I am happy to share my story with your publication however I have one condition, either the text below or the link below that must accompany it. Thank you so much for your interest in my work! Sorry if you have a policy against accepting conditions or simply cannot agree on principle. If that is the case, maybe next time. Even though it is not actually science I am still a huge fan of ‘data science’ and your publication. Keep up the good (not science) work!

What is data science?

It is much easier to say what it is not, it is not science or ‘a’ science, or a ‘type’ of science, if such a thing as a ‘type’ or ‘kind’ of science is even possible. It is not a field of inquiry or topic area of research in science. All science is data science in the sense that all science uses parts of some of the tools that fall under the rubric of “data science” to analyze data that is generated by the experiments that are conducted in that particular field or, in the case of purely theoretical fields, to analyze data sets that are relevant to the theory. So called data science is a tool of science, nothing more. A useful and powerful tool to be sure but science could and did get along just fine before the advent of the age of “data science.” Statistics and mathematics have always been useful tools for the scientist and they always will be, calling them data science does not make them science. More recently, powerful computers, and clever algorithms have greatly expanded the insights to be gained from even the most mundane of data sets. That said, using computers running algorithms to analyze data is not science, computers are still only tools of science and thus not science. A tool of a thing is not the thing itself and never can be.

Written by

Research scientist (Ph.D. micro/mol biology), Thought middle manager, Everyday junglist, Selecta (Ret.), Boulderer, Cat lover, Fish hater

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