Mad Scientess Jane Expat (nanila) wrote,
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
nanila

How to make a lot of scientists squirm uncomfortably.

There's always some tension between the Space Physics and Atmospheric Physics halves of our group. Most of the time it's a fairly friendly rivalry. Occasionally, it's a bit more barbed.

At our weekly group meetings, one member from each half of the group gives a 20-minute progress report on his or her research. This week, one of the plots shown during the Space talk contained data that showed a pronounced gradient change at a particular point in time. The plot didn't include error bars, however.

Atmos professor: "So what are the error bars?"
Speaker: "About 10 degrees at most."
Atmos professor: "Oh. Because I was going to suggest if they were big enough, you just do a linear regression on the whole data set and ignore the gradient change."
Space professor: "Is that how you guys discovered climate change?"
Tags: anecdote, imperial
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