If you’re convinced Nessie’s real, would science unconvince you?
AP Photo/Norm Goldstein
If you're committed to a belief, it's hard to let go. Psychology and philosophy provide different ways to think about how skeptics respond to counterevidence.
From human 'gills' to reproducing rock, evidence hasn't always pointed scientists in the right direction.
From understanding climate change to defining what a bird is, people prefer evidence that is diverse.
Cindy Zhi/The Conversation
To give the best chance for science to have an impact, we need to present our arguments to the public in the most convincing ways we have available. Applied psychology can help.
False beliefs about language and speech underlie legal precedents that allow jurors to be “assisted” by unreliable transcripts of forensic audio.
The Everett Collection/Shutterstock
Not all false beliefs arise from malicious misinformation. Some legal precedents rest on the status of everyday 'common knowledge', since shown to be false, but embedded in our law nonetheless.
The quest for scientific evidence can trace its roots back to the classic masters of rhetoric.
What we regard today as scientific evidence can trace its roots back to the ancient art of persuasion.
There’s been an accident - but witness accounts will stray and lose accuracy over time.
Memories of events are notoriously unreliable - especially after some time has passed. Experts and police have developed an app to help the general public record evidence when it's fresh.
Evidence isn’t always as straightforward as it might first seem.
Mai Lam/The Conversation NY-BD-CC
Brain-zapping, the curious case of the n-rays and other stories of evidence.
The Conversation, CC BY 70.4 MB (download)
You've had an x-ray before but have you had an n-ray? Of course not, because they're not real. But people used to think they were. Today, on Trust Me, I'm an Expert, we're bringing you stories on the theme of evidence.
Judges and juries may not appreciate the nuances of messages from online dating services used as evidence in trials.
Coal stockpile at Valley Power Plant, Milwaukee, Wis.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has rejected a Trump administration proposal to reward coal and nuclear power plants for storing fuel on-site, as a way to make the power system more reliable.
Dr. Karen Lindfors, a professor of radiology and chief of breast imaging at the University of California, Davis Medical Center, examines the mammogram of a patient.
(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
The majority of research suggests the benefits of mammography screening greatly outweigh the harms for women over age 40.
While compelling, personal anecdotes of what helped people quit smoking suffer from self-selection bias. We don’t hear from people who didn’t succeed.
Personal stories about what helped people quit smoking can be misleading, and aren't strong evidence.
Dozens of studies and numerous reviews have demonstrated the safety of vaccines.
In an era when opinion often trumps evidence in public health issues, it's time to support and invest in evidence-based medicine to protect the public from dangerous, poorly informed beliefs.
Don’t believe the hype. Band-Aids might protect minor cuts but there’s no publicly available evidence they speed up healing.
Johnson & Johnson Pacific Pty Ltd/The Conversation
Where's the evidence behind claims Band-Aids speed up wound healing? Here's why we'll never know.
One of these is a human, the other not. Can you tell the difference?
Experts may be dismissed when they express values, offer advice or make mistakes. But these expectations are unreasonable and unhelpful.
About half of studies of some types of brain stimulation cannot be reproduced. So, how do we know if these work?
Electrical brain stimulation is used to treat a range of conditions, from depression to epilepsy. But how confident can we be that it works?
When lawyers submit forensic evidence in court, is there legit science to back it up?
AP Photo/Pat Sullivan
Forensics has a way to go before it's a mature, academic science. Attorney General Jeff Sessions just terminated an independent commission charged with helping it get there.
There wouldn’t be statues acclaiming Darwin and his theory if it couldn’t stand up to decades of testing.
In science, the word 'theory' has a very specific meaning that's easy for nonscientists to misunderstand or misconstrue. Here's what a theory must withstand to be accepted by the scientific community.
Intellectual inquiry and expertise are under sustained attack, says Barney Glover.
Our need for unbiased, well-researched information has never been greater.
Is that a black hole, or a hole in their data?
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
There are a few red flags to look out for when reading about new scientific discoveries that can help you spot dodgy or unreliable work.
Is this worth the tape it’s wrapped with?
Is forensic science an oxymoron? A new White House report suggests there are major issues with many of the forensic disciplines used to convict defendants of crimes in the U.S.