[Humanist] 27.626 the social conditions of our work -- and another report

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Mon Dec 16 06:54:34 CET 2013


                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 27, No. 626.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                       www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

  [1]   From:    "Dr. Hartmut Krech" <kr538 at zfn.uni-bremen.de>             (28)
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 27.619 the social conditions of our work

  [2]   From:    Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>          (20)
        Subject: another report


--[1]------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Date: Sat, 14 Dec 2013 09:30:58 +0100
        From: "Dr. Hartmut Krech" <kr538 at zfn.uni-bremen.de>
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 27.619 the social conditions of our work
        In-Reply-To: <20131214071651.657567796 at digitalhumanities.org>


Willard,

please allow me to take sides with your statement and 
emphasize the aspect of "responsibility" in scientific 
research, for which you cite several papers that appeared in 
2012-2013. Responsibility in the sense of verification and 
validation, but also responsible authorship, rings as a new 
idea to my ears, although we may ask if this approach is 
anything new since Socrates' dialogues. Only yesterday,
in an inconspicuous article on "Gut Bacteria Vary with 
Diet," The Scientist, December 13, 2013,
http://www.the-scientist.com//?articles.view/articleNo/38643/title/Gut-Bacteria-Vary-with-Diet/
I came across a statement by Mayo Clinic gastroenterologist 
Purna Kashyap, whom I may perhaps quote as exemplary:
"With discovery comes responsibility. Once you make this big 
finding, it needs to be tested appropriately." Isn't it a 
surprising and gratifying experience to read your extended 
commentary on "scientific responsibility" this morning?

Best,
Hartmut
http://ww3.de/krech

Am 14.12.2013 08:16, schrieb Humanist Discussion Group:
> But at least for me what jumped out of this
> question was great concern for the social conditions of intellectual
> work. These, I would argue, lead rather directly to the shocking problems
> Branco detailed in his paper: the extent not just of fraud and carelessness
> in scientific work ("scientific" now meant in the usual Anglophone sense)
> but the failure to be able to verify, i.e. replicate, results across the natural
> sciences and medicine.



--[2]------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Date: Mon, 16 Dec 2013 05:47:53 +0000
        From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>
        Subject: another report
        In-Reply-To: <20131214071651.657567796 at digitalhumanities.org>

In addition to those reports on questionable practices in the STEM 
disciplines, thanks to António Branco I can add the following:

> Mara Hvistendahl, "China's Publication Bazaar: A Science
> investigation has uncovered a smorgasbord of questionable practices
> including paying for author's slots on papers written by other
> scientists and buying papers from online brokers", Science 342 (29
> November 2013): 1035-9; www.sciencemag.org

As Editor of a journal, and so in close contact with a journal 
publisher, I can certainly attest to signs of questionable practices 
along such lines.

But again, before wagging fingers, let's look to the social conditions 
which affect and afflict those who cannot resist the pressure, which 
really means us all.

Further comment?

Yours,
WM

-- 
Willard McCarty (www.mccarty.org.uk/), Professor, Department of Digital
Humanities, King's College London, and Research Group in Digital
Humanities, University of Western Sydney




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