Look At It This Way (#LAITW)

Character Makes a Great Scientist

by on Oct.01, 2014, under Character, Ethics / Morality, Logic / Fallacies

“Most people say that it is the intellect which makes a great scientist. They are wrong: it is character.” Albert Einstein

Why is that?

There are several traits that make up character, including Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring, and Citizenship. One list of character traits includes 638 items!

I’d like to put Honesty at the top of the list for this discussion. Honesty with yourself, honesty with others, honesty with Nature, etc. There is no room for politically correct pussyfooting around. There is no room for fudging the data to make some point.

I was trained to be honest about (in fact, to point out) every counterpoint I could possibly imagine to any point I might be trying to make, to any theory I might try to posit. In today’s discussions, it seems to me, not only are too many scientists willing to ignore “inconvenient” facts, but also will use all manner of fallacy to dismiss anyone that suggests anything negative about their position.

It’s a shame. But it can help you spot junk science, and junk scientists.

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