Adventures in Ethics and Science

Archives for May, 2008

Over at Philosopher’s Playground, Steve Gimbel asks why the philosophy of chemistry is such a recent discipline given how long there has been serious activity in the philosophy of biology and the philosophy of physics. He floats a few possible answers — as it happens, the same options those of us who actually do philosophy…

A week ago, while I was busy grading and being tenured, the Society for Vertebrate Paleontology released its report on the allegations that have come to be known as “Aetogate” (about which I’ve posted here, here, here, and here). ReBecca was kind enough to forward the Statement from the Executive Committee (PDF) and the accompanying…

Last weekend, while I was still in the throes of grading, my better half decided to take the Free-Ride offspring on a hike (or, in the Free-Ride vernacular, a “death march”). The younger Free-Ride offspring reports back on some of the salient details. Dr. Free-Ride: Can you tell me what you saw on your death…

Since I read it last Friday I have been meaning to say something about this article in Inside Higher Ed about why female academic appear to have lower birthrates than male academics and than female professionals in other fields. Of course, between work and family obligations (and grinding fatigue) it’s taken me until now to…

In today’s Chronicle of Higher Education there’s an article about the methods journal publishers are deploying to detect doctored images in scientific manuscripts. From the article:

Yesterday, heading out to lunch with some colleagues, I noticed some of the other people out on the street were … oddly attired. We saw these folks as we were passing by a cinema, so our first thought was, “Maybe this has something to do with the Speed Racer movie?” And then we remembered the…

The letter.

In my faculty mailbox today: After a review of the tenure evaluations and recommendations of the appropriate committees and administrators … I am pleased to inform you that your service to the University merits the award of tenure. I am also pleased to inform you that you have been promoted to the rank of Associate…

Elder offspring: Since soccer season is over, you should take us someplace fun on Saturday. Dr. Free-Ride: Well, Saturday morning I’ll be at commencement, and I think I’ll need to spend at least part of Saturday afternoon grading. Younger offspring: Aww, do you have to go to commencement? Dr. Free-Ride: Yes, I have to. This…

Another dispatch from grading Hell (fourth circle), in which the reader gains some insight into circumstances which evoke my sympathy, and circumstances which do not. I have this pedagogical strategy where I try to make my students think more than they have to write. One way this strategy manifests itself is in how I deal…

I am in grading Hell. I expect to be here until at least Memorial Day (Monday), and possibly through Tuesday. (Does that mean I’m actually in grading Purgatory? Please advise.) Anyway, in a private communication, PhysioProf asked, As you get grumpier from grading, do you grade harsher? If I did, that would be an unfortunate…