Adventures in Ethics and Science

Archives for September, 2007

Via Ed Cone I found one of those stories that makes me love the Wall Street Journal: “In the Philippines, Ex-Judge Consults Three Wee Friends”: As a trial-court judge, Florentino V. Floro Jr. acknowledged that he regularly sought the counsel of three elves only he could see. The Supreme Court deemed him unfit to serve…

Civilization’s imminent collapse is upon us. What’s in your survival pack? There are many ways that civilization could collapse, so let me put my assumptions on the table: I’m considering a world where the electrical grid, phone and internet communications, and running water and waste water treatment systems are no longer operative. For sure you…

My mug has a disclaimer.

However, it would seem that the disclaimer is ambiguous. Otherwise, why would my better half and I disagree about what the disclaimer means? It’s not like either of us is the sort to propose an alternate interpretation just to be difficult. Honest! Anyway, here’s the front of the mug. It’s a nice design. (And if…

It has seemed to me for some time now that the landscape of news and information sources has changed since the end of the last century. Anecdotally, I seem to know an awful lot of people who rely primarily on online sources (both online versions of traditional newspapers and magazines and blogs with journalistic leanings…

Friday Sprog Blogging: why school?

We’ve already noted the prevalence of Canada geese in our area. The other day, as we were walking home, we found ourselves directly under a low-flying gaggle. Younger offspring: Those geese are flying really close. Elder offspring: And they’re flying in a giant check-mark. Dr. Free-Ride: Traditionally, that formation is described as a “V”. But…

A code of ethics for scientists.

At least, for scientists in the UK. The BBC reports that the chief scientific advisor to the British government, Professor Sir David King, has set out an ethics code of “seven principles aimed at building trust between scientists and society”. The seven principles:

Freedom in the classroom.

Perhaps you’ve already seen the new(ish) AAUP report Freedom in the Classroom, or Michael Bérubé’s commentary on it at Inside Higher Ed yesterday. The report is such a clear statement of what a professor’s freedom in the classroom amounts to and, more importantly, why that freedom is essential if we are to accomplish the task…

We’re going to discuss this at a Socrates Café gathering next week, but I suspect there are current and former students and educators reading who have a view, so I’m opening it up: Is extra credit fair?

The good news: My department chair really likes the project I’ve proposed for my sabbatical leave. The bad news: The smart money says that my leave won’t be approved unless I cut down the amount I say I’ll accomplish during the year off. That’s right. If you have a lot you want to get accomplished,…

Over-amplified live music. (You’d think a church group — which is what this band turns out to be — would be down with acoustic music instead.) If we don’t get our DSL back soon, I’m going to need some really good earplugs.