Methodology

Adventures in Ethics and Science

Category archives for Methodology

At Uncertain Principles, Chad opines that “research methods” look different on the science-y side of campus than they do for his colleagues in the humanities and social sciences: When the college revised the general education requirements a few years ago, one of the new courses created had as one of its key goals to teach…

Here we continue our examination of the final report (PDF) of the Investigatory Committee at Penn State University charged with investigating an allegation of scientific misconduct against Dr. Michael E. Mann made in the wake of the ClimateGate media storm. The specific question before the Investigatory Committee was: “Did Dr. Michael Mann engage in, or…

When you’re investigating charges that a scientist has seriously deviated from accepted practices for proposing, conducting, or reporting research, how do you establish what the accepted practices are? In the wake of ClimateGate, this was the task facing the Investigatory Committee at Penn State University investigating the allegation (which the earlier Inquiry Committee deemed worthy…

Way back in early February, we discussed the findings of the misconduct inquiry against Michael Mann, an inquiry that Penn State University mounted in the wake of “numerous communications (emails, phone calls, and letters) accusing Dr. Michael E. Mann of having engaged in acts that included manipulating data, destroying records and colluding to hamper the…

Session description: Much of the science that goes out to the general public through books, newspapers, blogs and many other sources is not professionally fact checked. As a result, much of the public’s understanding of science is based on factual errors. This discussion will focus on what scientists and journalists can do to fix that…

Dismal, yes, but is it science?

As I was driving home from work today, I was listening to Marketplace on public radio. In the middle of a story, reported by Nancy Marshall Genzer, about opponents of health care reform, there was an interesting comment that bears on the nature of economics as a scientific discipline. From the transcript of the story:…

When collaboration ends badly.

Back before I was sucked into the vortex of paper-grading, an eagle-eyed Mattababy pointed me to a very interesting post by astronomer Mike Brown. Brown details his efforts to collaborate with another team of scientists who were working on the same scientific question he was working on, what became of that attempted collaboration, and the…

Over at Starts with a Bang, Ethan Siegel expressed exasperation that Nature and New Scientist are paying attention to (and lending too much credibility to) an astronomical theory Ethan views as a non-starter, Modified Netwonian Dynamics (or MOND): [W]hy is Nature making a big deal out of a paper like this? Why are magazines like…

In a recent post, Candid Engineer raised some interesting questions about data and ethics:

You may recall my examination earlier this month of a paper by Johnson and Stricker published in the Journal of Medical Ethics. In my view, it was not a terribly well-argued or coherent example of a paper on medical ethics. Now, judging from an eLetter to the journal from Anne Gershon, the president of the…