I don’t think this can be repeated enough.

“But there is one feature I notice that is generally missing in cargo cult science. That is the idea that we all hope you have learned in studying science in school–we never say explicitly what this is, but just hope that you catch on by all the examples of scientific investigation. It is interesting, therefore, to bring it out now and speak of it explicitly. It’s a kind of scientific integrity, a principle of scientific thought that corresponds to a kind of utter honesty–a kind of leaning over backwards. For example, if you’re doing an experiment, you should report everything that you think might make it invalid–not only what you think is right about it: other causes that could possibly explain your results; and things you thought of that you’ve eliminated by some other experiment, and how they worked–to make sure the other fellow can tell they have been eliminated.”

The comments regarding Millikan and electronic charge are paramount as well.

You must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest to fool. Never forget that nature will not be fooled.

Watts Up With That?

After watching the movie “The Challenger Disaster” on the Discovery channel tonight, I thought it would be good for WUWT readers to read Feynman’s famous address. At the end, there is a quote from Feynman, which appeared at the end of his Challenger appendix report. – Anthony

Cargo Cult Science

From a Caltech commencement address given in 1974. Also in Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!

During the Middle Ages there were all kinds of crazy ideas, such as that a piece of of rhinoceros horn would increase potency. Then a method was discovered for separating the ideas–which was to try one to see if it worked, and if it didn’t work, to eliminate it. This method became organized, of course, into science. And it developed very well, so that we are now in the scientific age. It is such a scientific age, in fact, that we have difficulty in…

View original post 3,536 more words

Advertisements