Posted by Wayne on May 15, 2001 at 15:08:30:
In Reply to: no one ever lost money underestimating the intelligence of the masses posted by mike on May 15, 2001 at 13:03:31:
I guess I take issue with the premise that subjects cannot be made easy enough for the lay person to gain some appropriate understanding which would provide application specific knowledge. I already understood a bit about proteins and I know they are important. What I was trying to point out is that the post and some others did not tie back to the application.
I just finished a report about argon plasmas used in melting metals. I could have written a bunch about plasma physics, but this would not have provided the target audience with what they needed. Instead I taught just enough about plasmas and their characteristics so the reader would understand the application portion of the report. After all, the application stuff is what it is all about.
I also tend to agree with others that the real problem is that educated guesses are being bantied about as if they have tested and the results stood up to peer review. There is a big difference in a hypothesis and a proven fact. I do not mind folks sharing their best guesses and the background work they use for the formulation of the guesses. It is when they blur the line between proven facts and guesses that I get my dander up.
When any of us makes a claim we need to be able to back it up. We can say things like "according to my experience", or "I think", or "it has been reported in..." This makes it clear. When we instead publish stolen work without even trying to tie it into the application, it is wrong. Theft, whether of tangible stuff or intellectual property rubs me the wrong way.
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