I’ve heard that we should stop talking about “pure” science and “applied” science; that we should only be talking about “good” science and “bad” science. Last year, CSIRO Chief ExecutiveMegan Clark said as much during question time at her National Press Club address, and this year I heard it recommended again at the Universities Australia Conference. So let’s talk good and bad.
Defining good and bad
Bad science is easy to spot: poorly-controlled experiments, bias or mistakes in interpretation, selective use of data to support a pre-determined viewpoint, and so on. We can look for bad science wherever there is very strong and specific self-interest.
Bad science is a big problem but it is usually exposed – eventually.
Good science is harder to define. Think about mathematical research rather than experimental science. We can agree what bad mathematics is – at least at an elementary level. It is incorrect mathematics.
But what is good mathematics? Or rather, what mathematics is really good? What is high quality maths?
Written By: Merlin Crossleycontinue to source article at theconversation.com