Interesting article on how biases and perceptions can make scientists jump to false conclusions, leading to bad science. The following articles should also be of interest and shows how scientists try not to fool themselves:
- by +Emily Lakdawalla
on how to describe features on Pluto while preventing readers from mis-interpreting how the features might have formed [ http://www.planetary.org/blogs/emily-lakdawalla/2015/09101452-pluto-new-horizons-browse.html
- via +Nature News & Comment
on inserting false signals into Advanced LIGO as a way to test the system as well as the people involved [ http://www.nature.com/news/has-giant-ligo-experiment-seen-gravitational-waves-1.18449
- articles by +Hedwig Pöllöläinen
who carefully notes the various hypotheses in the research and shows how the data supports or invalidates the hypotheses [ http://www.theguardian.com/science/grrlscientist
"This is the big problem in science that no one is talking about: even an honest person is a master of self-deception. Our brains evolved long ago on the African savannah, where jumping to plausible conclusions about the location of ripe fruit or the presence of a predator was a matter of survival. But a smart strategy for evading lions does not necessarily translate well to a modern laboratory, where tenure may be riding on the analysis of terabytes of multidimensional data. In today's environment, our talent for jumping to conclusions makes it all too easy to find false patterns in randomness, to ignore alternative explanations for a result or to accept 'reasonable' outcomes without question — that is, to ceaselessly lead ourselves astray without realizing it."