Ramifications Of Underhand Scientific Methods: The Challenger (Essay Sample)
Scientific ethics and integrity / Pseudoscience
The scientific approach has resulted in an explosion of technology and knowledge about our world. However, because of its success, the misapplication of the scientific method without high standards of ethics and integrity, or the use of the trappings of scientific study to lend credence to a spurious idea (“pseudoscience”), can be a dangerous thing.
In this paper, you will explore what happens when the process of scientific thought is either negligently or maliciously derailed.
Choose a contemporary (since 1875) phenomenon in which this happened. (It doesn't have to be specifically astronomical.) Discuss what happened (telling the story if it is not a familiar one), and describe in what way the principles of scientific integrity, ethics, and/or rigor were compromised.
Also describe what “warning signs” someone else might observe that would hint that something is wrong. What questions should a skeptical audience (whether fellow scientists or the general public) have asked that could point out the flaws in the argument being made?
Finally, if the issue resulted from negligence, rather than malice, describe what the researchers should have done instead to ensure that they didn't reach incorrect conclusions.
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