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Scientific honesty

  1. Apr 1, 2009 #1
    Dear PFers,

    I remember once reading of an article on scientific honesty, maybe it was in SciAm. Individuals passionate with science, making up a significant portion of the research community, may picture challenge as stimulating or even exciting. It is a great deal of pleasure when you finally get to manipulate quantum theory equations, and I even sometimes feel nostalgic remembering those blessed days when I was discovering the craziest ideas, which I knew were crazy enough and became established science. I hope the majority of my fellow researchers would share this background when facing with difficulties in their work.

    Would someone happen to remember of this article accounting for those very rare events when published articles are proven to be fake data or mathematical falsity ? Or maybe you can report here if you simply happen to know such a story.

    Thank you in advance for your contributions :smile:
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 1, 2009 #2
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
  4. Apr 1, 2009 #3


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  5. Apr 1, 2009 #4
  6. Apr 1, 2009 #5
    Thanks again all for the feedback. I think the article I read at that time was about this guy from Bell's lab. I finally came across wikipedia's web page on scientific misconduct and the list is quite impressive...
  7. Apr 2, 2009 #6
    This topic reminds me of a Feynman talk called "Cargo Cult Science" http://www.pd.infn.it/~loreti/science.html"

    Here's the key excerpt:

    "But there is one feature I notice that is generally missing in cargo cult science. That is the idea that we all hope you have learned in studying science in school -- we never say explicitly what this is, but just hope that you catch on by all the examples of scientific investigation. It is interesting, therefore, to bring it out now and speak of it explicitly. It's a kind of scientific integrity, a principle of scientific thought that corresponds to a kind of utter honesty -- a kind of leaning over backwards. For example, if you're doing an experiment, you should report everything that you think might make it invalid -- not only what you think is right about it: other causes that could possibly explain your results; and things you thought of that you've eliminated by some other experiment, and how they worked -- to make sure the other fellow can tell they have been eliminated. "
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
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