Thursday, March 31, 2016

What values are important to scientists?

Public Release: 14-Feb-2016
What values are important to scientists?
Michigan State University

While many people are marking today scrutinizing the virtues of their Valentines, Michigan State University revealed a first-of-its-kind study on the virtues and values of scientists.

The study, presented at the meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington, D.C., surveyed nearly 500 astronomers, biologists, chemists, physicists and earth scientists to identify the core traits of exemplary scientists.

The subjects selected were scientists who had been honored by their respective national organization or society, and the results show that above all, these researchers hold honesty and curiosity in the highest regard, said Robert Pennock, a professor in MSU's Lyman Briggs College and leader of the study.

"If you're not curious, you're probably not a real scientist," he said. "The goal that you have is to find out something true about the world, regardless of what your preferred hypothesis might be. Your real drive is to find what is revealed by the data. This is absolutely essential in being a scientist."

If someone is dishonest and going to the extreme of faking data, that person is not really a scientist in the true sense, Pennock added.


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