Australian Government: National Health and Medical Research Council. Strategic Plan 2013–2015
PDF - 1.09 MB
This Strategic Plan includes NHMRC priorities, the major health issues identified for 2013-2015, how NHMRC will deal with these issues and a strategy for medical research and public health research. NHMRC priorities include creating new knowledge through support of discovery research; accelerating research translation; building Australia’s future capability for research and translation; setting high standards in ethics in health care and research; working with partners – States and Territories, health bodies, health industries and community and consumers groups.
Richard Feynman on Pseudoscience
In this video, Richard Feynman discusses pseudoscience as a science which is not a science. He claims that pseudosciences follow the forms of science such as collecting data, but they dont have laws so they cannot be a science.
In Defence of the Naive Inductivist: As Well as Some of Their Not-so-Naive Brethren
Alan Chalmers, in What Is This Thing Called Science?, presents inductivism as a naïve view of science which has been disproved. However, the arguments he bases this conclusion on either depend upon a stilted view of inductivism or affect a very broad range of positions, including Chalmers' own. Konrad Talmont-Kaminski argues that a broadly inductivist view of science, including its observational base, is precisely the approach required.
A Family Resemblance Approach to the Nature of Science for Science Education
PDF - 191 KB
Although there is universal consensus both in the science education literature and in the science standards documents to the effect that students should learn not only the content of science but also its nature, there is little agreement about what that nature is. This led many science educators to adopt what is sometimes called ‘‘the consensus view’’ about the nature of science (NOS), whose goal is to teach students only those characteristics of science on which there is wide consensus. This is an attractive view, but it has some shortcomings and weaknesses. In this article we present and defend an alternative approach based on the notion of family resemblance. We argue that the family resemblance approach is superior to the consensus view in several ways, which we discuss in some detail.
Science and Pseudo-Science
The demarcation between science and pseudoscience is part of the larger task to determine which beliefs are epistemically warranted. The entry clarifies the specific nature of pseudoscience in relation to other forms of non-scientific doctrines and practices. The major proposed demarcation criteria are discussed and some of their weaknesses are pointed out. In conclusion, it is emphasized that there is much more agreement about particular issues of demarcation than on the general criteria that such judgments should be based upon. This is an indication that there is still much important philosophical work to be done on the demarcation between science and pseudoscience.
Science as Falsification
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A report on Ropper's work in the philosophy of science. Ropper examines "When should a theory be ranked as scientific?" or "Is there a criterion for the scientific character or status of a theory?" Roper wished to distinguish between science and pseudo-science; knowing very well that science often errs, and that pseudoscience may happen to stumble on the truth.
Massimo Pigliucci on the Demarcation Problem
How do you tell science from non-science? Karl Popper thought that the falsifiability of a hypothesis was the best indicator. Massimo Pigliucci is not so sure about this. Here he discusses the important issue of demarcation with Nigel Warburton.
Science at the Bar—Causes for Concern
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In the wake of the decision in the Arkansas Creationism trial (McLean v Arkansas),1 the friends of science are apt to be relishing the outcome. The creationists quite clearly made a botch of their case and there can be little doubt that the Arkansas decision may, at least for a time, blunt legislative pressure to enact similar laws in other states. Once the dust has settled, however, the trial in general and Judge William R. Overton's ruling in particular may come back to haunt us; for, although the verdict itself is probably to be commended, it was reached for all the wrong reasons and by a chain of argument which is hopelessly suspect. Indeed, the ruling rests on a host of misrepresentations of what science is and how it works.
"Science is an essentially anarchic enterprise: theoretical anarchism is more humanitarian and more likely to encourage progress than its law-and-order alternatives." Against Method is an essay by Paul Feyerabend that explores anarchism as a philosopy of science, examining the interplay between historic process and the emergence of 'facts'. The history of science will be as complex, chaotic, full of mistakes, and entertaining as the ideas it contains, and these ideas in turn will be as complex, chaotic, full of mistakes, and entertaining as are the minds of those who invented them. Conversely, a little brainwashing will go a long way in making the history of science duller, simpler, more uniform, more 'objective' and more easily accessible to treatment by strict and unchangeable rules.
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