To be honest

Bruce Alberts, the new editor-in-chief of Science magazine, has in his March, 21 editorial a nice comment that I would like to highlight here

Scientists share a common way of reaching conclusions that is based not only on the evidence and logic, but also requires honesty, creativity, and openess to new ideas.

Struggling in an area where no (or only seldom) conclusions ar being reached, I agree with Alberts that there are massive problems with an insufficient education. Evidence and logic need to be taught in classes of science philosopy – the theoretical aspect – and need to be trained in literature seminars – the practical experience.
Failure to reach conclusions, however, is often caused by lacking honesty. This is not a story about faking data, but about putting the focus on impact, publishable units, dropping outliers and downsizing unexpected outcomes. To be honest, much science is not honest.

Addendum

I forgot a reference to the Nylenna-Simonsen Misconduct Diagram. The SZ today reports an American saying “He doesn’t suffer fools gladly” which I like very much.

One thought on “To be honest”

Comments are closed.