Friday, September 07, 2012

Science and Organics

A BUS 230 Instructor sends along the following:
I heard this on NPR this morning and I plan on using it soon for my BUS 230 sections. Stanford did some research looking into the benefits of eating organic food and were unable to identify any health benefits and they got all sorts of negative feedback for reporting it. It is a great example of people attacking the data because they do not agree with the results vs looking at the results scientifically and trying to determine why the results do not support their hypothesis. At the end they have someone on to talk about how people get emotionally involved in the idea of organic food and what it represents and how they get defensive when scientific data does not match their perception (their reality). This happens to us when we present research findings all the time which is why I emphasize that the preliminary steps in the research process are so important. If your research questions and methodology is sound, you can defuse the situation when people start attacking the data and redirect them to look at what the data is really telling them, challenge their assumptions, etc...
The article is here and you can listen below.

Richard Feynman the famous physicist and philosopher of science also makes comments which suggest it is a hard question to really know. A hard question to answer.

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