kurgus (kurgus) wrote,

US National Academies Press раздает книги

National Academies Press (объединенное издательство Академий наук США) раздает в pdf-ах издаваемые книги - весьма неплохие, следует отметить: в их policy написано: PDF files are available free to developing countries.

Ниже - одна из весьма достойных, где по полочкам расписывается, как работает наука и как она получает достоверные данные - как в общем, так и в некоторых предметных областях (за бумажный вариант просят $79.95 Ж8-)   )

P.S. Одна из глав в этой книге - David Goodstein, How Science works, где есть весьма любопытный раздел Some Myths and Facts About Science, стр. 47-50.
Для тех, кто слишком занят, чтобы скачивать книгу полностью, выкладываю этот раздел.

“In matters of science,” Galileo wrote, “the authority of thousands is not worth the humble reasoning of one single person.”13 Doing battle with the Aristotelian
professors of his day, Galileo believed that kowtowing to authority was the enemy of reason. But, contrary to Galileo’s famous remark, the fact is that within the scientific community itself, authority is of fundamental importance. If a paper’s author is a famous scientist, the paper is probably worth reading. The triumph of reason over authority is just one of the many myths about science. Following is a brief list of some others:

Scientists must have open minds, being ready to discard old ideas in favor of new ones.
Because science is an adversarial process through which each idea deserves the most vigorous possible defense, it is useful for the successful progress of science that scientists tenaciously cling to their own ideas, even in the face of contrary evidence.

The institution of peer review assures that all published papers are sound and dependable.
Peer review generally will catch something that is completely out of step with majority thinking at the time, but it is practically useless for catching outright fraud, and it is not very good at dealing with truly novel ideas. Peer review mostly assures that all papers follow the current paradigm (see comments on Kuhn, above). It certainly does not ensure that the work has been fully vetted in terms of the data analysis and the proper application of research methods.

Science must be an open book. For example, every new experiment must be described so completely that any other scientist can reproduce it.
There is a very large component of skill in making cutting-edge experiments work. Often, the only way to import a new technique into a laboratory is to hire someone (usually a postdoctoral fellow) who has already made it work elsewhere. Nonetheless, scientists have a solemn responsibility to describe the methods they use as fully and accurately as possible. And, eventually, the skill will be acquired by enough people to make the new technique commonplace.

When a new theory comes along, the scientist’s duty is to falsify it.
When a new theory comes along, the scientist’s instinct is to verify it. When a theory is new, the effect of a decisive experiment that shows it to be wrong is that both the theory and the experiment are in most cases quickly forgotten. This result leads to no progress for anybody in the reward system. Only when a theory is well established and widely accepted does it pay off to prove that it is wrong.

University-based research is pure and free of conflicts of interest.
The Bayh-Dole Act of the early 1980s permits universities to patent the results of research supported by the federal government. Many universities have become adept at obtaining such patents. In many cases this raises conflict-of-interest problems when the universities’ interest in pursuing knowledge comes into conflict with its need for revenue. This is an area that has generated considerable scrutiny. For instance, the recent Institute of Medicine report Conflict of Interest in Medical Research, Education, and Practice sheds light on the changing dimensions of conflicts of interest associated with growing interdisciplinary collaborations between individuals, universities, and industry especially in life sciences and biomedical research.

Real science is easily distinguished from pseudoscience.
This is what philosophers call the problem of demarcation: One of Popper’s principal motives in proposing his standard of falsifiability was precisely to provide a means of demarcation between real science and impostors For example, Einstein’s general theory of relativity (with which Popper was deeply impressed) made clear predictions that could certainly be falsified if they were not correct. In contrast, Freud’s theories of psychoanalysis (with which Popper was far less impressed) could never be proven wrong. Thus, to Popper, relativity was science but psychoanalysis was not.
Real scientists do not behave as Popper says they should, and there is another problem with Popper’s criterion (or indeed any other criterion) for demarcation: Would-be scientists read books too. If itbecomes widely accepted (and to some extent it has) that falsifiable predictions are the signature of real science, then pretenders to the throne of science will make falsifiable predictions too. There is no simple, mechanical criterion for distinguishing real science from something that is not real science. That certainly does not mean, however, that the job cannot be done. As I discuss below, the Supreme Court, in the Daubert decision, has made a respectable stab at showing how to do it.

Scientific theories are just that: theories. All scientific theories are eventually proved wrong and are replaced by other theories.
The things that science has taught us about how the world works are the most secure elements in all of human knowledge. Here I must distinguish between science at the frontiers of knowledge (where by definition we do not yet understand everything and where theories are indeed vulnerable) and textbook science that is known with great confidence.
Matter is made of atoms, DNA transmits the blueprints of organisms from generation to generation, light is an electromagnetic wave — these things are not likely to be proved wrong.
The theory of relativity and the theory of evolution are in the same class and are still called “theories” for historic reasons only.
The GPS device in my car routinely uses the general theory of relativity to make calculations accurate enough to tell me exactly where I am and to take me to my destination with unerring precision. The phenomenon of natural selection has been observed under numerous field conditions as well as in controlled laboratory experiments.
In recent times, the courts have had much to say about the teaching of the theory of evolution in public schools. In one instance the school district decided that students should be taught the “gaps/problems” in Darwin’s theory and given “Intelligent Design” as an alternative explanation. The courts (Judge Jones of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania) came down hard on the side of Darwin, ruling that “Intelligent Design” was thinly disguised religion that had no place in the science classroom.
It should be said here that the incorrect notion that all theories must eventually be wrong is fundamental to the work of both Popper and Kuhn, and these theorists have been crucial in helping us understand how science works. Thus, their theories, like good scientific theories at the frontiers of knowledge, can be both useful and wrong.

Scientists are people of uncompromising honesty and integrity.
They would have to be if Bacon were right about how science works, but he was not. Most scientists are rigorously honest where honesty matters most to them: in the reporting of scientific procedures and data in peer-reviewed publications. In all else, they are ordinary mortals.
Tags: Библиотеки, Наука

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