Adventures in Ethics and Science

Archives for January, 2006

Silly human nature, getting scientists into trouble. Until the robots are ready to take the reins of the scientific enterprise (and personally, I have my doubts that this is first item on the robots’ to-do list), we’re faced with the practical problem of figuring out how to keep human scientists honest. Among the broad strategies…

(Based on actual events.) Younger offspring (age 4.5): (singing softly to self while arranging a line of nine grapes on breakfast plate) Nine planets, fine planets, in our solar system. Nine planets, fine planets, go ahead and list ’em … * Elder offspring (age 6.5): You know, in school we learned that they discovered a…

IRB shopping

Via Inside Higher Ed comes news that the Food and Drug Administration has changed its mind (do administrative bodies have “minds”?) about rules it recommended on how scientists get approval for their research projects from IRBs (institutional review boards). In particular, the rules were intended to head off abuses of the approval system that might…

Why “Dr. Free-Ride”?

Longtime readers of the previous incarnation of this blog knew me as “Dr. Free-Ride”. Most of them, however, never asked where that pseudonym came from. As it happens, the source of the pseudonym was a class discussion (in my “Ethics in Science” course) that, by its very liveliness, inspired me to start the blog in…

Science’s neighborhood watch

The commenters here at ScienceBlogs are da bomb! Just look at the insight they contributed to my previous post on fakery in science. Indeed, let’s use some of that insight to see if we can get a little bit further on the matter of how to discourage scientists from making it up rather than, you…

Well, the new digs here at ScienceBlogs have thin walls (GrrlScientist, will you please turn down that stereo!), which means that sometimes we get sucked into the conversations our neighbors are having. And, almost as if this were the complex at Melrose Place (shut up!), a lot of us have been chattering about the same…

Thanks to all the commenters on the last post that raised, in a somewhat half-assed way, the question of what — if anything — we should make of the gender (im)balance of the pool of bloggers on the science beat. To paraphrase Homer Simpson, I’m not sure I have enough data and insight yet to…

Regular blog readers are familiar with the rule of thumb that every three months or so there will be another outbreak of blog posts wondering where all the women are. Clancy at Culture Cat provides and extensive list of links to discussions of this question up to March 2005; I’m not sure this data supports…

Humane treatment of scientists

While folks are often attentive to the harms scientists might do to other people (through unethical treatment of human subjects, or toxic dumping, or whatever), they seem not to worry so much about scientist-on-scientist cruelty. I’m not talking about having your boss in the lab force you to donate ova or anything. In fact, the…

A quick tour through the vault.

Because some of you may be new to “Adventures in Ethics and Science” (having found it by way of the high-powered company I’m keeping here at ScienceBlogs), and because a lot of the cool kids here are doin’ it, I thought I’d give you a quick run-down of some of my archived posts. A few…