Monday, February 28, 2011

Against The Word "Scientist"

After seeing Dan Ariely's rant about how unwilling companies are to test things empirically, this ngram showing that "natural philosopher" used to be the term describing one who did experiments, Aaron Haspel's slightly too profound tweet that "what scientists say is not science" (that should be obvious), Katja's exposition of how schools fail to teach science in a way that students can actually apply to their lives, and unconsciously synthesizing all of this info at some point during its consolidation from short-term memory in the hippocampus into long-term memory in the cortex, I have come to the opinion that the word "scientist" should not be used to describe any people or profession. Instead it seems better to refer to those who work in science labs as "researchers" or more specifically by their specialty, like immunologist. If the research community, and by that I refer to the group of people who fantasize daily of having a paper published in Nature, were to stop monopolizing the term "scientist," perhaps others would be more apt to employ the scientific method in their own endeavors, to the benefit of all.