Understanding Science – Curriculum for a Workshop

Stone me, dear specialised science journalists, but this will be a workshop for no more than two days for your friends in the business who do everyday reporting. Okay, let’s say three days.
And they should book this training with me. And smile!

(curriculum for a workshop)

1. Science theory and logics

  • Search your library for beginners guides to science theory and, if not included, a guide to Karl Popper’s teachings. Browse through these books and answer yourself these questions:
  • Why scientists rarely or never can say they have a final result or what is right or wrong. And why you should question those who say they know the truth.
  • Why it is impossible to prove that something does NOT exist. An excursion into the adventures of logical thinking.
  • Why is it so difficult to “prove” the effect of a cause.

2. Some statistical and methodical issues

  • Learn about validity and the reliability of a scientific result – and how it is assessed.
  • Learn about the most important statistical parameters with which scientists measure the relevance of their results, like statistical deviance and probability factors (no worry, you do not need to calculate them yourself).

3. Science economics and politics

  • The big and small players in science funding, the role of national and international politically steered sponsors.
  • The procedure of science financing – long term, projects, international cooperation.
  • Private (Co-)financing of science and its effects.
  • Patent issues and their effects on the freedom of science and science publication.

4. Science sociology

  • Hierarchy and careers in science.
  • The role of different kinds of institutions.

5. Science practice and publication

  • How do I tell a scientific publication platform is reliable and how to tell it is not a so reliable (no matter whether in print or on the web)
  • What does “peer review” mean and how to deal with results that are not yet reviewed?
  • How to find and search scientific databases and libraries.
  • How to find the right expert on an issue.

If I missed something important out, tell me – in a comment below on this page

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