It’s just a hell of a lot harder than we give it credit for.
Five Thirty Eight posted a great article on science today that everyone should read. I’ll sum it up a bit but you really should read the actual article. The author highlights how people’s mistrust or lack of confidence in science has been on a rise lately because they’ve been seeing headlines about articles being retracted. But this shouldn’t be an issue because this is what science is founded on. Like everything else, science isn’t infallible. But it is self-correcting. We do peer review for a reason. We retract for a reason. We’re correcting our mistakes. And some times they aren’t even mistakes. We are just not quite right yet, but we’re on the way there.
Science isn’t an easy, straight, neat path. Science is messy. Science is difficult. And science is very time consuming. We all need to remember that with each new study we hear about that further studies need to be conducted. We need to replicate (repeat) studies to see if it happens again. We need introduce more variables – if we add this will we still get the same result? We need to remove variables. And the list goes on. And on. Because that’s what science is. It’s the study of our world through observation and experimentation. And repeating.