Jump to content
jkelley9

Is the science research gap widening?

19 posts in this topic Last Reply

Recommended Posts

I had a bit of a shower thought today, albeit not in the shower.

Growth in effective research in nearly all fields is increasing at a fantastic rate with the help of improved computing power (information processing) and speed (and at a lower cost), innovations in data storage and searches, robotics, improved detection limits and accuracy, etc.

But an old fashioned example stood out in my mind today: the natural glucose versus high fructose corn syrup debate. There's still people even today that go back and forth on this, while the science is pretty damn straightforward. 

That got me thinking, it seems like every "breakthrough" has to be taken with an enormous grain of salt these days, right? 

1. How does the general public get their information? The media, obviously. 

2. What is the media's motivation? To get more viewers and be the "first." Honesty? Nah. Integrity? Nah. Just "shock."

3. How many people can accurately (regarding perception) interpret results of a study? VERY few.

On the flip side, what are the "researchers" (which can be a team, a company, etc.) motivations? Discovery, fame, time commitment to a study, etc. Without integrity here of course it leads to additional skepticism from the public (me included).

Lastly, I'm sure there's financial motivations for companies that combat discoveries, of sorts. I'm not one of those folks that thinks there's a cure for cancer but the "man" is holding it back. But at the same time there are almost certainly companies that pick up patents and such for great potential trials and they can them because they purchase the rights.

Say someone does make an incredible discovery TODAY (2017). What are the odds that the CORRECT perception is able to permeate through society, widespread? I feel like with today's media, social media, feverish indictments of the education system (rampant ignorance), etc are all stacked against research at large. 

The media jumps on and often puts a REALLY bad spin on published data because frankly, they aren't equipped to interpret and they may (likely) be filled with bias - yet they want the limelight. That hits those viewers who go on and play telephone on social media. Social media blows up with controversy, haters, etc. Bad info is like an infection, with little chance for a cure. Especially with how stubborn people are.

There's a difference between innovation research and standard studies, though. I think studies have it harder with what I've described above. If they found out that there is an incredibly high and accurate correlation between ingesting taurine and cancer.... what are the chances the general population actually accepts it? What are the chances that it doesn't get covered up or skewed in favor of the soda/energy drink industry? 

I think research today has a much tougher time than it did a few decades ago, even though the effectiveness of our research is orders of magnitude better.

This is the gap I'm referring to: discovery to acceptance, or implementation.

Is this gap widening?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

Want to hide this ad? Register for free today!

On 4/28/2017 at 3:49 PM, Lihu said:

The problem is also with researchers as well.

Here's something you might like to read.

S1579212914004078_S300_en.pdf

Absolutely. I only touched on that in my OP but yea... so much pressure these days that it's creating a lot of bias and bad data out there to fulfill some "need." Whether it be a company needing funding, a headline, a stock price shift, whatever. 

I haven't read you link yet but I'll check it out tomorrow morning.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

This kind of brushes the "agendized science" post, plus brings in many other variables.

Einstein was lionized in his day. How many are today? Einstein was pretty out there, but his theories could be discussed by intelligent laymen.

Pure science today has become so "esoteric", for lack of a better descriptor, that the average intelligent person can't keep up.

I'm a fan of the TV show "The Big Bang Theory". So much so that I will have a notepad handy when I watch it to jot down science references from the show to check out on the computer.

The last one I checked out was "Unruh Radiation". The explanation of it was pretty much incomprehensible. The upshot of it, I think, was that a detector moving through space would register a temperature slightly higher (by maybe 1 degree Kelvin), than a detector stationary in an inertial coordinate system!

The reasoning was that so called "empty" space, while a vacuum. was populated by energetic fields which would impact the detector!

At least ,that's what I got out of it! Way out of my league!

And if we're not smart enough to understand it, guess what? Neither are the news people!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

On 4/28/2017 at 9:57 AM, jkelley9 said:

But an old fashioned example stood out in my mind today: the natural glucose versus high fructose corn syrup debate. There's still people even today that go back and forth on this, while the science is pretty damn straightforward. 

Glucose causes obesity and diabetes.  

High fructose corn syrup causes obesity and diabetes.

There both bad for you.  What's the debate.

Edited by No Mulligans

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

 

15 hours ago, Buckeyebowman said:

And if we're not smart enough to understand it, guess what? Neither are the news people!

Yeah I can't read a newspaper author's version of a journal article and count it as legit.  I'll try to find the actual article because the abstract is typically put into easier reading terms.  Then if I think I can understand it enough, I'll get the pdf and read more.  I think more people could read abstracts if they took the time to find them.

