Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Question marks are important!

First Post carries a two page article that makes for interesting reading. It appears Nature dropped a question mark from the title of a research paper that presented spurious data on the Gulf Steam slowing down and which would have serious implications for Europe if it was true. Two facts emerge. One, the researchers miscalculated their results, and two, Nature dropped the question mark that provided the correct measure of uncertainty, despite the mistakes they failed to catch. The media latched on to the "certainty" and their conclusions are for all to see. Unfortunately the errata won't be.

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