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Posts Tagged "objectivity"

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

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

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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Doing Good Science

Strategies to address questionable statistical practices.

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If you have not yet read all you want to read about the wrongdoing of social psychologist Diederik Stapel, you may be interested in reading the 2012 Tilburg Report (PDF) on the matter. The full title of the English translation is “Flawed science: the fraudulent research practices of social psychologist Diederik Stapel” (in Dutch, “Falende [...]

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Doing Good Science

Reluctance to act on suspicions about fellow scientists: inside the frauds of Diederik Stapel (part 4).

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It’s time for another post in which I chew on some tidbits from Yudhijit Bhattacharjee’s incredibly thought-provoking New York Times Magazine article (published April 26, 2013) on social psychologist and scientific fraudster Diederik Stapel. (You can also look at the tidbits I chewed on in part 1, part 2, and part 3.) This time I [...]

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Doing Good Science

Building a scientific method around the ideal of objectivity.

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While modern science seems committed to the idea that seeking verifiable facts that are accessible to anyone is a good strategy for building a reliable picture of the world as it really is, historically, these two ideas have not always gone together. Peter Machamer describes a historical moment when these two senses of objectivity were [...]

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Doing Good Science

The challenges of objectivity: lessons from anatomy.

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In the last post, we talked about objectivity as a scientific ideal aimed at building a reliable picture of what the world is actually like. We also noted that this goal travels closely with the notion of objectivity as what anyone applying the appropriate methodology could see. But, as we saw, it takes a great [...]

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Doing Good Science

The ideal of objectivity.

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In trying to figure out what ethics ought to guide scientists in their activities, we’re really asking a question about what values scientists are committed to. Arguably, something that a scientist values may not be valued as much (if at all) by the average person in that scientist’s society. Objectivity is a value – perhaps [...]

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