Reading science for the fun of it

I like reading about science. For months now I’ve been checking in at futurity.org every few days to see if they have any new and interesting articles. Some days there are new ones, but few really catch my interest. The biggest thing I’ve learned from reading articles there is how narrow the scope is of much scientific research.

In order to show that A causes B, you have to limit the effects of C, D, E, F, and G, or at least control for them in analyzing your data. That means that you are often studying a very small part of a very big picture. Put together all the scientific research being done around the world, and it starts adding up, which is why we see such incredible advances in certain fields. But the results of any individual research project can seem pretty underwhelming.

Today I came across Science 2.0, which covers a wide variety of scientific fields, and has contributors who are good at writing, not just at science. They may not have news quite as up-to-date as futurity.org, but the articles are a whole lot more interesting. (Obviously that’s just my opinion, but then this is my blog – who else’s opinion would you expect it to be?)

I happened to encounter Science 2.0 by way of The Daytime Astronomer, written by Alex “Sandy” Antunes. The particular article which I stumbled on (thanks to Thirty Three Things, a regular feature at the First Thoughts blog) was Which Science Kills More People? OK, so it’s not exactly a serious study of mortality rates, but I was glad to see that, despite the title, it was not an anti-science screed blaming chemicals for everything that’s wrong with modern life. (You do realize, don’t you, that you can die from an excess of dihydrogen monoxide?)

Most of the articles I read, in my brief excursion at Science 2.0 this evening, are more serious in nature, but they are also well-written and therefore enjoyable to read. I look forward to reading more of them, either when I have time to spare, or when I need a good topic for my own blog post.

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