Via Ben ‘Bad Science‘ Goldacre (here) comes this hot tip: Trisha Greenhalgh’s How to read a paper. Although it focusses on medical research, many of the principles apply to all scientific papers. Although it’s great when science can be expressed in everyday language, the ability to go direct to the original research, as reported by the researcher themselves, is an invaluable skill (and one hopefully this link, and the Mind Hacks book, can give you some handles on).
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