Math is hard, even for scientists

I ran across this brief and had to share it. We worry a lot about attacks on science from outside (Hey, at least I do, BG), but this story hints strongly that there’s an enemy within. Come on, biologistas, do the math!

From Inside Higher Ed:

New research by professors at the University of Bristol suggests that biologists may be avoiding scientific papers that have extensive mathematical detail, Times Higher Education reported. The Bristol researchers studied the number of citations to 600 evolutionary biology papers published in 1998. They found that the most “maths-heavy” papers were cited by others half as much as other papers. Each additional math equation appears to reduce the odds of a paper being cited. Tim Fawcett, a co-author of the paper, told Times Higher Education, “I think this is potentially something that could be a problem for all areas of science where there is a tight link between the theoretical mathematical models and experiment.”

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