Fake claims of discoveries are mainly caused by statistical prescriptions that do not follow probabilistic reasoning, meant as mathematics of beliefs, as it was conceived as a whole by Laplace and that nowadays is known under the appellative `Bayesian'. As a consequence Unfortunately, this wobbly construction faces against the human predisposition to think naturally in terms of degrees of belief about anything we are in condition of uncertainty, including the several causes that might have produced the observed effects. The result of this mismatch is that In addition, the pretension that `priors are not scientific and should not enter the game' (``the data should speak by themselves'') avoids that sound scientific priors mitigate the deleterious effects of misunderstood p-values.

But, fortunately, being the natural intuition of physicists rather `Bayesian'[20], after all it is more a question of rough scientific communication than of rough science. In fact, even the initial excitement of someone who takes a bit too seriously claims that the rest of the physics community classifies immediately as `fake' - priors! - is harmless, if the discussions remain in the community. And the debates are often even profitable, because they offer an opportunity to check how new possible phenomena and new explanations could fit into the present network of beliefs based on all previous experimental observations. This is for example what has recently happened with the exchange of ideas that has followed the Opera result on neutrino speed, from which most of us have learned something.

As far as the communication of claims to non experts, that include also physicists of other branches, or even of a close sub-branch, my recommendation is of making use, at least qualitatively, of the Bayesian odd update, i.e.

I am pretty sure most people can make a good use of these pieces of information. Moreover, my recommendation to journalist and opinion makers (including bloggers and similar) is that, in the case of doubt: To end, I would like to congratulate all people working at LHC on the amazing high quality work done in these years and on having been able to report these convincing hints on the Higgs boson in a record time (I had never betted in favor of this possibility in 2011 even six months ago! But now the real exciting bet is what next?).

Giulio D'Agostini 2012-01-02