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Faye Flam

The Do's and Don'ts of Trusting Science

Rule #1: Beware of "fantastic theories contrary to experience.”
That's interesting.

That's interesting.

Photographer: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

It’s been a tough year for science. The American Statistical Association just issued a statement scolding scientists for misusing statistical analysis. Scientists continued to fight over an evaluation of 100 psychological studies, most of which could not be reproduced. Critics have cast doubt on a widely believed psychological theory of human willpower.

So yes, science is fallible. Scientists are only human and science is not a synonym for truth. It’s a bumpy, meandering road that heads in that general direction.