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Posts Tagged "scientist/layperson relations"

Doing Good Science

Successful science outreach means connecting with the people you’re trying to reach.

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Let’s say you think science is cool, or fun, or important to understand (or to do) in our modern world. Let’s say you want to get others who don’t (yet) see science as cool, or fun, or important, to appreciate how cool, how fun, how important it is. Doing that, even on a small scale, [...]

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Doing Good Science

Heroes, human “foibles”, and science outreach.

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“Science is a way of trying not to fool yourself. The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.” – Richard Feynman There is a tendency sometimes to treat human beings as if they were resultant vectors arrived at by adding lots and lots of particular [...]

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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

Some thoughts about human subjects research in the wake of Facebook’s massive experiment.

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You can read the study itself here, plus a very comprehensive discussion of reactions to the study here. 1. If you intend to publish your research in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, you are expected to have conducted that research with the appropriate ethical oversight. Indeed, the submission process usually involves explicitly affirming that you have [...]

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Doing Good Science

Resistance to ethics instruction: considering the hypothesis that moral character is fixed.

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This week I’ve been blogging about the resistance to required ethics coursework one sometimes sees in STEM* disciplines. As one reason for this resistance is the hunch that you can’t teach a person to be ethical once they’re past a certain (pre-college) age, my previous post noted that there’s a sizable body of research that [...]

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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

How to be ethical while getting the public involved in your science

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At ScienceOnline Together later this week, Holly Menninger will be moderating a session on “Ethics, Genomics, and Public Involvement in Science”. Because the ethical (and epistemic) dimensions of “citizen science” have been on my mind for a while now, in this post I share some very broad, pre-conference thoughts on the subject. Ethics is a [...]

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Doing Good Science

The line between persuasion and manipulation.

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As this year’s ScienceOnline Together conference approaches, I’ve been thinking about the ethical dimensions of using empirical findings from psychological research to inform effective science communication (or really any communication). Melanie Tannenbaum will be co-facilitating a session about using such research findings to guide communication strategies, and this year’s session is nicely connected to a [...]

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Doing Good Science

Professors, we need you to do more!

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…though we can’t be bothered to notice all the work you’re already doing, to acknowledge the ways in which the explicit and implicit conditions of your employment make it extremely difficult to do it, or the ways in which other cultural forces, including the pronouncements of New York Times columnists, make the “more” we’re exhorting [...]

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