Findings Spring 2021

Science seems to change all the time, but why don’t we “get it right the first time” more often? This perfectionist demand on science has had troubling consequences during the pandemic. Our human tendency toward anchoring bias—giving unwarranted preference to initial data over subsequent data—was disrupted by constantly changing news about virus science.

This was a good reminder that science is always evolving, but it also provided fuel for those who would flout public health guidelines. Science has its own limitations and biases, which was true long before the pandemic. In coming to terms with a more fluid view of science and discussing that reality more regularly and openly, we can actually open up scientific endeavors to more voices and new possibilities.