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Posts Tagged "methodology"

Doing Good Science

A guide for science guys trying to understand the fuss about that shirt.

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This is a companion to the last post, focused more specifically on the the question of how men in science who don’t really get what the fuss over Rosetta mission Project Scientist Matt Taylor’s shirt was about could get a better understanding of the objections — and of why they might care. (If the story [...]

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Doing Good Science

Conduct of scientists (and science writers) can shape the public’s view of science.

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Scientists undertake a peculiar kind of project. In striving to build objective knowledge about the world, they are tacitly recognizing that our unreflective picture of the world is likely to be riddled with mistakes and distortions. On the other hand, they frequently come to regard themselves as better thinkers — as more reliably objective — [...]

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Doing Good Science

A suggestion for those arguing about the causal explanation for fewer women in science and engineering fields.

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People are complex, as are the social structures they build (including but not limited to educational institutions, workplaces, and professional communities). Accordingly, the appropriate causal stories to account for the behaviors and choices of humans, individually and collectively, are bound to be complex. It will hardly ever be the case that there is a single [...]

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Doing Good Science

Pub-Style Science: dreams of objectivity in a game built around power.

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This is the third and final installment of my transcript of the Pub-Style Science discussion about how (if at all) philosophy can (or should) inform scientific knowledge-building. Leading up to this part of the conversation, we were considering the possibility that the idealization of the scientific method left out a lot of the details of [...]

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Doing Good Science

Pub-Style Science: exclusion, inclusion, and methodological disputes.

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This is the second part of my transcript of the Pub-Style Science discussion about how (if at all) philosophy can (or should) inform scientific knowledge-building, wherein we discuss methodological disputes, who gets included or excluded in scientific knowledge-building, and ways the exclusion or inclusion might matter. Also, we talk about power gradients and make the [...]

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Doing Good Science

Pub-Style Science: philosophy, hypotheses, and the scientific method.

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Last week I was honored to participate in a Pub-Style Science discussion about how (if at all) philosophy can (or should) inform scientific knowledge-building. Some technical glitches notwithstanding, it was a rollicking good conversation — so much so that I have put together a transcript for those who don’t want to review the archived video. [...]

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Doing Good Science

Brief thoughts on uncertainty.

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For context, these thoughts follow upon a very good session at ScienceOnline Together 2014 on “How to communicate uncertainty with the brevity that online communication requires.” Two of the participants in the session used Storify to collect tweets of the discussion (here and here). About a month later, this does less to answer the question [...]

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Doing Good Science

Engagement with science needs more than heroes

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Narratives about the heroic scientist are not what got me interested in science. It was (and still is) hard for me to connect with a larger-than-life figure when my own aspirations have always been pretty life-sized. Also, there’s the fact that the scientific heroes whose stories have been told have mostly been heroes, not heroines, [...]

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Doing Good Science

How plagiarism hurts knowledge-building: Obligations of scientists (part 4)

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In the last post, we discussed why fabrication and falsification are harmful to scientific knowledge-building. The short version is that if you’re trying to build a body of reliable knowledge about the world, making stuff up (rather than, say, making careful observations of that world and reporting those observations accurately) tends not to get you [...]

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Doing Good Science

Credibility, bias, and the perils of having too much fun.

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If you’re a regular reader of this blog (or, you know, attentive at all to the world around you), you will have noticed that scientific knowledge is built by human beings, creatures that, even on the job, resemble other humans more closely than they do Mr. Spock or his Vulcan conspecifics. When an experiment yields [...]

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