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.
So many voices but who should you listen to in any debate on science matters?
Modern science can be difficult or complex for one person to understand and verify, especially a non-scientist. So who should we believe when scientific evidence is met with denial?
Weighing up the evidence for surgery is just one thing to consider before going under the knife.
There's often limited evidence for many common types of surgery. Understanding what makes good evidence is the key to deciding what's best for you.
A Queensland police officer models the body-worn camera.
Body-worn cameras may seem to be a boost for policing and criminal justice, but they raise a host of issues around admissibility, privacy and fairrness.
Genetic techniques can help make pollen useful for cracking criminal cases.
Karen L. Bell
Pollen is all around us, is extremely durable and can provide clues about where someone's been. A new genetic technique will make it easier to use pollen evidence in criminal investigations.
What face do you see?
There's a concern that images posted on social media run the risk of disrupting the accurate identification of people allegedly involved in a crime.
Forensic scientists should be encouraged to shed more light on a pattern of behaviour when investigating incidence.
Forensic scientists should be encouraged to help detect patterns of behaviour in the incidents they investigate. This could lead to changes in the way some things are done and potentially save lives.
In-depth surveys allow governments to drill their understanding down to street level.
Image courtesy GCRO/Clive Hassall
Without data, people don't know what to believe or whom to trust. Empirical, thorough data collected by academics can help to fill important governance gaps.
WE GOT THIS.
When all the evidence points in one direction, people can quite happily go the other. Whether it's Trump, Brexit or climate change.
Piles of evidence don’t make any difference if they’re not being used to develop policy.
Researchers and policymakers need to talk to each other. If they don't, important research will merely gather dust and policies might do more harm than good.
How can you navigate a world full of outlandish claims?
Forensic scientists are trained to disprove claims. This sort of thinking is useful when you're trying to make sense of "miracle cures", "wonder drugs" and other fantastic claims.
Are leading questions swaying the scales of justice?
mikecogh/flickr.com via http://www.blogtrepreneur.com/media-justice/
Would you know if you were being asked a leading question?
Do we need to know that things are certain, or is a little uncertainty still okay?
The more knowledge we gather in our search for answers to the unknown, the more uncertainty we uncover. But that's not a bad thing.
How to deal with all that digital evidence?
West Midlands Police
So much of modern life involves our digital devices – including crime. As the field of digital forensics gains prominence, practitioners need practical and ethical guidelines.
Grasping for a solution.
There's a worrying lack of evidence for what works when it comes to drug treatment. And our addiction services are suffering as a result.
No longer restricted to elite athletes, personal fitness data can be collected from people jogging, going to the gym – even sleeping.
Beyond simply counting steps, fitness tracking technology creates personal black boxes that archive everything we do – even sleeping. So it’s not surprising to see that a Calgary law firm, representing…
The truth is out there.
Debunking myths requires an understanding of the psychological research into misinformation. But getting your refutation out in front of lots of eyeballs is a whole other matter. Here, I look at two contrasting…
Animated evidence is often used in court but is it reliable?
Recent cases involving the use of computer generated images as evidence in courtrooms have shown the powerful impact they can have on jury decision making. But studies show that jurors can be unduly influenced…
Why would more science make any difference to people who don’t care about science?
Larry He's So Fine/Flickr
This week’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report will be compendious, cautious, thorough and as authoritative as a scientific report can be. But it will not make much difference. In…