Science Needs Vigilantes

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by longknife, Jan 1, 2014.

  1. longknife
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    longknife Gold Member

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    By Neuroskeptic | December 31, 2013

    Lately, there have been increasing numbers of online, unofficial – what might be called vigilante – investigations into published scientific work.

    [​IMG]
    vigilance

    The blog Retraction Watch and its comment section are a good example of this. Commenters, often anonymous, will get onto the trail of a certain researcher (generally following a retraction) and scrutinize their publications (e.g. here) looking for plagiarism, image manipulation, statistically improbable data, or other evidence of bad practice.

    At last, people are beginning to question “scientific findings” to determine whether or not they're politically motivated or actually good science. This article has lots of links and is well-worth reading @ Science Needs Vigilantes - Neuroskeptic | DiscoverMagazine.com
     
  2. Steven_R
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    Steven_R Tommy Vercetti Fan Club

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    Before we condone scientific vigilantism, how do we know the vigilantes even know what they are reading, much less why a paper is wrong? I don't want scientists spending all their time defending themselves from the allegations that some neckbeard that failed College Algebra makes.
     
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  3. Old Rocks
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    Old Rocks Gold Member

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    And when we find that some idiot has been doing nothing but lying on his or her allegations, the scientist has every right to sue the living shit out of that person. Cuccinelle, ex-attorney general of Virginia, and failed Governortorial candidate comes to mind. What a complete asshole.
     
  4. longknife
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    longknife Gold Member

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    And you just have no choice but to bring politics into a discussion of science?

    How calm and reasoned. :eusa_whistle:
     
  5. flacaltenn
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    flacaltenn USMB Mod Staff Member

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    There's a need for review of ANY science that affects public policy. Currently we have all KINDS of vigilantes weighing in.. CongressCritters, Sierra Club, consumer groups, corporations, and a long list of folks that aren't known FIRST for their social awkwardness and academic credentials.

    Can scientists COPE with that? Sure.. Because if they don't WANT all that attention, they will refrain from "stirring the pot"..

    Just finished reading Richard Feynmanns excellent autobio... He not only was a Manhattan Project bomb scientist, but contributed WIDELY outside his field of physics and was a beloved professor who taught WHAT SCIENCE REALLY IS..

    Wouldn't NEED vigilantes if those concepts didn't get lost every time science merged with Industry or Government to promote a position.. Since we lost the giants like Feyman, science has been TAUGHT and PROMULGATED as an advocacy weapon. Even HS texts rush to use highly charged cultural examples instead of better and broader application examples. Young student minds are not yet SKEPTICAL enough to separate authority from proof. And the general public and press are not skeptical enough by nature.

    If it takes vigilantes to RESTORE a sense of service and humility to science and method, then maybe its a good thing..
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2014
  6. flacaltenn
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    flacaltenn USMB Mod Staff Member

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    Might as well toss in the most important of those Feyman words. Here's the hell he sees for scientists that DON'T show enough honesty and humility..

    That speech ought to be the required reading for all College of Arts and Sciences freshman..
     
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  7. rdean
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    rdean rddean

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    Top 10 NASA Inventions You Use Everyday

    NASA's inventions benefit our lives on Earth - Technology & science - Space - Space.com | NBC News

    Apollo 11 moon landing: top 15 Nasa inventions - Telegraph

    Republicans think science is a faith. Like religion. They simply don't connect the computer they use or the tools the doctor uses. Or the medicines they take. Or what farmers have been taught and the feed they use. None of it to "scientists". Or alloys. Or what keeps food safe. The list of how science touches us is endless. And Republicans simply don't see the connection.

    In fact, most Republicans actually believe most scientists are employed by government.

    It's not just Democrats or Independents, but the entire world shakes it's collective head at the ignorance of such a large group of white people who live in both ignorance and the most advanced country in the world. Thank God for Blue States.
     
  8. rdean
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    rdean rddean

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    Climate change, evolution, Republicans have been bringing politics into science for the last 30 years.
     
  9. Matthew
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    Matthew Blue dog all the way!

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    This means it needs to be defunded!!! The conslosetives want too

    DEFUND SPACE TRAVEL
    DEFUND NEW TELESCOPES TO discover more extraplanets
    DEFUND the next generation of weather satellites
    Defund nws
    Defund nhc
    Defund and leave to die the people surviving extreme events

    Fuck you republicans.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2014
  10. Matthew
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    Matthew Blue dog all the way!

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    I don't know what kind of brain disfuction can lead some moron to hate science so much? Do they wish we never developed the tech to double life spans, do they wish we never started to give our children education???

    What kind of shit is this????
     

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