What new scientific research seems rather odd

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by flint757, Apr 3, 2015.

  1. flint757

    flint757 SS.org Regular

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    Over time there's been tons of research, studies, theories, etc. done and proposed. There are some things we know now through research that at the time probably had laypeople wondering why they'd even bother. Some of those ideas may have had the same reaction from the scientific community only to later prove to be quite useful.

    What have you heard about recently from the scientific community (or R&D) that comes across as a rather bizarre thing to waste time on?

    If there's something rather interesting from the past that has proven useful today that'd be fine to post as well.

    I'll post something on the subject probably tomorrow.
     
  2. jonajon91

    jonajon91 New Picture

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    Well if there is a group of people I trust more than any it's the many people smarter than myself, this includes scientists. Most people thought NASA was a waste of time and money, but people don't complain when their scientific endeavors make there way into our homes. If there is anything at the moment that comes to mind then it would probably be the LHC in Switzerland since nothing came from it YET. It still holds a huge amount of potential so I am still very interested.

    ---edit---

    Sorry, I think I read your post wrong and though you were denying science. I got completely the wrong end of the stick here. That said, I think the LHC still stands.
     
  3. Murdstone

    Murdstone Sycamore Trees

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    Heterochronic parabiosis. Fun stuff. My boss won't let me try :lol:
     
  4. vansinn

    vansinn SS.org Regular

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    Zero-point energy.
    Already have a basic generator, but as soon as it passes 1.2 million rpm, the device starts to throw out huge energy bursts.
    I guess I should simply trap those and route them into a mercury swirl-turbine (i.e. old-school Vimana drive tech), but where to get the mercury :spock: - and then there's of course the issue with encapsulation..

    Might just decide to scrap this part and go straight for mind-matter interfacing :shrug:
     
  5. asher

    asher So Did We

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    ^wat?
     
  6. flint757

    flint757 SS.org Regular

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    Yeah, I'm just looking for people to post things that on the surface seem odd, but probably have great potential for now or even the future.

    It was something I had been thinking about because in a lot of my behavioral classes there are studies that get brought up all the time that indeed contain a ton of useful data, but at the same time seem rather weird for people with PHD's to be wasting their time/energy on. :lol:
     
  7. Grindspine

    Grindspine likes pointy things

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    Just doing a Google search on that brings up so many pictures of pointless animal research. I can not find any rationalization that actually separates it from cruelty.

    I seriously question the ethics boards that have approved such experimentation.
     
  8. Murdstone

    Murdstone Sycamore Trees

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    Perhaps a little gray in the ethics area but if you don't see the potential benefit in the fields of aging and cell regulation then you aren't looking hard enough.
     
  9. ThePhilosopher

    ThePhilosopher Reason User

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    I don't know if you call it scientific, but it's a huge waste of time - P-Hacking. If they just called it for the fraud it is there wouldn't be papers written about it.
     
  10. vansinn

    vansinn SS.org Regular

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    Never heard of P-hacking before - it this Pr0n-hacking or Paper-hacking?
    If the latter, I fail to understand the problem with papers written on the topic..

    BTW, I'm a huge fan of waste of time, as in the 80's song "Oh, o-o-o-o-oh, baby you're my favorite waste of time".
    It's my impression there's even real science invested into this ;)
     
  11. vansinn

    vansinn SS.org Regular

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    Sorry about my above jokes - I happened to be in that mode ;)
    What? Never heard of mind-matter interfacing? Totally hot for interstellar traveling :agreed:

    Anyways, not odd science at all, at least to me, but rather quite amazing sciences are the studies into stem cells and bio-organic materials.

    Like the currently ongoing tests into using stem cells for recovering eyes, and this new bone cement stuff:

    http://rt.com/news/246885-bone-tissue-regeneration-cement/
     
  12. ThePhilosopher

    ThePhilosopher Reason User

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    P-value hacking.
     
  13. djyngwie

    djyngwie SS.org Regular

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    [​IMG]

    The way p-values are usually dealt with is not a really healthy way to look at statistical inference anyway.
     
  14. Nyx Erebos

    Nyx Erebos SS.org Regular

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    Wasn't the existence of the Higgs boson confirmed thanks to the LHC ? As far as I understand it proves that what we believed to be the truth in physics actually is. I wouldn't call that nothing.
     
  15. Edika

    Edika SS.org Regular

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    And a lot of other stuff being run there including the LHC. Every non scientist back then thought it would create a black hole and destroy the Earth. I had so many people asking me if it was possible I started secretly hoping it would.

    A couple of things I've brushed through is the the idea of a warp drive from NASA. They have mathematically calculated that warping time and space by compressing at the back of a spherical object and expanding it in the front would create acceleration around 10 times the speed of light. Then of course is the subject of creation of such drive. It seems like science fiction as the original idea came from there ad application seems far enough to seem like a waste of time but it's not impossible.

    The other thing I read about is negative Kelvin temperature. Initially I thought it was bull but after I read an article about it I thought it was a really cool concept. It's not exactly negative Kelvin in the traditional sense but if you're interested you can search the subject.

    Dark matter wasn't that hot of a subject a couple of decades ago but it has gained a lot of traction. I haven't read much about it and I am not sure exactly how the theory explains it but it does seem peculiar that there would be matter that doesn't respond or transmit any form of electromagnetic waves so unless we have a gravimeter of some sorts we can't actually measure it. I'm sure there's more to it but it's something I want to look up when I have some time.
     
  16. ThePhilosopher

    ThePhilosopher Reason User

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    That's a problem with the researcher, not the probability. Most of the time it's more helpful to provide a confidence interval along with a probability. Statistical significance is not an indicator of a practical difference and that too is a problem for the researcher, not the calculation.
     
  17. djyngwie

    djyngwie SS.org Regular

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    To me the problem is twofold:

    1. Non-statisticians doing statistics.
    2. Null results usually gets you no funding.

    (To be fair, I'm not a statistician either. It's just a subject that interests me a lot these days).
     
  18. ThePhilosopher

    ThePhilosopher Reason User

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    I think the first point can be mitigated if researchers at least consult with statisticians instead of peers in their departments. In an ideal world a pilot study would accurately reveal the need for funding - pilot studies should be done more carefully instead of haphazardly because "it's just a pilot."

    I'm not a statistician either (yet), though I am studying Statistics for my MS Degree.
     

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