08 December 2010

Nature vs NASA

     The recent announcement of arsenophilic bacteria discovered by NASA is being increasingly refuted.
 
     I know the entire mechanism for research has become entangled with getting media attention for your work so that when it comes time for more dollars to continue your work you can point to something in print that will impress the purse-holders, but I would consider it a superior and inherently more logical course for research be conducted, analyzed, and published in a scholarly journal.

     With publication other researchers could then attempt to replicate the experiment a few times, and only after this process is complete, and assuming that the initial results are still correct,  this information can be fed to science journalists so that lay persons such as myself with a dilettante's interest in these things gets an accurate picture.  Not NASA trumpeting from the hills that we have met ET and he is us only to be refuted (see above) within days.

     That's just embarrassing, folks.

     On an entertainment level, I know where to get all the SF I want; only pull me up for air when the science has been proven.

     On an academic / professional level, we're facing the same problem that plagues too much of our thinking as a society - the short term.  What do you have for me now, in 6 months, 18 months?  What damage are we doing to ourselves as a species that out current dominant mechanism for progress (money) is applied in a manner that so often neglects the long term?
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