Let’s talk about science!

With the current state of the panorama and all the different mandates and regulations that are being thrown around regarding events, I wanted to take some time to talk about science. Normally when we talk about something being backed by science we are really talking about it being supported with some sort of data. And for questions that were asked a long time ago, we might have a heck of a lot of data to back it causing scientists to come together and have a fairly agreed upon consensus on the topic. However, this consensus normally comes after years of different researchers testing different methods, gathering all sorts of data (sometimes conflicting), lots of debates and discussion regarding all the different data, and then more data and debates happening before the possibility of a consensus being reached.

Now the reason I am mentioning this is because most people who are not directly involved in scientific fields don’t see this process happening themselves, and I think most people assume that “experts” are always right and basing what they say on things that are agreed upon in the field. But in reality, science is an ongoing process, and the current parallelogram is a prime example of the general public seeing how science works in real time. “Experts” tend to only be experts in very specific sub-fields, and their opinions, which are still opinions even if they are data-driven, change as the data changes. And even though we are over a year into this panini press, it is becoming increasingly clear, even with all our new discoveries, that we as a scientific community know less than we though we did, and implementation of regulations and mandates tend to have a lag as we learn new information about the virus.

If you have made it this far, you are probably wondering, “Well Kristin, what’s your point? Why are you telling me all this?”

Glad you asked!

I want to encourage everyone in this community to start looking at data themself, to be better informed, and to have more educated discussions regarding the Panasonic, instead of just relying on social media or bias and outdated news articles for information.

In order to do this, I want to introduce you to my (and most scientist’s) best friend, PubMed!

The site is a search engine specifically for scientific papers. It is easy to navigate, has short abstracts in layman’s terms to give you the general idea of what papers are about before you read the full paper, and right now, most papers are available for free to everyone. They even have a link from their main page that directs you to everything COVID-19 related.

If you really want to understand whats going on in the pantheon, what interventions are actually working well vs. not as well as we originally thought, how different types of testing work and when they are most effective, all the latest and greatest therapeutics, and more, this is the site for you! I encourage you to do some searching on it before taking part in conversations regarding COVID-19. And if you happen to come upon an abstract for a paper that you really want to read but is not free, please feel free to DM me and I will try and help you acquire a PDF of the full paper.

Science is cool and one of the best parts about it is that it is always evolving. Do your part and stay up to date on the data itself instead of just hearing about it second hand. If anyone finds any cool articles they want to discuss, I encourage you to share them with others below, or send them to me and I will happily talk about anything COVID-19 related for days.

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For interdisciplinary research (incl. all social science fields), I recommend JSTOR and EBSCO.

Also, in case anyone wants some reminders about conducting their own research and publishing their findings:

For interdisciplinary research (incl. all social science fields), I recommend JSTOR and EBSCO.

Specifically talking about COVID-19 I would stick to PubMed, and more specifically, scientific studies where you can read about the experimental design and statistically significant results instead of summaries and reports from NGOs which is a lot of what you will find if you search COVID-19 on JSTOR and many other sites

Of the hundreds of articles I’ve read on JSTOR, probably only encountered two or three ever that didn’t have rigorous experimental methodology sections.

Social science is still science, especially when reading peer-reviewed journals with recreetable experiments on a site like JSTOR.

If you just want to research the medical components of Covid, go for it and read exclusively medical journals on placed like PubMed. But…there’s also lots of discussion on this forum (and in the greater zeitgeist) about discussions sparked by Covid. Some examples: unequal health outcomes and access for different communities, historical context of health crises, and strategies for governments incentivizing behavior among its residents.

These are all topics which will have multiple well-research, peer-reviewed, data-driven articles and I personally believe they are just as relevant to the discussion.

I think context matters, but I’m sorry if you intended this to be a very narrow-focused thread.