Principles of science and ethical guidelines for scientific conduct (v9.0)

«I have been asked to talk about what I consider the most important challenge facing mankind, and I have a fundamental answer. The greatest challenge facing mankind is the challenge of distinguishing reality from fantasy, truth from propaganda. Perceiving the truth has always been a challenge to mankind, but in the information age (or as I think of it, the disinformation age) it takes on a special urgency and importance.»
– Michael Crichton


Principles of science and ethical guidelines for scientific conduct (v8.0)

Strange as it may seem, it is hard to find a set of well-defined principles for science.

Although some have proposed that these principles should be written down and formalised, the principles and traditions of science are, for the most part, conveyed to successive generations of scientists through example, discussion, and informal education.

Examples of scientific malpractice demonstrates that example, discussion, and informal education may not be a sufficiently robust strategy.

This thesis defines a set of principles for science.

From these principles a set of ethical guidelines are derived.

These principles and guidelines defines a standard that will make it easier to identify malpractice.

Ethical guidelines for scientific conduct

The ethical guidelines in this post are directly derived from The principles of science (v7.5), and are strictly related to the activity of establishing and providing true and independently verifiable knowledge.

Many scientific organization issues codes of conduct. Typically for these codes of conduct is that they are more about the relation between scientists, their organizations and the society than about science itself.

The principles of science (v7.5)

Don´t get fooled by fake news, alternative facts or dubious science.

Strange as it may seem, it is hard to find a set of well-defined principles for science. The idea with this work has been to identify and define a set of fundamental principles for science.

These are the necessary characteristics of verifiable statements, arguments, and concepts. Characteristics that can be used to distinguish verifiable knowledge from beliefs.

10 theorems for ideas about how things work

I have been missing a neat summary of Karl Popper´s scientific method. I have also been thinking, that a neat set of theorems representing his method would be useful. Both as a guide for development and scrutiny of ideas, but also to be able to reveal weaknesses in any idea claimed to represent the truth. This is my summary of Popper´s method into a neat set of theorems.

How to avoid being proven wrong!

“… it is always possible to find some way of evading falsification, for example by introducing ad hoc an auxiliary hypothesis, or by changing ad hoc a definition. It is even possible without logical inconsistency to adopt the position of simply refusing to acknowledge any falsifying experience whatsoever. Admittedly, scientists do not usually proceed in this way, but logically such procedure is possible”
– Karl Popper

The IPCC report is a monument over inductivism!

“The degree of certainty in key findings is based on the author teams’ evaluations of underlying scientific understanding and is expressed as a qualitative level of confidence. (from very low to very high)

Confidence in the validity of a finding is based on the type, amount, quality, and consistency of evidence (e.g., data, mechanistic understanding, theory, models, expert judgment) and the degree of agreement.”

All real scientists are sceptical!

Does your favourite scientific method happen to be one of these? (Ref Wikipedia – for what it is worth) Inductivism is the traditional model of scientific method attributed to Francis Bacon, who in 1620 vowed to subvert allegedly traditional thinking. In Baconian model, one observes nature, proposes a modest law to generalize an observed pattern, confirms it by many observations, ventures…

What does it take for an quantitative theoretical model to be reliable?

I think it would be useful to have an international standard to refer to when evaluating if an quantitative theoretical model is reliable. Unfortunately no such standard exists. If we regard the case where the theoretical model is about predicting the quantity of an output value for a number of inputs. There are some standards relating to measurement,…

About misconduct in science and questionable scientific practices.

An international standard would make it easier to discredit improper arguments within science. In lieu of such standard, other sources may be helpful . Below are some extracts from Responsible Science, Volume I: Ensuring the Integrity of the Research Process. This report by, the National Academy of Sciences, is freely available from National Academies Press. To scientists with…