In this evenings lecture, Professor Aaron Hanlon spoke about data and its evolution to what we see today. Apparently, much of what we know about data and the scientific method comes from the Royal Society and Francis Bacon. Data became a necessity in order to understand more about society than what was posed by individual scholars that made generalization. Data came about because there was such a need of real proof of different theories and sufficient evidence to back these ideas.
It is so interesting for me to try to think of a world without data. As a science major most of what I know has been thoroughly supported by data set after data set. When we are young we are taught the scientific method in grade school that helps up to understand how we know what we know about the world. The key step of the scientific method is data collection. It reminds me of my first science fair experiment where I looked at a series of different mixes that caused either endothermic or exothermic reactions. I used a thermometer to test if there was a temperature drop or increase while I mixed together different things in our kitchen. I got very excited about this experiment and collecting data as a whole. I mixed together almost everything in our kitchen to see if there was a reaction. To this day I think that this is one of the reasons I am a science major. I learned to like the scientific process and with that the process of collecting data, to this day I love experimenting.
I dont think I had any idea about how hard it is to collect unbiased data until this semester. I am currently in a statistics class to compliment my geology major and one of our assignments is this huge project we do throughout the semester. In this project we could decide to find a data set online or we could have decided to collect our own data. My group decided to collect our own data and we decided on surveying the student population about what extra curriculars they do and how happy they are ar Colby. Some of the variables we are also collecting data on are how many hours of extra curriculars people do a week, what gender each person is and what class year they are in. I never knew how hard it is to collect unbiased data for the most accurate data set we can get to. One of the problems we’re are running into is how to hand out the surveys without bias as the data can be locationaly biased. People that go through the Colby College spa is not an accurate representation of the population because not every student walks through our student center. When I was a sophomore I was someone that actually never walked through the spa because I lived on the other side of campus and never had the need to. We are still working to get past this bias.