Brute Reason

A collection of thoughts about psychology, social justice, and anything else I give a shit about. freethoughtblogs.com/brutereason

Topics: feminism / psychology / lgbtq / sex / politics / abortion / health / mental illness / language / depression / sexism / sexual assault / fashion / racism / education / social justice

my actual writing, if you're curious

Perhaps it’s too late to expect poorly trained scientists to know how to avoid misconduct, or to deal with it once detected. At school we need to start teaching science properly. We need to stop bucket-filling and fact regurgitation. The current box-ticking and assessment culture leaves no place for the creative and ethical processes of doing science. Teachers need to be allowed to teach what science is. This isn’t easy, but it needs to be done. Equally important, teachers need sufficient time to teach effectively, to do experiments carefully, more than once if necessary, and to assess why the “right” results aren’t always obtained.

At the undergraduate level there is insufficient emphasis on the process of science. Universities have been slow to respond to the current reality that facts and information are so readily available on the internet. Sadly, the emphasis in most university courses is still on using lectures to transmit factual information, and yes, some of that is essential; but equally important is understanding the way science as a process works. There is not enough emphasis on what it means to be a scientist, about thinking creatively and behaving with integrity.

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