Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Newtonic oath

  1. Nov 13, 2007 #1
    Hello,

    Even though physics is a professional field practiced by licensed professionals there is no document establishing an ethical code of conduct. For instance, a medical doctor cannot just decide that he wants to use 18th century methods and starts treating his patients with bleeding! But in physics there is no regulation and any physicist can make any definition and call other professionals crackpots and other names. This reduces the prestige of the profession. In order to alleviate this situation I drafted a Newtonic oath in analogy to Hipocratic oath.

    I created a wiki here to discuss the topic.

    I would like to ask the readers of this forum, if they think such a document is needed, and what form should it have, if needed. If physicists take an oath to uphold specific professional rules before they are issued their PhDs would it help make physics a better profession?

    Thanks.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 13, 2007 #2

    Astronuc

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Well according to the Canadian Association of Physicists -
    http://www.cap.ca/about/ethics.html

    And it is being discussed within the American Physical Society
    http://www.physicstoday.org/vol-57/iss-11/p42.html
    02.2 APS GUIDELINES FOR PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT
    http://www.aps.org/statements/02_2.cfm

    It has already been mentioned on PF
    Code Of Ethics
     
  4. Nov 13, 2007 #3

    Doc Al

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    It's certainly in keeping with the rest of the oddball crackpottery that you promote on your site.
     
  5. Nov 13, 2007 #4

    G01

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    I'm sorry, but your post here sounded very serious, but the page you linked to sounds like a Joke. None of those "guidelines" sound serious. Am I missing something?
     
  6. Nov 13, 2007 #5

    Evo

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    :rofl: That's hysterical.
     
  7. Nov 13, 2007 #6

    Astronuc

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Yeah, I took it seriously without checking the page.

    After checking the page, I concur with Evo. :rofl:
     
  8. Nov 13, 2007 #7
    I also concur. This is a joke, right?
     
  9. Nov 13, 2007 #8

    Evo

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    :rofl: this is great -

     
  10. Nov 13, 2007 #9

    BobG

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    I absolutely refuse to adhere to clause 10. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/imaginary

    A synonym for imaginary is Quixotic? So complex numbers have a 'real' part and a 'Quixotic' part? If my grade winds up being a complex number, I hope the 'Quixotic' part isn't greater than the real part.

    Besides, you can't separate the term 'imaginary' from 'number'; it's all one term: 'imaginary number'. That has an entirely different definition than 'imaginary' and you have to know the definition of 'imaginary unit' to understand the definition of 'imaginary number'. It's kind of a complex topic.

    The definition for 'pseudo' makes no sense - I looked that one up in the pseudodictionary, which surely has to be the penultimate authority on the word.
     
  11. Nov 13, 2007 #10

    robphy

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

  12. Nov 13, 2007 #11

    Astronuc

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Yeah

    :rofl:

    :rofl:

    Even Wikipedia is skeptical! :rolleyes:

    One has to wonder if this an effort at self-promotion. :yuck:
     
  13. Nov 13, 2007 #12

    Moonbear

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Actually, your analogy is flawed. A physician could indeed call someone who used 18th Century methods a quack. The Hippocratic oath does not prevent people from selling snake oil, it just provides a code of ethics that real physicians are expected to follow. It's really unnecessary. Scientists also have professional expectations, and when someone makes claims that are not consistent with that professionalism or level of education, they get called crackpots.
     
  14. Nov 13, 2007 #13
    If only Einstein was trying to present his 'stuff' on the forum today--my, my, my-wouldn't some people --(hint, hint)--jump all over him
     
  15. Nov 13, 2007 #14
    The Oakley clause had me laughing for a long time. :rofl:
     
  16. Nov 13, 2007 #15

    Evo

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    No, Einstein wasn't a crackpot that had wild ideas with no basis that appeared as if they had been pulled out of his arse after a very long drinking binge.
     
  17. Nov 13, 2007 #16
  18. Nov 13, 2007 #17
    Thanks everyone for comments. Thanks also to Doc Al. His comment makes me reevaluate what I promote in my blog. The main idea that I promote is scientific skepticism and questioning of authority. I also believe that physics experiments are important and they lose their experimental value when they become sacred and they are no longer duplicated or reevaluated. I have been working on the Cavendish experiment to make it an experiment again, not a miracle that it is now. I also promote a better physics education. I am sorry to read that Doc Al considers these concepts oddball crackpottery. This is one reason why something like Newtonic oath will be helpful in physics. It will establish standards of evidence that everyone agrees upon. Instead of calling each other names then practitioners could evaluate ideas. Calling an idea crackpottery adds nothing to it.

    Thanks again for the comments.
     
  19. Nov 13, 2007 #18

    G01

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    OK as long as it's a joke!:rofl::rofl::rofl:
     
  20. Nov 14, 2007 #19

    ShawnD

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Don't be so sure of that. On a technical (computer) forum I posted something that referenced time dilation, and the first response was by somebody who claimed I was making the whole thing up and that it can't be proven. Even after providing a link to wikipedia, he insisted that it was wrong and there's no way it could be proven.
    I'm talking about something that had been proven decades ago. If Einstein posted that today, he would get shot down faster than a 911 truther.
     
  21. Nov 14, 2007 #20

    turbo

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    ShawnD, by 1920, Einstein was convinced that space (the vacuum) was a dynamical player in not only gravitation and inertial effects, but was also responsible for gravitationally- based refraction as EM propagated through it. His contemporaries (not his peers, since he had none) thought he was nuts for bringing back the concept of an "ether", and almost 100 years later, we are still not a bit closer to uniting gravitation with EM than we were during his lifetime. I was born very shortly after he died, so I have no recollection of him - just an accumulated appreciation for his ideas and an undying respect for his passions in science and humanity.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?



Similar Discussions: Newtonic oath
  1. Newton's Alchemy? (Replies: 30)

  2. Newton and Calculus (Replies: 20)

  3. Einstein vs Newton (Replies: 57)

Loading...