Science and uncertainty – some thoughts.

People are looking to scientists for answers, and scientists are working all-out to provide solutions to tackle the coronavirus pandemic. I think it is timely to put this in perspective and consider aspects of how science works. Notwithstanding that absolute certainty cannot necessarily be achieved, scientists aim to facilitate evidence-based decisions. A few thoughts are captured in a short piece I have written in verse.


People seek answers
And often crave certainty,
Maybe more so in difficult times.

Maybe we cannot always
Know everything.
It is good to acknowledge that.

And that is a scientific approach.

Scientists seek evidence.
Test hypotheses.
Are prepared to change
Their opinions,
In the light of new evidence…

They may propose new hypotheses
Seek evidence
And so it goes…

On the way,
Science may develop products
Or deeper understanding.
Either of these or both together
Are worthy aims and outcomes.

Research often brings surprises,
Which may prove to be
Even more important
Than the original notion.

Curiosity is a driver.
Tenacity and persistence are necessary.
Collaboration helps.
Openness is better for all.

Uncertainty is accepted.
Integrity is key.

©Julie Charlesworth, 2020

A little piece I have written in ‘lockdown’
Take care and stay safe.

by Dr Julie Charlesworth 17/5/20