Category Archives: Education

A New Breakthrough In The Annals Of Academic Ethics

A new definition of research misconduct:

My previous post illustrated numerous ethical conflicts that can arise for researchers. But when it comes to conflicts between your conscience and your colleagues, or the public and your colleagues, any perceived responsibility to your colleagues has to take a back seat.

But it seems that in academic science, responsibility to your colleagues and their opinions, their declarations of consensus, their reputations, is apparently regarded by many researchers as the paramount consideration, viz. the circling of the wagons that occurred in Climategate.

This concern about ‘responsibility’ to your colleagues seems only to extend to colleagues who happen to agree with you.

Academic science, and academia in general, is very, very sick.

“Digging In Their Heels” On Climate

Note the implicit but potentially false assumption in this paper.

[Update a few minutes later]

Related: Note to global-warming alarmists: You’re doing it wrong:

The arguments about global warming too often sound more like theology than science. Oh, the word “science” gets thrown around a great deal, but it’s cited as a sacred authority, not a fallible process that staggers only awkwardly and unevenly toward the truth, with frequent lurches in the wrong direction. I cannot count the number of times someone has told me that they believe in “the science,” as if that were the name of some omniscient god who had delivered us final answers written in stone. For those people, there can be only two categories in the debate: believers and unbelievers. Apostles and heretics.

This is, of course, not how science works, and people who treat it this way are not showing their scientific bona fides; they are violating the very thing in which they profess such deep belief. One does not believe in “science” as an answer; science is a way of asking questions. At any given time, that method produces a lot of ideas, some of which are correct, and many of which are false, in part or in whole.


[Update Wednesday morning]

The Democrats’ War On Science:

The name-calling, divisive “debate” around climate change is not just bad science and bad public policy making, but as I noted yesterday, it’s not even good political tactics. If either side could point to a lot of progress and say “Yes, it’s unsavory, but it works” — well, I still wouldn’t like it, but I’d have to concede that it was effective.

But throughout decades of increasingly angry delegitimization of the skeptics, decades in which the vilification has actually increased in volume even as most of the skeptics have moved toward the activists on the basic scientific questions, the net result in public policy has been very little.

And hopefully, will continue to be.

Charles Koch

…and the Republic of Science.

There are few people in public life so misunderstood and/or mischaracterized as the brothers Koch.

[Update a few minutes later

Check out this amusing bit of projection:

“We really see higher education as the first cog in their political machine,” said Kalin Jordan, a co-founder of UnKochMyCampus. “They see themselves as creating the next generation [of libertarian thinkers] and in creating a next generation, they’re really pushing out any other thought on campus. They’re not interested in creating diversity of thoughts.”

Translation: “They’re fighting back against our successful decades-long fight to push out any thoughts on campus that aren’t leftist.”