An amazing conversation with Neuroscientist Associate Professor Nic Price from Monash University, who has a lot to say about the way we teach science, how we can understand the brain, and how we need to get comfortable with uncertainty. Check it out!
An amazing chat that ranged over the power of data storytelling, the impact of scientific fraud, and how to stay positive in the face of environmental catastrophe, Professor Euan Ritchie is a remarkable science communicator, an Ecologist, and a seriously lovely human being. "Data is power and knowledge, and if we have good data it gives us opportunities to make better decisions, and make choices between different decisions, about which decision might be the best, and the most effective, and the most efficient."
"The first thing I think [about graphs] is: what story am I supposed to believe when I see this? What are they trying to make me think? And then immediately, once you understand 'oh they want me to think that it's really big, or it's going down really quick, this pattern is abnormal…' then I immediately think 'what other stories also fit that data?'"
"So economics calls itself the science of the efficient allocation of resources. It tells itself that we help answer the question of what to produce, when to produce, and for whom to produce… but there's nothing in economics that says we shouldn't collect more tax and have a health system that's as good as the Nordic countries. There's nothing in economics that says that we should cut taxes for high income earners and spend less on aged care. These are choices."
"It's actually interesting to observe the things people are trying to do with data as a way of assessing our civilisational maturity."