There is a unique danger of data wonkishness: putting so much stock in scientific abstractions that reality itself becomes invisible.
The policy action response—vis-à-vis that of “thoughts and prayers”—suggests a rejection of religion for solving the gun violence epidemic in the U.S. But it’s a bit more complicated and more faith-full than it appears upon first glance.
On one level, evidence is what scientists use to discover truth. But there’s another profession that uses evidence, too: lawyers. And they each use evidence in different ways.
Science is complex. But once we have a better understanding of the latest science, we can use that knowledge to inform public policy more effectively.