Adventures in Ethics and Science

Today, on account of the fact that I’m pinned down doing course updating activities, I present you with a poll. In answering the question, go ahead and use whatever is your preferred definition of “civility”.

Of course, use the comments to discuss to your heart’s content (including where I went wrong in constructing the poll options).


  1. #1 becca
    January 11, 2010

    In order of incompatibility with civility, from least to greatest:
    the status of funding/jobs for scientific trainees nowadays; string theory; same-sex marriage; the status of underrepresented minorities in science; climate change; any issue where some blogger is using a poll to generate something with the appearance of empirical data; animal research/animal rights; drug laws; health care reform; vaccination; anything to do with religion (including atheism); abortion; anything involving comrade physio prof; rainbows and puppies

  2. #2 Michelle Dawson
    January 11, 2010

    Autism is in a league of its own.

  3. #3 Grant
    January 12, 2010

    I have a suspicion that the nationality of the voter will affect their vote, e.g. in some countries gay marriage is less of an issue, ditto for religion.

  4. #4 Pat Cahalan
    January 12, 2010

    Tisk, tisk, you violated one of Dillman’s principles for writing survey questions: “Develop response categories that are mutually exclusive.”

    “Anything to do with religion (including atheism)” intersects with… well, almost everything else on the list, in one way or the other ;)

  5. #5 domsooch
    January 12, 2010

    I voted for vaccination, but wow geez religion is the clear winnah. You now know what to write about Janet. WooooHooooo! I’m rarin’ fer a FahYer FaHight!!

  6. #6 kickabout
    January 13, 2010

    One of my favorites isn’t on the list. Want to see a breakdown in civility? Go visit the comments section of any NYTimes article on infertility. Yowza.

  7. #7 Adam_Y
    January 14, 2010

    Hehehehhe…. Depends on what crazy guy shows up. The whole canoe stunt almost rivals eating babies.

  8. #8 truth is life
    January 15, 2010

    The places I usually visit, it’s nationalism. You haven’t seen a flame war until you’ve seen Bosnians, Albanians, Serbs, and Croats all arguing about which country a certain town belongs to…

  9. #9 Skeptico
    January 16, 2010

    You forgot genetic engineering. Although the one I voted for – climate change – would still win in my view.

  10. #10 Epinephrine
    January 17, 2010

    Gun control debates are way up there. I don’t think I’ve seen a group of people quicker to anger than those who are obsessed with carrying guns.

The site is currently under maintenance. New comments have been disabled during this time, please check back soon.