- You can major in Fermentation Science. No joke. When I was eight, I learned the concept of college major. I asked my mom, “What did you major in?” “Extracurricular activities,” she said. I failed to get the joke. She later explained she had spent more time working on the school paper than on her classes.
- In a famous paper, the statistician Ronald Fisher accused Mendel of faking his data. Fisher wrote: “the data of most, if not all, of the experiments have been falsified so as to agree closely with Mendel’s expectations.” This is not terribly consistent with the fact that Mendel’s highly improbable conclusions were correct. It’s as if Fisher had said “Person X used false info to claim he is worth $10 billion” and (b) in fact Person X is worth $10 billion. You can see that (a) and (b) may both be literally correct but that the term “false info” (Fisher’s “falsified”) probably conveys the wrong impression. This paper (“A Statistical Model to Explain the Mendel–Fisher Controversy”) has a more plausible explanation of the pattern in the data that Fisher noticed.
- Conflict of interest in the Nobel Prize in Literature. The conflicts of interest underlying the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine — which are given out for “pure” science, thus justifying more funding — remain unnoticed by journalists.
Thanks to Bryan Castañeda.