A Terry Science Experiment

This weekend, I attended Future Directions in Science Journalism, a unique collection of scientists, journalists, and a few others that were just interested in the future of…you guessed it.

Although there was no shortage of interesting fodder for discussion at the conference, one particular chord rang loud and clear among all the journalists in the crowd: the definition of “theory”. Theory means very different things to scientists and the public. Furthermore, as it seems to me, many scientific words have been either anthropmorphized or over generalized by journalists, and thusly have taken on altered, unique definitions in the collective public mind.

Being a good scientist, I thought I’d test this out. So please, Terry readers, define the following list in the comment section (in your own words…no cheating and looking it up online, or looking at the other people’s comments!)

  • Nature
  • Ecology
  • Genome
  • Theory
  • Scientific method
  • Statistical uncertainty

I’ll provide the proper definitions after.


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Dave Semeniuk spends hours locked up in his office, thinking about the role the oceans play in controlling global climate, and unique ways of studying it. He'd also like to shamelessly plug his art practice: davidsemeniuk.com