What is the one concept in science that you really think should be explained better to a wide audience?
I imagine the tweet got a similar spectrum of responses. And that spectrum, I think, is interesting. It ranges from very general concepts (science asks “how” and “why,” Occam’s Razor and the difference between a hypothesis and a theory, empiricism, science doesn’t prove things, etc.) to general subjects (QM, E&M, evolution) to specific topics within those (decoherence, speciation, spin-1/2 systems, Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle).
Anyone who has read this blog for a while probably knows I have a spin-1/2 particle up my, um, other spin-1/2 particle about how quantum entanglement and teleportation are presented in the press, but I wouldn’t offer that up as an example, simply because it’s too limited. It’s a symptom of a larger problem, and you don’t usually cure the problem by attacking one symptom.
So I would go with some meta-explanation about science and how it works: how we, as scientists, know what we know. That is, the reminder that what we know and find out in science does not exist in a vacuum, but is built up from accumulated knowledge, and couple this with the explanation about the process — that we try and figure out how nature works by rigorously testing hypotheses and that we are skeptics (real skeptics).