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Category Archives: Scientific methods and pitfalls
You can’t be too careful with documenting your science
Once upon a time we simply kept graphs and tables in our lab notebooks. We kept videos of behavior and the transcripts from those videos. For decades I kept huge binders of printed computer output. I kept those long hole-punched … Continue reading
Keep your research honest, unbiased, comprehensive, and blind
Science cannot advance on fraudulent publications, whether the problems are big or small. We all know the basics of honest research, but there are also things we need to be taught. These are based on understanding our inadvertent tendencies to … Continue reading
Be careful when you generalize
One of the things we learned at the Xenophobia meeting we went to a few months ago at Arizona State University, was how quick humans are to generalize. We can learn to be careful when we apply those generalizations to … Continue reading
Scientific error, scientific fraud: why did Gould claim Morton mismeasured skulls?
False theories die with disproof, but false data may live forever, or so my undergraduate advisor, Richard D. Alexander, told me. A single false fact can corrupt a dataset, a study, even a field. I remembered this as I counted … Continue reading
Posted in Experimental design, Scientific methods and pitfalls Tagged Brackenridge Field Laboratory, data falsification, experimental design, Gould, Mismeasure of Man, Morton, Paleontology, Richard D. Alexander, Samuel George Morton, scientific fraud, scientific misconduct, Stephen Jay Gould 2 Comments