A Look in the Mirror

As all other teams sail, walk, or swim from side to side in the beautiful little bay of Tjärnö to study the marine environment  around us, our team is about to explore something different. Something often forgotten, despite being fully part of a scientific project. Something? Better said “Someone”: the Scientist.

Although it could be useful at times in research, we are not robots. We, as humans, think, act, interact with the environment. Whether it is on purpose or not, we will influence our results whatever happens during the project, as in every research ever conducted. This effect from the observer on what he observes can be marked, to the point it distorts results obtained, or tiny enough to be neglected.

The objective of our team during this Spring School is precisely to explore this subject, the observer’s effect. Through various experiments, and witnessing fellow students’ research projects, we will attempt to describe the different ways experiments and results are influenced by their authors and designers. As an ideal scientific research assumes zero effect from the observer, we will discuss potential solutions to reduce, or control it.

Is it still science to study scientists? This twisted question raises a lot of other ones, but most importantly bring us to take a step back, to think about our interaction with the world we explore, and our relationship to science itself.

Comments

  1. Greetings from a former EMBCer :) Great topic, just don't forget to address the biases in your own research.. quite challenging! Enjoy your spring school!

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