Archive for the 'Introductions' category

Newspaper's editor exposes intern's plagiarism.

The Colorado Springs Gazette discovered that a summer intern in their newsroom published articles with plagiarized passages. The editor of the paper, Jeff Thomas, deemed this plagiarism a breach of the paper's trust with the public:

[R]eporter Hailey Mac Arthur, a college student doing a summer internship in our newsroom, has been dismissed from The Gazette. The Gazette forbids plagiarism, which is the act of employing the creative work of someone else and passing it off as your own. None of the four Gazette articles attributed borrowed material to the [New York] Times, as is required when quoting the work of some other publication.
Here are selected excerpts from the four Gazette stories, paired with links to the Times news stories from which material was inappropriately borrowed. ...

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ScienceBlogs survey, and an invitation to introduce yourself.

First, from the Seed Overlords:

You may have noticed some pretty yellow banner ads around the site this week. They're advertising a huge reader survey that we're conducting right now. Anyone (excepting Seed employees) who fills it out can enter to win an iPod and MacBook Air.
The survey takes about 10 minutes to complete. Here's the survey page:

Then, following the lead of Ed, Bora, DrugMonkey, and Alice, I'd like to invite the readers of this blog, from regular commenters to committed lurkers, to check in.
Tell us who you are, what brings you here, and what brings you back. What do you like reading about here? What topics would you like to see more of?
I'm looking forward to hearing from you!

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Bringing the new neighbors some pi (a Sb 2.0 meme).

In honor of the arrival of all the new neighbors here at ScienceBlogs Towers, here's a little getting-acquainted meme.
3 reasons you blog about science:

  1. To make the scientific method less scary to non-scientists.
  2. To examine the ways in which behaving ethically really makes for better scientific knowledge.
  3. Because I find science endlessly fascinating.

Point at which you would stop blogging:
If I ran out of things to say (which is hard for me to imagine).
1 thing you frequently blog besides science:
Academic stuff (pedagogical musings, rants about cheating, etc.)
4 words that describe your blogging style:

  1. Conversational
  2. Opinionated
  3. Curious
  4. Witty (sometimes ... I hope!)

(More decimal places after the jump!)

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Why "Dr. Free-Ride"?

Jan 18 2006 Published by under Introductions

Longtime readers of the previous incarnation of this blog knew me as "Dr. Free-Ride". Most of them, however, never asked where that pseudonym came from. As it happens, the source of the pseudonym was a class discussion (in my "Ethics in Science" course) that, by its very liveliness, inspired me to start the blog in the first place.
The class discussion was about whether those with scientific training are morally obligated to practice science. Some (like Kristin Shrader-Frechette, in her book Ethics of Scientific Research) have argued that trained scientists have a positive duty to do scientific research because:

  • society has paid for the training the scientists have received (through federal funding of research projects, training programs, etc.)
  • society has pressing needs that can best (only?) be addressed if scientific research is conducted
  • those few members of society who have specialized skills that are needed to address particular societal needs have a duty to use those skills to address those needs (i.e., if you can do research and most other people can't, then to the extent that society as a whole needs the research that you can do, you ought to do it)

It's an interesting claim to examine with a classroom of science majors. How do you suppose it went over?
Since it was early in the term and I was still working to break the ice -- to get the class past polite discussion and into the ring to wrestle with the claims they were reading -- I decided that it was only fair to put myself up as a test-case. Am I a bum -- a free-rider -- by virtue of having scientific training but living the life of a philosopher? That self-examination was the very first post of the original "Adventures in Ethics and Science", which I reproduce in its entirety below the fold.

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A quick tour through the vault.

Jan 12 2006 Published by under Introductions

Because some of you may be new to "Adventures in Ethics and Science" (having found it by way of the high-powered company I'm keeping here at ScienceBlogs), and because a lot of the cool kids here are doin' it, I thought I'd give you a quick run-down of some of my archived posts. A few of these are big-traffic posts via search engine results, while others are posts that are dear to my heart (the "unsung heroes" of the archives). It's my hope that these will give you a taste of some of the issues in ethics and science that seize my hands and make me blog.
Of course, I'm always happy to entertain requests, so if there's an ethics-and-science issue you don't see here but would like to, just give a holler!

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