Knowledge Continuum

Notes and Thoughts

An experiment to spark conversations


Experts and their social science

Every morning you open the science column of a newspaper, you have a new research finding – I don’t remember clearly if it was last week that I saw an article on a prestigious newspaper citing some research conducted in a university in the USA proving the ill-effects of a certain dietary restriction and today morning to my surprise, the same newspaper cites another research conducted in a university in France stating such restrictions can reduce cholesterol levels by more than 40%. As for dietary recommendations, it doesn’t bother me much since I am not much of a diet nut myself, but what about other things. Is statistics science? Should you believe something because a scientist said it? Are all forms of expertise made equal? Where should you draw the line?

More importantly, how do you trust a system that built its reputation on the basis of its epistemological process, but is trying to survive based on authority?