Blackboard scientists and experimenting scientists

Posted on October 4, 2010

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Peter: ” So there are blackboard scientists who scribble promissory notes – usually in mathematical lingo who get excited if the math makes sense, even though they may have no experimental evidence to support their conclusion. So they produce ivory-tower truths (elegant mathematical proofs) for which there is little if any experimental evidence?”

Professor Wiggly: ” As science solves the easy problems and encounters more complex puzzles, where objective evidence is hard to come by, science becomes more theoretical. It produces more and more elegant mathematical or theoretical models of  how the world works. The recent economic  melt down was the result not only of greed, but of people making massive bets based on fancy mathematical models of risk – models devised by ivory tower scientists and mathematicians. They were experts in math, but not in human behavior! Their models were mathematically elegant but practically disastrous.”

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Posted in: Sciencing