Experts

Mike the Mad Biologist

Category archives for Experts

Ian Welsh, in “The bloody obviousness of most good predictions“, describes how many people simply can’t bring themselves to state the obvious: The Prof, a wonderful teacher who went by Dr. Anderson, and to whose door I once tacked a list of 15 intellectual disagreements, asked the class a simple question. “How many of you…

BP and Revenge of the NerdsExperts

Ezra Klein makes a great catch: Obama has also called in some of the many scientists on the federal payroll, led by Energy Secretary Steven Chu, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist. Chu at one point pushed the unusual idea of using gamma rays to peer into the blowout preventer to determine if its valves were closed,…

I’ve had serious doubts all along about the anthrax investigation, but the latest turn raises even more questions about the government’s case. According to former co-worker of Ivins’ and former USAMRIID microbacteriologist Henry Heine, the science doesn’t seem to support Ivins’ guilt (italics mine): Heine told the panel that the most common way of growing…

More on Fake HuffPo Pseudo-Experts

ScienceBlogling PalMD does a good job of eviscerating the false claims of expertise by woo practioner ‘Dr.’ Patricia Fitzgerald and the rest of the witch doctors over at The Huffington Post, so I thankfully don’t have to (so many fucking morons, so little Mad Biologist…). But PalMD neglected to mention one thing about ‘Dr.’ Patricia…

The Asymmetric Advantage of Bullsh-t

Julian Sanchez, writing about global warming, makes an excellent point about how denialists are able to be so successful (italics original; boldtype mine):

Why Is Larry Summers Indispensable?

There’s been a lot of discussion over Obama economic advisor Larry Summers’ economic ties to Wall Street (7.2 million such ties in 2008 alone). What I don’t get is why Obama sees the need to keep him around.

There’s increasing trouble brewing for Obama economic advisor Larry Summers. In 2008, while everyone knew he would play a big role in either Clinton’s or Obama’s administration, he pulled down $5.2 million from a hedge fund–for working one day a week. But you see, we have it all wrong (italics mine):

Our Benevolent Seed Overlords ask “What is science’s rightful place?” which refers to a line from Obama’s inaugural address where he vowed to “restore science to its rightful place.” Since ScienceBlogling Jake discussed the importance of basing policy on evidence–as well as correctly recognizing that the method we use to solve problems does not shed…

Bono, Op-Eds, and Analysis

http://drezner.foreignpolicy.com/node/15061 http://scienceblogs.com/corpuscallosum/2009/01/bonos_welcome_to_the_punditocr.php I had to laugh when, by way of ScienceBlogling Joseph, I read Daniel Drezner’s snarky description of Bono’s first outing as a NY Times op-editorialist. But leaving high-quality snark aside, I think Bono’s inclusion highlights a problem with most regular op-ed columnists: the dearth of analysts.

And do we want to? Maybe it could help formally include non-publishing activities in a scientist’s evaluation? When I first read this PLoS Computational Biology article, “I Am Not a Scientist, I Am a Number“, I was ready to beat down on its ass. After all, how seriously can you take something like this which…