Scientific thinking is relevant, helpful and something we all can do. In the past five years I’ve employed this approach as a columnist: I’ve set aside my biases and stuck to “Just the Facts” to attract you to topics you may not have had interest in before, as well as familiar ones I hoped you might re-examine.
In the process, we’ve busted a lot of myths that were veiled as “common knowledge.” We’ve also uncovered useful information and gained some pride in our community’s accomplishments and history.
Go to http://www.frontporchne.com/category/just-the-facts for some examples.
Today I’m writing to let you know I’m going to step away from writing this column for a while. My departing request? In these times of “alternative facts,” please don’t hesitate to channel your inner scientist or employ scientific thinking in your everyday life.
Start by pursuing your curiosity or seeking to understand something that puzzles you. Better yet: Question an assumption or an assertion. Follow by reading about your topic, analyzing what’s known about it and seeing what it tells you. Along the way, question where your information comes from: Has it been vetted by someone with expertise in that field?
Maybe take it one step further: Talk to scientists to see what they know, perhaps sharing your thoughts over a beer. You might be surprised at what you learn, and you might even make a new friend.
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