David Houle, PhD: Measuring Evolution

Friday, Apr 7 2023, 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM, Dickinson 232
Science Workshop—Spring 2023
Friday, Apr 7 2023 1:00 PM Friday, Apr 7 2023 2:00 PM America/New_York David Houle, PhD: Measuring Evolution OPEN TO THE PUBLIC | A presentation by David Houle '77 on measurement theory. Dickinson 232 Bennington College

OPEN TO THE PUBLIC | I want to introduce you to measurement theory: how we connect the ideas that we are interested in with the world of numbers. Scientists routinely think about experimental design and about statistics, but there is little explicit consideration of how to decide what to measure - that is, how to connect what you want to know with what you measure. This connection is essential. The ideas are what we are really interested in, but putting numbers to ideas is what enables us to do science: to describe nature, formulate clear hypotheses about what we observe, and then to test those hypotheses. Measurement theory is integral to physics, and widely known in psychology, but almost unknown in biology. I will give examples of problems in evolutionary biology enables us to clear away misconceptions, and make progress on neglected problems.