Adventures in Ethics and Science

Archives for February, 2008

I recently received an email, prompted by my series about having a family and an academic career, asking for some input: I am a mere first year in a Ph.D. program and am a bit older than the other students. I am wholeheartedly committed to the program I am also considering the seemingly traitorous act…

At 6.5 and 8.5 years of age, the Free-Ride offspring sometimes seem more comfortable expressing their understanding of various ideas with drawings rather than just with words. I sometimes wonder where they pick up their visual vocabulary. For example, the younger Free-Ride offspring provides a picture to accompany the discussion of mutants posted two weeks…

All the cool kids were doing this particular round of navel-gazing yesterday and the day before, while I was either dreadfully ill and out of commission or somewhat better and working. (Today was also quite full of work stuff.) However, it’s not an unimportant set of questions, and possibly you’re curious about the answers, so…

A desk of one’s own.

Regular readers of this blog know that I am hoping to be on a sabbatical leave during academic year 2008-2009. Indeed, some of you have asked, “Where are you going to go?” The answer:

Coming on the heels of my basic concepts post about the norms of science identified by sociologist Robert K. Merton [1], and a follow-up post on values from the larger society that compete with these norms, this post will examine norms that run counter to the ones Merton identified that seem to arise from within…

There’s another development in Aetogate, which you’ll recall saw paleontologists William Parker, Jerzy Dzik, and Jeff Martz alleging that Spencer Lucas and his colleagues at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science (NMMNHS) were making use of their work or fossil resources without giving them proper credit. Since I last posted on the…

A while back, I offered a basic concepts post that discussed the four norms identified by sociologist Robert K. Merton [1] as the central values defining the tribe of science. You may recall from that earlier post that the Mertonian norms of science are: Universalism “Communism” Disinterestedness Organized Skepticism It will come as no surprise,…

Seen in a comment on A Philosophy Job Market Blog: … instead of writing “QED” at the end of proofs, I think we should all start writing “pwned.” I want this change to be my legacy to philosophy.

In pondering the effects of nature versus nurture, the Free-Ride parents have become painfully aware that a large part of their offspring’s environment is provided by the kids at school. This is how the sprogs came to be aware of the existence of The Disney Channel, whose offering seem to grate on the parental units…

Yesterday I published a post with suggestions for ways junior scientists could offer some push-back to ethical shenanigans by senior scientists in their field. While admittedly all of these were “baby-steps” kind of measures, the reactions in the comments are conveying a much grimmer picture of scientific communities than one usually gets talking to senior…