Pertaining to the gap widening, it's tough right now, because one half of research is trying to grasp at straws to find the one key to success in the medical world.  Another side is physics/astronomy/theoretical physics which are so advanced right now.  Simple relativity and gravity can be taught in high school now, but not dark matter and M Theory (or whatever it is now).  It's so complex that only a few can really work at it.

Another part that confuses people is that science is not static.  As you dive deeper, you find more questions.  Chemistry/physics/math can find equations or numbers that are static, but almost everything else is always growing and growing more complicated.  Today's final "answer" can be turned upside down 20yrs from now.  It's always based on current and past data.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

On 6/2/2017 at 2:24 PM, No Mulligans said:

Glucose causes obesity and diabetes.  

High fructose corn syrup causes obesity and diabetes.

There both bad for you.  What's the debate.

I would add, 'excessive' to your statement.  Glucose is the primary fuel for the human body. We kind of need it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

"Excessive" can be put in front of pretty much everything we eat or drink.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

On 6/4/2017 at 8:52 AM, boogielicious said:

I would add, 'excessive' to your statement.  Glucose is the primary fuel for the human body. We kind of need it.

Glad someone said it (politely) before I did (which may have been more demeaning) lol.

But it's that type of comment that scares the crap out of me. 

For example, a nearly PERFECTLY similar example to that would be to say "consuming water causes death."

Back in the early 2000's a radio show had a water chugging contest to win a Nintendo Wii. Shockingly, nobody on the staff knew that chugging water can kill you, easily. You dilute the salt in your body so low that it can't conduct electricity (which is what your brain needs to communicate with your muscles and organs). A well known fact.

The woman died.

Water is essential for human life.

...so is glucose. It's literally #2 essential to humans.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

1 hour ago, jkelley9 said:

You dilute the salt in your body so low that it can't conduct

Not exactly. It causes an osmotic shift where fluid enters the cells to try to balance the concentration due to the hyponatremia (low sodium) which causes the cells to swell....thus increasing intercranial pressure. The shame is that its relatively easy to reverse and had she received proper care in a timely matter she would've lived.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

The media is the biggest thing wrong with this country hands down imo.  I knew it was a problem even before Trump came around but his presence in the White House really caused it to explode.  You've got a bunch of for-profit companies running around claiming to be the benevolent guardians of truth and it's absolutely laughable.  24-hour news cycles with massive spin to generate shock value which translates into viewers so the company gets the ad revenue necessary to pay their multi-million dollar executive and on-air personality contracts.

There hasn't been a legitimate news channel in this country for decades; we've got small groups of people who pretend to be journalists sitting around pandering and gossiping in 30 or 60 minute blocks between episodes of reality TV and various other audio/visual trash.  It's actually impressive in a way, when I step back and look at what TV has become it's incredible how this country has managed to take an invention as incredible as the television and turn it into a 55" box of electromagnetic diarrhea.

I mean the only way you can really one-up this is to make it happen in real time.  Oh wait, there's facebook and twitter!

Anyway, about the OP I don't think there is anything unusual going on between the news and research.  If someone can make money by warping the news then they will certainly try.  The only real way to know what is going on is to get the information from the horse's mouth which is ridiculous considering the mass media tools we have available.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On 24.06.2017 at 10:28 PM, Strandly said:

The media is the biggest thing wrong with this country hands down imo.  I knew it was a problem even before Trump came around but his presence in the White House really caused it to explode.  You've got a bunch of for-profit companies running around claiming to be the benevolent guardians of truth and it's absolutely laughable.  24-hour news cycles with massive spin to generate shock value which translates into viewers so the company gets the ad revenue necessary to pay their multi-million dollar executive and on-air personality contracts.

There hasn't been a legitimate news channel in this country for decades; we've got small groups of people who pretend to be journalists sitting around pandering and gossiping in 30 or 60 minute blocks between episodes of reality TV and various other audio/visual trash.  It's actually impressive in a way, when I step back and look at what TV has become it's incredible how this country has managed to take an invention as incredible as the television and turn it into a 55" box of electromagnetic diarrhea.

I mean the only way you can really one-up this is to make it happen in real time.  Oh wait, there's facebook and twitter!

Anyway, about the OP I don't think there is anything unusual going on between the news and research.  If someone can make money by warping the news then they will certainly try.  The only real way to know what is going on is to get the information from the horse's mouth which is ridiculous considering the mass media tools we have available.

agree with this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On 6/24/2017 at 3:28 PM, Strandly said:

The media is the biggest thing wrong with this country hands down imo.  I knew it was a problem even before Trump came around but his presence in the White House really caused it to explode.  You've got a bunch of for-profit companies running around claiming to be the benevolent guardians of truth and it's absolutely laughable.  24-hour news cycles with massive spin to generate shock value which translates into viewers so the company gets the ad revenue necessary to pay their multi-million dollar executive and on-air personality contracts.

