Small, slow changes in the works

It’s been just over a year since I started blogging, and as my readers know I traverse an eclectic mix of topics. I’ve blogged about climate change, religion, science and race, history and philosophy of science, regulatory science, basic research and science literacy. For the past few months I’ve been trying to determine whether I need a common theme. And if I do, I’ve been trying to determine what exactly this theme would be.

I think I have finally figured it out. If I may be somewhat immodest, I’ve read pretty extensively in science studies, which encompasses the above topics and then some. All of this personal research has me convinced that there is much about science that scientists should know. During school, I worked towards that goal by teaching this class. I guess I now view my blog as an extension of those efforts. I would eventually like to serve as a discussion ground for scientists (which especially includes grad students) and experts in science studies. Currently there are too few scientists here and it’s something I’d like to change.

The upshot of all this is that we can expect a bit more structure on this blog. Not too much, because science studies is of course a vast arena. It might just be that I categorize my posts a bit differently and add an “About This Blog” tab at the top. I’ve already modified my one line description to read “Connecting scientists with science studies.”

To start down this road, I’ll repeat what I asked a few months ago: What the most important lessons from science studies, history and philosophy of science, etc. that scientists should know? Or rather, what do the experts in those fields wish practicing scientists were aware of?


  1. Hey Praj,

    I just found your blog and have been catching up on it. Sounds like you are into some exciting things.

    Take it easy!

    1. Scott! What’s up man? How have you been? Are you still in Arizona? Hope all is well, and thanks for getting in touch. Just curious…how did you find my blog?

      1. I’m actually in Music City! (Nashville) Are you in DC?

        I’m designing optical sensors that can identify materials to sort for recycling and materials recovery.

        I found your blog link through the Applied Physics alumni page.

  2. “[W]hat do the experts in those fields wish practicing scientists were aware of?”

    Epistemology. It’s important for scientists to know what questions science is capable of answering and what questions it isn’t meant to answer. There are philosophical assumptions underlying the scientific method that, when we’re aware of them, keep us humble and prevent us from elevating the scientific method as the only metric of truth. Practicing epistemologically-aware science not only makes for higher quality science, but it also improves our ability to share our research with un-scientific or anti-scientific communities.

    1. Hey Omair. Thanks for the comment! I totally agree that epistemology needs to be included more, and I’ve tried to do my small part to help. Hope all is well.

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