Does Science Need More Compelling Stories to Foster Public Trust? | Observations, Scientific American Blog Network
In the scientific realm, anecdotal evidence—the individual patient, the single result—tends to be shunned in favor of large, dense data sets and impersonal statistical analyses. Although that foundation must remain the core of solid research, examples and narratives should be invoked to round out the explanation of what the hard science says, Zachary Meisel and Jason Karlawish, both of the Perelman School of Medicine at Penn, contended in an essay published online Tuesday in JAMA, Journal of the American Medical Association. “Stories are an essential part of how individuals understand and use evidence,” they wrote. And they can have a powerful effect on public opinion and policy.
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