Scientists’ conduct affects science


Nature News has published an excellent feature by Edwin Cartlidge on the “wall of scepticism” that arose in response to the latest superconductivity claim from Ranga Dias et al., purportedly in a compound called nitrogen-doped lutetium hydride. It seems the new paper has earned a note of concern as well, after various independent research groups … Read more

A false union in science journalism

At what point does a journalist become a stenographer? Most people would say it’s when the journalist stops questioning claims and reprints them uncritically, as if they were simply a machine. So at what point does a science journalist become a stenographer? You’ll probably say at the same point – when they become uncritical of … Read more

NCBS fracas: In defence of celebrating retractions

Continuing from here… Irrespective of Arati Ramesh’s words and actions, I find every retraction worth celebrating because how hard-won retractions in general have been, in India and abroad. I don’t know how often papers coauthored by Indian scientists are retracted and how high or low that rate is compared to the international average. But I … Read more

Defending philosophy of science

From Carl Bergstrom’s Twitter thread about a new book called How Irrationality Created Modern Science, by Michael Strevens: The Iron Rule from the book is, in Bergstrom’s retelling, “no use of philosophical reasoning in the mode of Aristotle; no leveraging theological or scriptural understanding in the mode of Descartes. Formal scientific arguments must be sterilised, … Read more