Scientists Are Scared of Math Too

Scientists Are Scared of Math Too

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It’s not just artistic types that find math a turn-off and try to avoid having to deal with it – scientists do the same. A new study by University of Bristol biologists shows that if a piece of research is packed full of mathematical equations, other scientists tend to ignore it. Scientific articles laden with equations on every page are seldom referred to by other scientists, they found. Indeed, the most math-heavy articles are only half as likely to be referenced as those with little or none.

The ideal way to solve the problem, clearly, would be to improve the math education of science graduates so that they could better understand all those pesky equations. Another would be for people writing papers to remember the possible shortcomings of their readers and explain their assumptions and workings more thoroughly.

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