Adventures in Ethics and Science

Archives for March, 2010

Preventing Plagiarism.

Especially in student papers, plagiarism is an issue that it seems just won’t go away. However, instructors cannot just give up and permit plagiarism without giving up most of their pedagogical goals and ideals. As tempting a behavior as this may be (at least to some students, if not to all), it is our duty…

That post about how hard it is to clean up the scientific literature has spawned an interesting conversation in the comments. Perhaps predictably, the big points of contention seem to be how big a problem a few fraudulent papers in the literature really are (given the self-correcting nature of science and all that), and whether…

In the last post, we looked at a piece of research on how easy it is to clean up the scientific literature in the wake of retractions or corrections prompted by researcher misconduct in published articles. Not surprisingly, in the comments on that post there was some speculation about what prompts researchers to commit scientific…

Science is supposed to be a project centered on building a body of reliable knowledge about the universe and how various pieces of it work. This means that the researchers contributing to this body of knowledge — for example, by submitting manuscripts to peer reviewed scientific journals — are supposed to be honest and accurate…

Earlier this week, the younger Free-Ride offspring “made a bad decision” about time utilization at the after school program, electing to play outside and do a project before doing homework, meaning the homework was still unfinished when I arrived to fetch the sprogs. The standard consequence for this is, apparently, one of the greatest horrors…

In a post last month, I noted that not all (maybe even not many) supporters of animal rights are violent extremists, and that Bruins for Animals is a group committed to the animal rights position that was happy to take a public stand against the use of violence and intimidation to further the cause of…

Earlier this week, I got to judge projects at a Science Fair, which, as usual, was loads of fun. This year, however, owing to budget cuts and staffing cuts and things like that, there will be no science fair at the sprogs’ elementary school. We are wistful about this, especially after the fun we had…

Our online world is searchable, but it seems likely than not all of our searches are destined to be fruitful. Here are some searches that have recently brought people to this blog:

Once again, I’m going to “get meta” on that recent paper on blogs as a channel of scientific communication I mentioned in my last post. Here, the larger question I’d like to consider is how peer review — the back and forth between authors and reviewers, mediated (and perhaps even refereed by) journal editors —…

There’s a recent paper on blogs as a channel of scientific communication that has been making the rounds. Other bloggers have discussed the paper and its methodology in some detail (including but not limited to Bora and DrugMonkey and Dr. Isis), so I’m not going to do that. Rather, I want to pull back and…