Tag Archives: collaboration

How can scientists work with cultural humility?

Coming from a background in science and coming into public health and not ever hearing ‘cultural humility’ in the sciences was very telling for me. Because culture is not something that’s emphasized, it’s not talked about in a relevant way. There have always been very clear barriers present for particular minorities in science. You can

Science and the Data Revolution

The scientific method is obsolete.

This is a bold statement in a room filled with scientists who have spent the better portion of their lives striving for the gold standard of science set forth by 3rd grade science fair projects:

  1. Observe the world.
  2. Ask a question.
  3. Make a hypothesis.
  4. Devise a testable experiment with one variable and everything else controlled.
  5. Compile the data and analyze the results.
  6. Revise the experiment or hypothesis and repeat as necessary until they match.
  7. Form a conclusion.
  8. Justify how your manageable (relatively simple) model makes predictions on a much wider scale.

But the predominating focus on producing data to answer a question, which up until now has served our scientific community faithfully, may no longer be the best method for useful discovery, according to Stanford scientist Atul Butte, MD, PhD.  We are amidst a data revolution that necessitates that good science be best performed backwards; instead of questions demanding data, we now have data demanding questions.