Questions everywhere in science

June 30, 2013

Today am I going to outline the wide range of philosophic questions that I have come across in the first month of my internship. I have categorized them into communication, epistemology and ethics. Keep in mind that this is just a random list of some of the questions that buzz around in my head when I am in and out of the lab. I will add to this and re-structure it so that the taxonomy becomes clearer.


  • Which institutions have a network set up between them?
  • How is this network designed, and what is the main focus of the network?
  • How do scientists with different backgrounds (i.e physics and biology) work together?
  • How do scientists interact with society? How can this be improved?
  • How can scientists present their results to society?
  • Do scientists consider the hermeneutics of their project?


  • What kinds of research receive money?
  • Who funds scientific projects, and for what end?
  • How does the project differ from the proposal?
  • What kinds of systems are in place for projects that end up on a different track than the proposed research?
  • Is any type of research/knowledge limited?
  • When is knowledge worthy of being published?
  • What makes up a ‘fact’?
  • How do you decide when you repeat an experiment?
  • When do you have ‘enough’ data?  What does ‘enough’ mean?


  • What do you do when the data that your experiment is based on is from ‘un-ethically’ acquired data?
  • How do you approach this notorious issue of cheating and plagiarism in journals?
  • How do you define ‘cheating’ or stealing knowledge?
  • What are the ethical limitations of an experiment? –And when is it ok to ignore these?
  • At what level of the research process should one start to consider all the possible ethical issues of the experiment?


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