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Everyday Practice of Science: Where Intuition and Passion Meet Objectivity and Logicby Frederick Grinnell
Synopses & Reviews
Scientific facts can be so complicated that only specialists in a field fully appreciate the details, but the nature of everyday practice that gives rise to these facts should be understandable by everyone interested in science. This book describes how scientists bring their own interests and passions to their work, illustrates the dynamics between researchers and the research community, and emphasizes a contextual understanding of science in place of the linear model found in textbooks with its singular focus on "scientific method."
Everyday Practice of Science also introduces readers to issues about science and society. Practice requires value judgments: What should be done? Who should do it? Who should pay for it? How much? Balancing scientific opportunities with societal needs depends on appreciating both the promises and the ambiguities of science. Understanding practice informs discussions about how to manage research integrity, conflict of interest, and the challenge of modern genetics to human research ethics. Society cannot have the benefits of research without the risks. The last chapter contrasts the practices of science and religion as reflective of two different types of faith and describes a holistic framework within which they dynamically interact.
Everyday Practice of Science presents an overview of the scientific process for those curious about science practice in today's society, and especially for those considering making a career of science.
About the Author
Frederick Grinnell is Professor of Cell Biology and is Founder of the Program in Ethics in Science and Medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. He has an insider's knowledge of biomedical research based on more than thirty-five years of experience. His studies have been with subjects ranging from molecules to people. Over much the same period, he also has studied philosophical issues at the interface of science, technology and society, especially issues concerning biomedical ethics and research integrity. Combining these perspectives permits him to describe everyday practice of science and to integrate a philosophical and ethical dimension into his descriptions. He frequently lectures on these subjects. His lectures form the basis for this book.
Table of Contents
1. Practicing Science: An Overview
2. Discovery: Learning New Things about the World
3. Credibility: Validating Discovery Claims
II. SCIENCE AND SOCIETY
4. Integrity: From Science Policy to Responsible Conduct of Research
5. Informed Consent and Risk: The Intersection of Human Research and Genetics
6. Faith: More Than One Way to Practice the World
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