was a difficult project for me given that I had very little (none, in fact) computer programming training when I began and I kinda had to figure stuff out all on my own. It is a process that I might have benefited from far more had I had more time to play around with it for an extended period of time but I only had my last year of undergraduate degree to dedicate to that. I did however learned magical skills in statistical analysis and no doubt, I will continue to find them very useful! I briefly considered doing a Master’s in Data Science but have shelved the idea for the moment.
I am currently doing a summer research project on p
rion proteins, and I am just having the most fun. In fact, I wish I had asked to work in this lab four years ago… My undergraduate education might have taken a very different turn. It still might. Which is why I decided to change my blog’s url. This blog is no longer going to be restricted to psychology and neuroscience though that is certainly going to be the larger part of the content. However, my current lab work is very biochemistry centered, as I am working with proteins. It’s a very different lab environment, and I really like it. I have also noticed the massive overlaps it has with microbiology, immunology, cell biology and organic chemistry. 1st year undergrad me would shudder to think it, but this has renewed my interest in these topics.
So I am branching out! It so happens that I have some time in the lab to read and research other things while I incubate this and centrifuge that, and surprise! maybe even write new posts more often than once a year.
I look forward to seeing more activity here on sciencetome.wordpress.com. Everything is exactly where it was, and if this works out well, I will be moving here permanently.