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Science can be corrupted
Posted: 23 October 2013 01:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
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Back to the original subject; once again from the Economist:

http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21588069-scientific-research-has-changed-world-now-it-needs-change-itself-how-science-goes-wrong

http://www.economist.com/news/briefing/21588057-scientists-think-science-self-correcting-alarming-degree-it-not-trouble


Basically it appears the way scientists (professors) are remunerated and advance in their careers is a main part of the problem.  They are being rewarded, not for good science but for coming up with something “new”  without regards for whether the research can be replicated. 

Actually, IMO, these articles shows one of the strengths of modern science in that it can be and often is self correcting on many different levels.  These articles do this by showing the need for a change to the rewards systems currently dominant.

[ Edited: 23 October 2013 01:05 PM by garythehuman ]
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Posted: 24 October 2013 09:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
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And by “new” I’ll bet they mean something that can be turned into a new product. Just another symptom of consumerism as implemented by the fascist takeover, er, the success of democracy!

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Posted: 24 October 2013 10:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
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Dead Monky - 16 October 2013 08:02 AM
Lois - 15 October 2013 09:50 AM

Following the scientific method puts you on much firmer ground than any other methodology. Of course it’s not perfect, but it’s closer to perfection than religion or politics, neither of which use objective tests for their premises.  The scientific method does. You can denigrate science all you want when it suits you, but you use it every day. Your life depends on it.

Lois

I’m not denigrating science.  (That you assume I am raises an interesting little flag.)  I’m simply pointing out that any system dependent upon human beings for it’s function and implementation, no matter how theoretically sound it otherwise is, is vulnerable to corruption and abuse.  And to deny or ignore such a reality is the very sort of blind, unwavering faith that allows it to happen.  And lends credence to Gary’s initial argument.

I might have missed your drift. As I said before, anything created and used by humans is susceptible to corruption. 

That doesn’t mean we can’t find ways to discover corruption, point it out and correct it. IMO it’s more likely to be done by those using critical thinking and in systems that don’t avoid it.

Lois

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Posted: 25 October 2013 07:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
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Lois - 24 October 2013 10:21 AM

I might have missed your drift. As I said before, anything created and used by humans is susceptible to corruption. 

That doesn’t mean we can’t find ways to discover corruption, point it out and correct it. IMO it’s more likely to be done by those using critical thinking and in systems that don’t avoid it.

Lois

Then we’re in agreement.

Honestly, it’s been too many days for me to care or remember what this was all about.

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Posted: 25 October 2013 07:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
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CuthbertJ - 24 October 2013 09:55 AM

And by “new” I’ll bet they mean something that can be turned into a new product. Just another symptom of consumerism as implemented by the fascist takeover, er, the success of democracy!

Not necessarily a new product; they mean something that is considered a scientific break through.

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Posted: 10 November 2013 09:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
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Science not only can be corrupted, but silly as well.

Which way does your dog’s tail wag?  LOL

http://www.economist.com/news/science-and-technology/21588841-canines-have-lateralised-brainsjust-people-wag-dog

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Posted: 10 November 2013 09:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
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All my dogs wag their tails in 180 degree arcs when happy. They do not wag when threatened. I saw this article a week or so ago and thought it was silly. Thanks for providing the link.

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Posted: 11 November 2013 09:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
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I find it curious that no one picked up on the issue of “open-access journals” and the veracity of their product

garythehuman - 10 October 2013 11:44 AM

economist article on how science can be corrupted for personal gain.

http://www.economist.com/news/science-and-technology/21587197-it-seems-dangerously-easy-get-scientific-nonsense-published-sciences-sokal *

This shows that some scientists are no less corruptible than some preachers, and many scientific publishers are no better than some religious organizations.

It just means we are all human and many of us often use our skills and training for the betterment of our own selves rather than the benefit of general society, even if it means we are being dishonest.

*  The publications Dr Bohannon selected for his sting operation were all open-access journals.

These make papers available free, and cover their costs by charging authors a fee (typically $1,000-2,000).

Policymakers have been keen on such periodicals of late.

Since taxpayers already sponsor most academic research, the thinking goes, providing free access to its fruits does not seem unreasonable.

But critics of the open-access model have long warned that making authors rather than readers their client risks skewing publishers’ incentives towards tolerating shoddy science.

My own limited experience gives me the impression that “open access” too often seems to put the conclusion before the evidence.

And although some folks constantly claim main stream science is all corrupt

I still like the ideas of peer reviewed journals. . .
Once a paper has passed peer review,
it gets published and read and then
it has to pass the real review of the “community of educated colleagues”.

Journal articles are read by experts and students (official & un-official) where the entire community of experts has a chance to weight in.


Sure seems to me that the established system has many more checks and balances built in than special interest “open-access journals”.

Don’t get me wrong the open access stuff is cool - but isn’t it sort of a hobbyists thing more than serious raw knuckles science?


Whereas,  the other is composed of folks who have endured the education and training needed to achieve genuine fluency and expertise in one chosen arena.

