Picture Wednesday: Types of scientific evidence | Day 242

I’ve already featured chemistry teacher and designer Andy Brunning’s work, but this Wednesday I just have to share this new infographic, because I helped a wee little bit with feedback when it was still under wraps. Mind you, it hardly needed any fixing by that point, because Andy knows what he’s doing.

This “Rough Guide to Types of Scientific Evidence” is a wonderful cheat sheet to hand to someone to whom you are trying to explain that a randomised trial and what his aunt Molly told him the other day are not equal in terms of credibility and reliability. It is also handy if you just want a quick reference.

The types of evidence are sorted from less strong to more strong, and each accompanied with a handy blurb which expands on the details of the process.

A Rough Guide to Types of Scientific Evidence
A Rough Guide to Types of Scientific Evidence from Compound Interest,CC BY-NC-ND (click to enlarge)

Of course, as with any complex issue, it is vital to be nuanced and not dumb things down, so bear the following point in mind as you peruse the image.

“The first point to make about scientific evidence is that the types of evidence featured in the graphic aren’t always distinct, nor does the fact that a type of evidence is lower in the hierarchy means that it should instantly be disregarded. In fact, some of them can be precursors to the more conclusive types of evidence.”

And now you should go and read the whole accompanying blog post over at Compound Interest.

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