scientific norms as cultural norms | Homework Help

Length: 900 words (approximately 3 typed, double-spaced pages)

Due in class Thursday, December 5.

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The longer essay will count for 15% of your course grade.

General topic: “scientific norms as cultural norms”.

No matter what specific topic you write on, your paper should answer the following questions:

What are the interests of the scientists as sciences here (i.e., what are their goals with respect to being able to conduct scientific research and/or communicate scientific findings and/or participate in a scientific community)?
What are the interests of the non-scientists?
How are the interests of each group reflected in the norms (i.e., the standards for ethical conduct) they identify as being important here?
How might conflicts in these competing sets of norms be reconciled (or otherwise dealt with)?
This paper will require a minimal amount of aIDitional research, so that you can acquaint yourself with the different sides of an issue. However, given the relatively short length of this paper, you should keep your presentation of the facts concise!

Here’s a rough strategy for using your allotted words effectively:

Setting up the issue (what is the questions, who is on which side, what big claim does each side make) – about 300 words.
The scientists’ interests – about 150 words.
The nonscientists’ interests — about 150 words.
What the scientists think ought to be done and why — about 100 words.
What the non-scientists think ought to be done and why — about 100 words.
A strategy for resolving the conflict — about 100 words.
The first of these (the set-up) is the section that will draw most heavily on your research. The other sections should focus on your analysis of the matter. Your task is to diagnose the conflicting interests at the heart of the matter, to explain how these lead the sides to identify different actions that would be best, and to illuminate any overlapping interests that might lead to a resolution of the conflict.

Note: To help you get started, the course website has links to relevant articles or webpages for each of these topics. You are also welcome to make use of any of the sources posted for the Research Reports (in the class Canvas shell.)


The relevant non-scientists to consider here are the students, the parents, and the school boards. (Note that they might not share the same interests or views here!)
Vaccines and the developing world. You may want to consider the scientists as health care providers and as researchers interested in studying other contagious diseases and developing treatments or vaccines.

Are foreign students in U.S. graduate programs in science and engineering a good thing or a bad thing? In aIDition to considering the U.S. tax payers, graduate students, and undergraduate students, you may include in the non-scientists you consider the community in the foreign student’s country of origin.

Climate Research Unit webserver at the University of East Anglia provide an interesting (and much-discussed) case where this question comes up.


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