There hasn't been a legitimate news channel in this country for decades; we've got small groups of people who pretend to be journalists sitting around pandering and gossiping in 30 or 60 minute blocks between episodes of reality TV and various other audio/visual trash.  It's actually impressive in a way, when I step back and look at what TV has become it's incredible how this country has managed to take an invention as incredible as the television and turn it into a 55" box of electromagnetic diarrhea.

I mean the only way you can really one-up this is to make it happen in real time.  Oh wait, there's facebook and twitter!

Anyway, about the OP I don't think there is anything unusual going on between the news and research.  If someone can make money by warping the news then they will certainly try.  The only real way to know what is going on is to get the information from the horse's mouth which is ridiculous considering the mass media tools we have available.

I agree with a lot of this. But aren't WE really the problem? We're the ones watching. We're the ones giving them the rating and sponsor dollars. I would love a real news channel, but it wouldn't sell with today's short attention span society. If there were one, without political lean, corporate incentives or lobbyist's influence, I would watch.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

6 hours ago, boogielicious said:

I agree with a lot of this. But aren't WE really the problem? We're the ones watching. We're the ones giving them the rating and sponsor dollars. I would love a real news channel, but it wouldn't sell with today's short attention span society. If there were one, without political lean, corporate incentives or lobbyist's influence, I would watch.

I don't think the blame can solely rest on just one side.

We are susceptible to behavior modification and manipulation, and there are plenty of people and companies out there willing to exploit that for their own gain.

At the same time, I think a lot of people like their opinions validated and companies segment and cater to different markets to fill consumer needs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

On 8/12/2017 at 8:54 AM, boogielicious said:

I agree with a lot of this. But aren't WE really the problem? We're the ones watching. We're the ones giving them the rating and sponsor dollars. I would love a real news channel, but it wouldn't sell with today's short attention span society. If there were one, without political lean, corporate incentives or lobbyist's influence, I would watch.

 

On 8/12/2017 at 3:29 PM, billchao said:

I don't think the blame can solely rest on just one side.

We are susceptible to behavior modification and manipulation, and there are plenty of people and companies out there willing to exploit that for their own gain.

At the same time, I think a lot of people like their opinions validated and companies segment and cater to different markets to fill consumer needs.

Perhaps I'm out of the mainstream, but I don't watch! Haven't watched for years! I learned to recognize "fake news" long before Trump ever coined the phrase.

I also recognize the blandishments coming from the other side. I subscribe to neither!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

On 8/12/2017 at 5:34 AM, SandraH155 said:

agree with this

Not going to ask what you specifically agree, but if I had to guess. . . :-D

 

10 hours ago, Buckeyebowman said:

Perhaps I'm out of the mainstream, but I don't watch! Haven't watched for years! I learned to recognize "fake news" long before Trump ever coined the phrase.

I also recognize the blandishments coming from the other side. I subscribe to neither!

"Fake News" was actually coined a long time ago and you can read about it here.

Frederick Burr Opper 1894:

Three running men carrying papers with the labels "Humbug News", "Fake News", and "Cheap Sensation".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

10 hours ago, Buckeyebowman said:

 

Perhaps I'm out of the mainstream, but I don't watch! Haven't watched for years! I learned to recognize "fake news" long before Trump ever coined the phrase.

I also recognize the blandishments coming from the other side. I subscribe to neither!

Most people will struggle to recognize fake news. Most like to sit in their own packs to get confirmation bias. People tend to shy away from facts that prove their previously thought confirmations wrong. It’s tough, but people should read facts from all sides to form a true opinion they can stand behind. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

8 minutes ago, saevel25 said:

Most people will struggle to recognize fake news. Most like to sit in their own packs to get confirmation bias. People tend to shy away from facts that prove their previously thought confirmations wrong. It’s tough, but people should read facts from all sides to form a true opinion they can stand behind. 

Most scientists are also "Most people", which is possibly one reason why we have a science research gap in the first place. There's no point delving into something that could disprove your fundamental beliefs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now



×

Important Information

Welcome to TST! Signing up is free, and you'll see fewer ads and can talk with fellow golf enthusiasts! By using TST, you agree to our Terms of Use, our Privacy Policy, and our Guidelines.

The popup will be closed in 10 seconds...