Aliens, science and speculation in the wake of ʻOumuamua – Matthew Bothwell | Aeon Essays
An alien-made artefact or just interstellar debris? What ʻOumuamua says about how science works when data is scarce

Really nice discussion how inevitable personal bias in the scientific community makes headlines and how science as a method adjusts knowledge.

At the start there is a nice discussion of how ones own professional background impacts ones imagination when it comes to more speculative areas.

The following quote is from the end of the article:

"The strength of science, as a method for learning about our world, is the ability to self-correct when the data come in. But this self-correction often applies only to the field as a whole: individual scientists, when their speculations are not borne out by the evidence, sometimes fail to change their minds.

Hoyle remained staunchly opposed to the Big Bang theory until his death in 2001. If he’d lived in the age of Twitter, he would have been front-page news: ‘Cambridge professor denies the Big Bang’ would make for clickbait just as appealing as ‘Harvard professor says aliens have visited’. But Hoyle was wrong, …"

Subscribe to see new publications and popular science coverage of current research on your homepage

  • 0 users online
  • 7 users / day
  • 14 users / week
  • 31 users / month
  • 104 users / 6 months
  • 1859 subscribers
  • 424 Posts
  • Modlog