Cool heads must prevail over burning hearts

Reading Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science blog I came across this interesting quote:

Seeing Sokal’s cool reply to the controversy reminded me of a legal case I consulted on a few years ago in which I was subject to a deposition for a few hours. The lawyer from the other side kept asking me what seemed to be barbed or trick questions, and I kept simply answering directly. Eventually he got frustrated and gave up. What made it easy for me was that I didn’t really care if my side won the case. As I saw it, my job was to be the expert; it was the lawyers’ job to try to win. In contrast, had this been a case involving me personally, I’m sure it would’ve been much tougher and maybe the lawyer deposing me would’ve been able to get me tied up in contradictions. I would’ve felt too much pressure to be strategic, to overstate my case or to hold things back or to volunteer additional information, But since I was just doing my job, I could just do it.

Keep to a well established risk analysis framework such as FAIR. That way when your risk analysis is questioned you will talk about facts and avoid the emotional pitfalls.