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Posted: 12 November 2013 10:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]
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garythehuman - 25 October 2013 07:57 AM
CuthbertJ - 24 October 2013 09:55 AM

And by “new” I’ll bet they mean something that can be turned into a new product. Just another symptom of consumerism as implemented by the fascist takeover, er, the success of democracy!

Not necessarily a new product; they mean something that is considered a scientific break through.

Actually I said “turned into a new product”, or monetized to use the right lingo. So yes, they might be looking for a so-called scientific breakthrough, but I’ll bet if you dig deeper the motivation for that is to make money, more money, and hey, if we can save a few lives or whatever, so much the better.

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Posted: 17 November 2013 09:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]
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I agree. saying science can be corrupted is like saying religion can be corrupted or politics. Parts of any human-created organization will be corrupted ...


I would like to distinguish between science and “scientific organizations.” While I agree with a scientific organization being corrupt, I should take exception with science itself. Science is the collection of objective, dynamic, and verifiable truths. You cannot corrupt Einstein’s theory of relativity. If it is corrupted it is not science. Scientific “organizations,” on the other hand, consist of “people,” who can be corrupted.

Sam

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Posted: 17 November 2013 09:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]
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Sam Hertzinger - 17 November 2013 09:02 AM

I agree. saying science can be corrupted is like saying religion can be corrupted or politics. Parts of any human-created organization will be corrupted ...


I would like to distinguish between science and “scientific organizations.” While I agree with a scientific organization being corrupt, I should take exception with science itself. Science is the collection of objective, dynamic, and verifiable truths. You cannot corrupt Einstein’s theory of relativity. If it is corrupted it is not science. Scientific “organizations,” on the other hand, consist of “people,” who can be corrupted.

Sam

I don’t totally disagree with that.  The problem is that these “scientific organizations” are composed of humans with all our drawbacks; egos etc. pretty much control the development of science and scientists today.

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Posted: 17 November 2013 11:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]
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garythehuman - 17 November 2013 09:50 AM
Sam Hertzinger - 17 November 2013 09:02 AM

I agree. saying science can be corrupted is like saying religion can be corrupted or politics. Parts of any human-created organization will be corrupted ...


I would like to distinguish between science and “scientific organizations.” While I agree with a scientific organization being corrupt, I should take exception with science itself. Science is the collection of objective, dynamic, and verifiable truths. You cannot corrupt Einstein’s theory of relativity. If it is corrupted it is not science. Scientific “organizations,” on the other hand, consist of “people,” who can be corrupted.

Sam

I don’t totally disagree with that.  The problem is that these “scientific organizations” are composed of humans with all our drawbacks; egos etc. pretty much control the development of science and scientists today.

Exactly. There will never be a system that isn’t corruptible by human nature. The best we can do is to keep that in mind when creating systems and be ever vigilent to know when it’s happening.  The worst thing we can do is assume the system is foolproof or that someone won’t find a way to corrupt it. There will always be someone who will be able corrupt any system. 

Lois

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Posted: 17 November 2013 01:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]
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I agree with Sam.  If we define the laws of a ten based arithmetic, and someone writes a paper claiming that two plus two is really five, that doesn’t mean the arithmetic is corrupted, just that the person is wrong.  Science is merely a discipline, and it can’t be corrupted, only those misusing it can be corrupted.

Occam

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Posted: 17 November 2013 03:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]
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Occam. - 17 November 2013 01:58 PM

I agree with Sam.  If we define the laws of a ten based arithmetic, and someone writes a paper claiming that two plus two is really five, that doesn’t mean the arithmetic is corrupted, just that the person is wrong.  Science is merely a discipline, and it can’t be corrupted, only those misusing it can be corrupted.

Occam

 

The problem is we don’t always know what science is and is not until after the claim has been widely tested. . There were plenty of people who accepted Pons and Fleischmann’s cold fusion until it was shown to be false. This is also the case with “alternative” medicines and conspiracy theories. It’s often what gives science and its organizations a bad name. Everything can’t be tested immediately. Even scientists are often not skeptical enough. And the general public is gullible.

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Posted: 17 November 2013 04:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]
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You’re right, Lois, but the problem is the difference between the way the public and good scientists (Bit of ego here, because I include myself. smile  ) look at reports.  For example, my belief system breaks down about like this.  1) Complete belief = something I’ve verified myself, e.g., gravity;  2) Tentative belief = something that’s been around for a long time and has been reviewed and tested by quite a few scientists, Relativity;  3) Sounds likely = A report of something that makes sense within my prior experience, weather probability predictions;  4) Interesting but I’ll have to see more work by others on this = Something new that sounds strange, cold fusion;  5) Oh geez, another nut masquerading as a scientist = “Alternative” medicine and global warming deniers.

The problem is that the public is too quick to believe anything “experts” say, and that includes “scientists”, politicians, religious leaders, etc.  We really need to teach kids very thoroughly to use critical thinking as a matter of course.

Occam

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