tribe of science

Adventures in Ethics and Science

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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…

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…

One of the most interesting sessions at the NSF IGERT 2010 Project Meeting was a panel of men and women who participated in the IGERT program as students and are now working in a variety of different careers. The point of the panel was to hear about the ways that they felt their experiences as…

About three weeks ago, I was in Washington, D.C. for the NSF IGERT 2010 Project Meeting. I was invited to speak on a panel on Digital Science (with co-panelists Chris Impey, Moshe Pritzker, and Jean-Claude Bradley, who blogged about it), and later in the meeting I helped to facilitate some discussions of ethics case studies.…

DrugMonkey has a poll up asking for reader reports of the science career advice they have gotten firsthand. Here’s the framing of the poll: It boils down to what I see as traditional scientific career counselling to the effect that there is something wrong or inadvisable about staying in the same geographical location or University…

From the last poll you probably guessed that this one was coming. I expect my graduate students to be working:Market Research I’ll be interested to see whether there’s any correspondence between the hours demanded by PIs who read this blog and the hours demanded of graduate students who read this blog. Once again, feel free…

The issue came up in my “Ethics in Science” class today, so I figured it was worth mounting a quick (and obviously unscientific) poll: My graduate advisor expects or requires me to work:survey software Feel free to discuss in the comments.

A reader writes: I was in a PhD program in materials science, in a group that did biomedical research (biomaterials end of the field) and was appalled at the level of misconduct I saw. Later, I entered an MD program. I witnessed some of the ugliest effects of ambition in the lab there. Do you…

You don’t have to look far to find mutterings about the peer review system, especially about the ways in which anonymous reviewers might hold up your paper or harm your career. On the other hand, there are plenty of champions of the status quo who argue that anonymous peer review is the essential mechanism by…

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…