The subjectivity of scientists and the Bayesian approach

S. James Press, Judith M. Tanur

Why I looked at this book

It would be silly to think that scientists are wholly objective, never letting their personal biases influence what they see. In areas such as drug trials there have been attempts to reduce such subjectivity, but how much is subjectivity a problem in science in general? Do we have to accept that individual scientists will have individual biases, and can we hope that these will be dealt with in the normal progress of science? Or do we need some more formal method of dealing with subjectivity in scientific research. I'm hoping that this book will investigate questions such as these.

First impressions

The first chapter discusses what we mean by subjectivity and objectivity, and looks at how different scientists might interpret the same data differently, depending on their personal views. Some might see try to make sure that their conclusions are based just on the data, others might try to use the data to support their personal viewpoint. But which is likely to make greater progress in science? That's what I hope this book will tell me.
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