55327_girl-writing_mdThis article was published at Baen.com. It’s another of the related works for the Hugo Awards.

This seems to be an essay on the nature of science. Roberts contrasts the scientific approach of exploration, hypothesis and theory with the quasi-religious approach that science is “settled,” is “consensus” and is “unchangeable.” He illustrates the Scientific Method and quantitative research methodology with an experiment about the hazelnut coffee creamer he needs to get him started in the mornings. On the way, he explains means and Standard Deviation. He reviews several notable scientific theories gone wrong, (example: the sun revolves around the Earth) and what conditions tend to cause scientific error. Roberts then looks at the adequacy of peer review as a means of reducing error and advocates better science education. Well-constructed, informative, broadly applicable. Odd views on climate. Minor copy errors. Three and a half stars.

Advertisements