Adventures in Ethics and Science

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:

what temperature does mucus melt at

Do I smell a science fair project? (Or am I too stuffed up?)

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tenure neuroscience dossier online

I am hopeful that the searcher in this case was looking for an exemplar. It would, of course, be a horrible idea to “find” one’s tenure dossier online in the same way that some students seem to “find” research papers online.

* * * * *

passenger breast feeds a monkey

I can’t even come up with a plausible hypothesis as to what this search string was meant to locate. (If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind tattoo, however, this has promise.)

Comments

  1. #1 AcademicLurker
    March 19, 2010

    Off topic question for Dr. Free-ride: Have you seen

    “On Fact and Fraud: Cautionary Tales from the Front Lines of Science” by David Goodstein?

    If so, what’s your professional opinion?

    Just curious.

  2. #2 Ged
    March 19, 2010

    If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind tattoo, however, this has promise.

    Awww, you made me spray wine on my keyboard.

  3. #3 Max
    March 20, 2010

    Perhaps the last would be clearer if you imagined a hyphen between breast and feeds.

  4. #4 Fannin
    March 26, 2010

    Perhaps the third searcher was looking for information on Mrs. Namita Das of India, who found a dying orphaned infant monkey under a tree after a storm and decided to raise him as her son (the monkey has two human older sisters).

    The story I read suggests that not only is Mrs. Das completely serious about Buru (the monkey) being her son rather than a pet but that she buys him things she says she can’t afford for her daughters. “Many Indian mothers pamper their sons and give them what is denied to daughters. They believe the family is not complete without a son and crave for one. … But it is rare for anyone to adopt a monkey.”

    I have no idea why your blog would have appeared in the hits for this search string before you posted this, and I have no idea why someone would choose to look at your blog rather than at the multiple stories about Buru Das that also showed up at the top of the results.

    Or maybe the searcher wasn’t looking for information on the Das family at all and looked at your blog because it clearly wasn’t about them. I don’t know. I’ve decided that my curiosity has been satisfied.

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