What the Pandemic Has Taught Us About Science

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The Covid-19 pandemic has stretched the bond between the public and the scientific profession as never before. Scientists have been revealed to be neither omniscient demigods whose opinions automatically outweigh all political disagreement, nor unscrupulous fraudsters pursuing a political agenda under a cloak of impartiality. Somewhere between the two lies the truth: Science is a flawed and all too human affair, but it can generate timeless truths, and reliable practical guidance, in a way that other approaches cannot.

In a lecture at Cornell University in 1964, the physicist Richard Feynman defined the scientific method. First, you guess, he said, to a ripple of laughter. Then you compute the consequences of your guess. Then you compare those consequences with the evidence from observations or experiments. “If [your guess] disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong. In that simple statement is the key to science. It does not make a difference how beautiful the guess is, how smart you are, who made the guess or what his name is…it’s wrong.”

So when people started falling ill last winter with a respiratory illness, some scientists guessed that a novel coronavirus was responsible. The evidence proved them right. Some guessed it had come from an animal sold in the Wuhan wildlife market. The evidence proved them wrong. Some guessed vaccines could be developed that would prevent infection. The jury is still out.

Seeing science as a game of guess-and-test clarifies what has been happening these past months. Science is not about pronouncing with certainty on the known facts of the world; it is about exploring the unknown by testing guesses, some of which prove wrong.


In general, science is much better at telling you about the past and the present than the future.

Bad practice can corrupt all stages of the process. Some scientists

The camera that taught me how to see the world

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Yashica D camera

The Yashica-D twin-lens reflex camera.


Jon Skillings/CNET

When I was a kid and it came time for family snapshots, my dad was always heads-down. Chin to chest, eyes locked onto a camera grasped in both hands at waist height. Left hand to steady, right hand to work the controls.

This was no point-and-shoot. Not like the plastic Kodak Instamatic 44 I would receive as a 12th birthday present, or the double-lensed, autofocusing iPhone 11 I carry now. It was a solid, serious, fascinating machine: a Yashica-D twin-lens reflex.

And it was ungainly as hell. The way the viewfinder reversed the image left to right. The buttons and knobs. The heft. That posture.

Think of it as a squat, upside-down periscope.

That was a long time ago now. My dad stopped using that camera by the end of the ’70s, around the time I was heading off to college, but it took a lot of photos over the preceding two decades. Picnics. Holidays. Definitely not action shots.

I’ve been rummaging through some of those photos, and lots more besides, thinking about those distant days and about my dad, Howard. He died in July at the age of 85, having outlived my mom by four years, which isn’t something he’d expected. He was still on his home turf in Portland, Maine, where he’d been born and lived most of his life. We were able to have a small graveside service for him, amid the restrictions imposed by the coronavirus.

Taking a photo with the Yashica-D

My father and his Yashica-D on Christmas morning 1977. (Photo taken with my Kodak Instamatic 44.)


Jon Skillings/CNET

The photos run the gamut: Dad as a kid in the 1930s and ’40s, with a mischievous grin.

Signant Health Launches New eCOA Master Class Web Series Taught by Clinical Research Science and Technology Experts

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PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 21, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Signant Health today introduced “eCOA Explained,” a new Master Class web series designed to elevate the understanding and skills of clinical operations professionals interested in electronic clinical outcome assessments (eCOA).

The educational and complimentary class launches with three courses and 16 on-demand lessons designed for all levels of eCOA experience, as taught by 13 clinical research science and technology experts. To enroll and start learning, visit www.ecoaexplained.com. 

Lessons available now include:

Build Your eCOA Solution

  • eCOA 101: The Basics (Jill Platko, PhD)
  • How to Build an eDiary: What’s Involved (Brandy Morneau)
  • From Paper to ePRO Measures: Licensing, Migration and Translation (Alex Kalpadakis-Smith, PhD)
  • How to Make Translations Work for Everyone (Adina Tapalaga)
  • To BYOD or Not to BYOD? (Bill Byrom, PhD)
  • Complex Diaries: Best Practices and Considerations (Jill Platko, PhD)

Ensure Successful Operations

  • Get Going Faster: Accelerate Timelines Without Sacrificing Quality (Jeffrey Thell)
  • EXPERT GUEST: The Site and Participant Perspective (Elan Cohen, PhD – Hassman Research Institute)
  • Mixing Modes of Data Capture: What to Know (Bill Byrom, PhD)
  • Regulatory Considerations of eCOA (Florence Mowlem, PhD)
  • ClinRO Data Reliability: Why, What and How (Dan DeBonis)

Enhance the Value of eCOA

  • Data on the Go: Sensors and Wearables (Bill Byrom, PhD)
  • Using Blinded Data Analytics to Achieve Endpoint Quality (Todd Everhart, MD)
  • Beyond eCOA: Adding eConsent to Your Trial (Neetu Pundir)
  • Keeping Patients Engaged From Enrollment Through Closeout (Meghan Morgan)
  • The Benefits of Combining IRT and eCOA (Bart Nicholson)

“There is no shortage of excellent webinars and virtual panels in our industry, but eCOA Explained is unique in its ability to take your understanding and skill to

Be taught About The Newest Technology With Your Laptop

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When the society appears back on the past few many years and the infancy of the World huge net could be appropriately outlined, it’s going to most certainly be chronicled that the Web is the best studying tool for the reason that printing press. It’s true: individuals read my laundry articles. I’m not going to touch the local weather matter but would say that maybe in the era of faux news we live in, no one trusts any site or source of information utterly. As a result of the sensible meter reads always, I can now pay for my energy based on not solely how much I use but the time of day it is used; night time is significantly cheaper.

As regards the UK24 video; no I have never spent any time as an airport (or even been to an airport); in truth I’ve never flown in a industrial passenger aircraft in the whole of my life. Individuals who blame know-how is simply ungrateful to human marvels & civilization.

These telephones are equipped excessive-decision cameras and may simply file any occasion and unfold it everywhere in the web using quite a few social media platforms, literally on the pace of light. Yes, the technology continues to be new, but it’s growing exponentially, and in Europe the tipping point was reached in 2015 when for the primary time Renewable Power became cheaper than fossil fuels.

Most of us see these three letters or even sort them many instances day by day, significantly maybe on social media. The media at present has power far past our frequent understanding of the spirit of the occasions. In the bible, they wrote on tablets – a contemporary human technology at the time – that didn’t make it evil.

And know-how as a whole is …