Don't go to Hogwarts if you're into science

I sometimes hear people say that they wish they could've gone to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry (HSWW), but there’s a drawback of HSWW that's often overlooked. You can do a lot with a degree from HSWW, but the one thing that’s hard to do is to become a scientist. In fact, there's very little emphasis on science in the HSWW culture. Students learn plenty of spells and potion recipes, but nobody at the school has a good understanding of how magic actually works -- after thousands of years, they still call it magic! It’s possible that no one in the wizarding world has ever studied the mechanisms underlying magic, but I don't buy it. How could wizards have witnessed the muggle scientific revolution, and not looked at wands under a microscope? No, there must be scientific research institutions in the wizarding world too, which leads to only conclusion:

Hogwarts is a technical school. It's where you go to learn a craft. It's great at sports, but not so great with cutting edge research.

Of course, HSWW was on the front lines of preventing a global holocaust, while professors from Beauxbatons and Durmstrang Institute were off in their ivory towers, presumably debating time travel paradoxes or developing new languages for object-oriented spell casting. When shit hit the fan, HSWW stepped up.

That said, there must be another school out there that’s experimenting with new yeast strains for butter-beer, and running clinical trials on healing charms. If you like science, that’s the place to be.


  • A friend has pointed out that this post is very similar to the fan fiction work Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, which is essentially the same joke but much more fleshed out.
  • While there's a potential analogy to black box models here, this post really doesn't have much to do with statistics. Future posts will be more relevant to stats, with high probability.