Adventures in Ethics and Science

Science fair projects are due Tuesday morning. Can you guess what we’re doing today?


The elder Free-Ride offspring tried to argue that preliminary experiments (growing crystals from solutions four different solids) had to be omitted from the project write-up. Why? Well, because the elder Free-Ride offspring had originally planned to use solutions of two additional solids in this experiment. It’s unthinkable that anything was learned from growing four kinds of crystals rather than six! And reporting on unfinished experiments is just not done!

Or, the Free-Ride parental units hypothesized, perhaps this decision reflected a desire to type less rather than more.

Speaking of typing, the younger Free-Ride offspring is currently typing a project write-up. The typing is one-handed, but the hunting for letters on the keyboard is relatively quick. Also, the younger Free-Ride offspring opines that MS Word’s powers of table creation are most excellent.

Earlier today, the younger offspring collected the last of the data on the trying-to-dissolve-avocado-in-different-liquids experiments. Given the length of time that had elapsed since the fresh avocado was placed in the liquids, we decided that today’s observations didn’t need to include taste (as they had earlier in the experiment). Observing the smells of the different samples helped us feel like skipping the tasting was a very good call.

The displays, needless to say, are not completed yet (although our colorful printer paper and spray adhesive is poised for our use). But there is hope that we may get to do something tomorrow besides gluing text blocks and photos and arguing over details recorded in lab notebooks but omitted from write-ups.