Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Science Issues

As I am beginning to spread my fledgling scientist wings by managing my own projects, generating data, and asking new questions, the discussion of bias is a timely one. The discussion in class and the articles such as Berg’s presented me with the undeniable reality that as a graduate student, I am offered an incredible chance to impact the field of science, and this opportunity comes at a high cost. The need to draw accurate conclusions in research is clear; however, recognition of bias and selecting methods to control or eliminate skewing can be a hazy endeavor. The article “Identifying and Avoiding Bias in Research” provided a clear breakdown of the sources of bias within evidenced based methods of clinical studies, as well as helpful guidelines on how to avoid particular biases. I believe such literature and increased and continued dialogue on the issue of bias is necessary to educate the scientific community and to propel scientific discovery.

Prior to last week, I had never considered the existence of my own scientific philosophy. One aspect of the class presentation and discussion that I found particularly interesting was the implied incorporation of science and moral code. Science culture seems to say that a purist approach is the only way to produce good science. I find that in paradoxical separation and integration, the scientific method and my own moral code corroborate and strengthen each other. Concepts highlighted in class, namely the necessity for honesty and integrity in research, caused me to realize that the seemingly remote worlds of science and my own faith both place utmost importance on the pursuit of truth. Though the realms of my scientific work and constructs of faith do not intersect, my worldview and faith do inform how I live by influencing daily choices of integrity and at times, even how I process information. The high value of truth in my worldview enhances my concern for producing accurate data and conclusions and bolsters my commitment as a steward of science to handle data in a detached, unbiased manner. While possibly unconventional, I believe discussion and awareness  of the role of worldview in science may enhance discovery.

“No doubt those who really founded modern science were usually those whose love of truth exceeded their love of power.”

-          C. S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man

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