Sunday, 6 February 2011

A worthy tome

Seen at, this book especially the first paragraph found, I am told, on page 9;
“Because of the critical importance of methods, scientific papers must include a description of the procedures used to produce the data, sufficient to permit reviewers and readers of a scientific paper to evaluate not only the validity of the data but also the reliability of the methods used to derive those data. If this information is not available, other researchers may be less likely to accept the data and the conclusions drawn from them. They also may be unable to reproduce accurately the conditions under which the data were derived.

The best methods will count for little if data are recorded incorrectly or haphazardly. The requirements for data collection differ among disciplines and research groups, but researchers have a fundamental obligation to create and maintain an accurate, accessible, and permanent record of what they have done in sufficient detail for others to check and replicate their work. …”

From the book description;
On Being a Scientist is aimed primarily at graduate students and beginning researchers, but its lessons apply to all scientists at all stages of their scientific careers.
Something which certain 'climate scientists' should take to heart I think. Although there have always been researchers prepared to cheat or ignore significant anomalies to get the results they want, rather than the real data. Not that a single book on the subject of scientific clarity will ever stop them.

Available from Amazon.

The thought does occur that a whole heap of trouble and wasted taxpayer dollar might have been avoided had these principles been more closely adhered to.

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