Scientists can draw very different meanings from the same data, study shows

Giving the same information to multiple scientific teams can lead to very different conclusions, a report published today in Nature shows.

And that’s exactly why two researchers think scientists should share their data with others — well before they publish.

In this experiment, 29 scientific teams were given the same information about soccer games. They were asked to answer the question “Are dark-skinned players more likely to be given red cards than light-skinned ones?” Some scientists found that there was no significant difference between light-skinned and dark-skinned players, whereas others found a very strong trend toward giving more red cards to dark-skinned players. So, even though a pooled result showed that dark-skinned players were 30 percent more likely than light-skinned players to receive red cards, the final conclusion drawn from this exercise — that a bias exists — was a lot more nuanced than it likely would have been if only one team had conducted the analysis.

It is the custom of the Mahars to liberate those who remain alive within the arena after the beasts depart or are killed. Thus it has happened that several mighty warriors from far distant lands, whom we have captured on our slave raids, have battled the brutes turned in upon them and slain them, thereby winning their freedom. In the instance which you witnessed the beasts killed each other, but the result was the same—the man and woman were liberated, furnished with weapons, and started on their homeward journey.

Part of that attitude has to do with the desire to prevent other research teams from publishing similar results before they have the opportunity.

The chances are that ere long you will know much more about it than I,” and he grinned as he spoke. The Sagoths have a well-developed sense of humor. “And suppose it is the arena,” I continued; “what then?” “You saw the two who met the tarag and the thag the time that you escaped?” he said. “Yes.” “Your end in the arena would be similar to what was intended for them,” he explained, “though of course the same kinds of animals might not be employed.” “It is sure death in either event?” I asked.

The Queen smiled and passed on. ‘Who ARE you talking to?’ said the King, going up to Alice, and looking at the Cat’s head with great curiosity. ‘It’s a friend of mine—a Cheshire Cat,’ said Alice: ‘allow me to introduce it.’ ‘I don’t like the look of it at all,’ said the King: ‘however, it may kiss my hand if it likes.’ ‘I’d rather not,’ the Cat remarked.

It is not the least among the strange things bred by the intense artificialness of sea-usages, that while in the open air of the deck some officers will, upon provocation, bear themselves boldly and defyingly enough towards their commander; yet, ten to one, let those very officers the next moment go down to their customary dinner in that same commander’s cabin, and straightway their inoffensive, not to say deprecatory and humble air towards him, as he sits at the head of the table.

What do the four men you just named have to do with me thriving off drama?

‘Don’t be impertinent,’ said the King, ‘and don’t look at me like that!’ He got behind Alice as he spoke. ‘A cat may look at a king,’ said Alice. ‘I’ve read that in some book, but I don’t remember where.’ ‘Well, it must be removed,’ said the King very decidedly, and he called the Queen, who was passing at the moment, ‘My dear! I wish you would have this cat removed!’ The Queen had only one way of settling all difficulties, great or small. ‘Off with his head!’ she said, without even looking round. ‘I’ll fetch the executioner myself,’ said the King eagerly, and he hurried off. Alice thought she might as well go back, and see how the game was going on, as she heard the Queen’s voice in the distance, screaming with passion.

She had already heard her sentence three of the players to be executed for having missed their turns, and she did not like the look of things at all, as the game was in such confusion that she never knew whether it was her turn or not. So she went in search of her hedgehog. The hedgehog was engaged in a fight with another hedgehog, which seemed to Alice an excellent opportunity for croqueting one of them with the other: the only difficulty was, that her flamingo was gone across to the other side of the garden, where Alice could see it trying in a helpless sort of way to fly up into a tree.

Queen’s voice in the distance, screaming with passion

So she tucked it away under her arm, that it might not escape again, and went back for a little more conversation with her friend. When she got back to the Cheshire Cat, she was surprised to find quite a large crowd collected round it: there was a dispute going on between the executioner, the King, and the Queen, who were all talking at once, while all the rest were quite silent, and looked very uncomfortable. The moment Alice appeared, she was appealed to by all three to settle the question, and they repeated their arguments to her, though, as they all spoke at once, she found it very hard indeed to make out exactly what they said.

In his treatise on “Queen-Gold,” or Queen-pinmoney, an old King’s Bench author, one William Prynne, thus discourseth: “Ye tail is ye Queen’s, that ye Queen’s wardrobe may be supplied with ye whalebone.” Now this was written at a time when the black limber bone of the Greenland or Right whale was largely used in ladies’ bodices. But this same bone is not in the tail; it is in the head, which is a sad mistake for a sagacious lawyer like Prynne. But is the Queen a mermaid, to be presented with a tail? An allegorical meaning may lurk here.

There are two royal fish so styled by the English law writers—the whale and the sturgeon; both royal property under certain limitations, and nominally supplying the tenth branch of the crown’s ordinary revenue. I know not that any other author has hinted of the matter; but by inference it seems to me that the sturgeon must be divided in the same way as the whale, the King receiving the highly dense and elastic head peculiar to that fish, which, symbolically regarded, may possibly be humorously grounded upon some presumed congeniality. And thus there seems a reason in all things, even in law.

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