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Dreamer

~~~ What qualifies you as a scientist? ~~~

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It beggars belief that you can cite galileo as a 'pure' scientist and yet claim that science can be free of politics. I recommend Dear, Revolutionizing the Sciences, 2001 (palgrave).

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lol @ Wolfson, TOO TRUE!

 

infact the equasion is flexible in the sense that;

 

Anything + Politics = Madness!

 

if we factor out "Anything" as a Zero, we`re left with;

 

Politics = Madness

 

and that statement still holds true :)

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Giles said in post # :

It beggars belief that you can cite galileo as a 'pure' scientist and yet claim that science can be free of politics. I recommend Dear, Revolutionizing the Sciences, 2001 (palgrave).

I did not state that science can be free of politics. I said that a true scientist does not allow politics to dictate results of his/her data. Sometimes at a cost. There is a large difference between receiving a budget allocation motivated by political influence, and a scientist skewing their data to please their patron.

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CBC said in post # :

Working on a B.S in geology and biology. I was in the infantry, worked as a lab tech for a Pharmaceutical company, and 5 years in Industrial Waste Water as an Asst. Mgr. What qualifies Scientist? Only an insatiable desire to seek for the truth using proven methods, refusing bias or political influence, and dedication to the furthering of knowledge for the betterment of mankind. Though they may not undertand that is what you are doing. As Galileo, you must be willing to suffer for the sake of truth.

 

It's a fallacy to hold up Galileo as an example of someone being a martyr to the truth, because, whilst in some extracted sense he was killed for having the belief in orbital motion, in a more literal sense he angered the pope by breaking with the agreement they had made.

 

It's more an example of 'don't annoy the most powerful man in the world' than anything else.

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CBC said in post # :

I did not state that science can be free of politics. I said that a true scientist does not allow politics to dictate results of his/her data.

You said "refusing bias or political influence", without restricting that to the data obtained, or the interpretation of that data.

 

You're wrong in what you meant to say anyway. Tycho Brahe, for example, was one of the greatest astronomers of his time, but did not break with the geocentrist tradition. His data were what allowed Kepler and his succesors to do their work. Newton argued against cartesian physics because it leads to atheism. It is scarcely credible to claim that Darwin was not affected by politics.

 

Science is a very highly social activity. Scientists cannot BUT be bound up in the social and political context of their time. It is the beauty of the enterprise of science that it makes definite progress in understanding the objective world even though it is produced by individuals who cannot fully escape their subjectivity or social context.

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It was the community that chastised and ridiculed Shoemaker for the idea that meteorites strike earth. Many astonomers agreed with him but were unable to speak up due to peer pressure and non-progressive thinking. We are there now, but what causes it to be an uphill struggle. If it was pure science rather than ego we would have been there long ago. I did not reference Newton by the way so making it appear as if I did and chastising me for it warrants a second review, by you, of my first comment thread. Darwin was influenced to the extent of exluding the word man from his "On the Origin of Species", but did not alter his data from including man.

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I have not argued that politics cannot be detrimental to scientific progress, I'm arguing that it is part of science. It cannot be exlcuded because science is a social activity with a social, political and intellectual context. Any definition of science that excludes that context's influence on the conclusions drawn excludes all scientific activity that has ever taken place. I can give you more book references if you like.

 

You missed the point about Newton (and Brahe, Darwin et al). I'm asking what sensible conception of a scientist would exclude him? Yours does.

 

I admit that in your second post you concede that " Does every one of the criteria I mentioned need to be met to make a scientist, no." [sic]. If that means you do agree with me then fair enough, but I think it's pretty clear from your subsequent remarks that you do not. So I'm pressing the point.

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So anyone who thinks dirty thoughts is a scientist. Interesting.

 

I think that someone who carries out experiments in the physical world can be classed as a scientist. Anyone who does "experimentation." Nope - that didn't sound right.

 

The first thing I wrote. Thats right. The physical world comment.

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I'm becoming more of a science geek every day. i've even got to the point of going out of the house without brushing my hair, wearing old woman straight leg trousers and finding random stains on my clothes! :D

 

Seeing as I have an academic job interview tomorrow morning I think I might need to conjure up a more convincing argument ;)

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Hmm..after a Ph.D., an NIH grant, and publications in peer-reviewed journals, I still don't consider myself a scientist. No reason. Just my own view.

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I consider myself a scientist because I am driven to gain knowledge and understand it in a way that I can pass that understanding on to others.

 

And a B.S in Physics for those who require credentials.

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