fredag 3 augusti 2018

Data Science and the Quest for Truth

Bob Hayes CustomerThink:
I was interviewed by IBM to share my thoughts on a topic related to data science about which I’m passionate: How do we know what we know and, once we know it, how do we know it’s the truth? IBM turned that interview into a comic strip (see below) and I summarize my points in this post.

You would think that, because we have access to so much information in this digital age, getting to the truth would be relatively quick and easy. As I’ve discussed before, people hold beliefs that are not supported by the information available to them. Take, for example, the 27% of Americans who don’t believe there is solid scientific evidence of climate change, the rise of the “anti-vaxxers” who think that they know more about science and public health than the overwhelming majority of doctors, immunologists and other health professionals, the “flat-earthers” who ignore the ample evidence that the earth is a sphere, the increase in Google Trends that shows that searches of the term “flat earth” have more than tripled over the past two years and more.

I’ve given this topic a lot of thought and I would like to talk about the problems about the importance of everybody gaining some knowledge on statistics and critical thinking (scientific method, evidence-based decisions). Here are few points I made in the interview.

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