What is Science?

The First Scientist The Practice of Science Science in the Philippines

What is Science?
sci·ence n. 2. The observation, identification, description, experimental investigation, and theoretical explanation of phenomena 3. Methodological activity, discipline, or study

Who’s the First Scientist?
• • • • • • Isaac Newton (1642-1727)? Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519)? Roger Bacon (1220-1292)? Aristotle (384-322 BC)? Imhotep (ca. 3000 BC)? Og (ca. 30,000 BC)?

The Practice of Science
• • • • What We Do (or Don’t) Who Pays for It Scientists and the Jedi Ethics

What Drives Us
• What We Don’t Do (nor Try to)
– Invent – Be good teachers – Write popular books – Seek major discoveries or the Nobel Prize – Know a lot about everything – Make the world a better place

What Drives Us
• What We Do Do
– Talk to each other – Be an adviser or an advisee – Know a lot about something: more and more about less and less – Seek knowledge for knowledge’s sake, NOT public benefit – Worry about funds for research – Publish (or perish)

What Drives Us
• Publish our findings
– – – – Do research, write up findings into a paper Send to a reputable, international, refereed journal Respond to referee’s comments and questions If accepted, rejoice; if rejected, send paper to another journal – If no one accepts: redo, try again, or move on

• Publish papers  more funding  more research  publish more papers
– Limited fame or money in scientific papers, yet – The whole world of science relies on them – Any claim not supported by peer-reviewed published papers is unscientific

What Drives Us
• The more often your paper is cited by others, the more important it is • Having a paper published in a major journal is more prestigious than writing a book • Being a scientific “star” means:
– – – – Publishing a few hundred papers Getting funding easily Getting good scientists to work and publish with you Getting invited to international conferences or being asked to organize them – Getting asked by publishers to write textbooks for advanced readers and a specialized audience

Scientists and the Jedi
• Adviser, Master, Sensei
– Having many apprentices to work for you – Publishing numerous papers done by apprentices (get credit for little or no work) – Expecting apprentices to achieve more than you (and get some credit for their achievements)

The Ethical Scientist
• Ethics? What ethics? • Rule #1: Your work should be replicable • Ethical vs. professional behavior
– Give credit where credit is due – citations – Control of results belong to who gave you money (for industry-funded work) – But blow the whistle if you have to

• Ends do NOT matter, with few exceptions

Why Shouldn’t ENDS Matter?
• Is it evil to be a scientist for
– Committee to discredit the Shroud of Turin? – Pollutive industries, coal-fired power plants? – Cigarette companies?, Weapons suppliers?

• Shouldn’t they be engaged in an agenda? • Shouldn’t science aim to improve the human condition, make a better world?
– Why spend billions on pure research when people all over are hungry or dying?

Science in the Philippines
• The First Local Scientists • How We Are Different
– DOST – The Art of Begging – Can You Name That Pinoy Scientist? – Talks to self – Hack, Prof or Civil Servant – Jacks (and Jills) of All Trades

Hard Questions for Pinoy Scientists
• Should ethics of third-world scientists be the same as those in rich countries?
– Should publishing papers few people read be their lifelong goal?

• Shouldn’t addressing local problems be their principal agenda?
– Given that they use precious limited resources (human and financial), shouldn’t their output be foreseeably beneficial to the country?

• Where should they go?
– Go to US, achieve more – Stay home and serve