Friday, November 6, 2009

"If we teach school children the habit of being skeptical perhaps they will not restrict their skepticism to aspirin commercials and 35,000 year old channelers. Maybe they will start asking awkward questions about economic or social or political or religious institutions, and then where will we be? Skepticism is dangerous. In fact, it is the business of skepticism to be dangerous. That is exactly its function."
-Carl Sagan

Monday, November 2, 2009

Carl Sagan Day Nov. 7th

I'm excited that he is being honored like this, I hope that someday it will be more widely recognized. I would argue that he was one of the most important figures of the later part of last century. Not only was he key in introducing a generation to the importance to science, he also made significant contributions to our understanding of the solar system and universe. On a more humanitarian note, he is largely responsible for spreading the concept of the nuclear winter and putting real consequences in the minds of those who argued for nuclear proliferation.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Is Clinical Psychology Science?

In sum, clinical psychologists and practitioners have been sticking to faulty theories for use in their practices for far too long. This is something I've noticed in my studies and in my experiences with a clinician. This wouldn't be a problem with the professors, but the lecturers who also worked in the field were often unable to represent the efficacy of their practices. If they expect their practice to be covered by universal health care, they'll have to be able to answer for their techniques. I am hopeful that organizations such as the Academy of Psychological Clinical Science or APCS will be able to make a major change in the requirements of certification so that practitioners will have more grounding in science and be able to comprehend and adapt the latest research into something they can use to help their clients. If I was currently in the need of clinical help I would search for a psychologist that has been certified by the APCS in some way or at least quiz them on somewhat recent research or literature. Unfortunately even psychiatrists are only learning about current research from pharmaceutical sales people and do not check the literature themselves often enough.