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Extend Sabrina and Sable responses with additional examples about objectivity

Extend Sabrina and Sable responses with additional examples about objectivity in science. What ideas did your peers present that you had not considered before.

Sabrina post

I do not believe scientists and researchers can ever be fully objective during their work.  Each person comes in with a different viewpoint, different values, and different expectations. Some even may enter research with pre-conceived ideas of what should or should not happen. Whereas they may all end up at the same conclusion, I do not think they all arrive there being completely objective. I personally think each person’s unique objectivity shines through in each discussion, research, experiment, and outcome. 

 I think human emotion will always play a part in each person’s professional life. Whether it be intentional or not.  As much as scientists may want to separate their emotions from their research, it is inevitably bound to influence the outcome.  If you look back at the TED Talk with Ilona Stengel, she states that during their research of OLED, they were told to scale back and begin to shut down the work they were doing. But during that time, when other scientists were leaving, there were still a few remaining, and “the dedication of the last scientist grew dramatically and a new, more intense team spirit formed” (Stengel, 2018.)  Therefore, human emotions played a positive role at the end of this research as scientists pushed forward because they felt a connection to their work, and it meant something more to them.

Sable post


no. Scientists can’t even be 100% objective, but that does not stop them from trying to be as objective as possible. Of the resources provided in Module 3, I think what really put the words I was looking for to this answer was the first video titled Karl Popper, Science, & Pseudoscience: Crash Course in Philosophy #8. (Karl Popper, Science, & Pseudoscience: Crash Course Philosophy #8, 2022) This video discusses the ideas presented by Karl Popper as he observed scientist Albert Einstein and psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud. The idea presented was that science is a method of which we use to disprove hypotheses to strengthen our knowledge and get that much closer to the truth. Pseudoscience is a method of which we use to prove hypotheses to confirm our own beliefs and ideas, regardless of if they are scientifically true. These concepts imply, from what I can infer at least, that objectivity in science is not easy, and might not always be the goal. With the ideas presented in that video as well as ideas presented in the article Sorry Mr. Spock: Science and Emotions are Not Only Compatible, They’re Inseparable (Ellerton and Brown, 2022) lead me to believe that we might want to have some sort of opinion or a little under complete objectivity going into science. Having those preconceived ideas can help us distinguish between what would disprove our hypotheses versus what would further prove our belief systems. Furthermore, the article mentioned discusses how science is based in wonder, from the beginning and throughout the entire process. So we need that emotional inspiration to be interested and entangled into the science itself. This means we can never truly be 100% objective as scientists, but it also means that it is not necessarily a bad thing.

Question 2: What might be the consequences or emotion in scientific research?

My favorite word: confirmation bias. From people scrolling through social media yelling about their political views to scientists researching new hypotheses and ideas, we all have a confirmation bias. Sometimes, it is not easy to see confirmation bias, which can make it harder to do objective research and collect data based on facts. For example, the saying “You can find anything on Google” when discussing factual concepts and ideas is very true. A personal story from my experience with confirmation bias comes from my aunt Sonja, who has a degree in biology. During the pandemic, and to this day, she is convinced that the vaccine has live COVID-19 in it and will cause infertility, brain damage, and has poison in it. Despite there being copious amount of scientific studies and research denying all of those claims, including studies sent to her directly from my aunt Tracy who has a career in biological sciences, she managed to go on to Google and find sources claiming that her claims were true, or sources that said that there was no way to know for sure what the consequences of the vaccine were. This is based around confirmation bias, or as Karl Popper would call it, pseudoscience. So, in response to the initial 2nd question, if you are not mindful of confirmation bias and your preconceived belief system, there can be consequences for your scientific research. What happened with my aunt Sonja is a good example of why we need to actively be aware of confirmation bias, because if all we do is look for things that confirm our beliefs, we may fail to scientifically prove anything at all. Trying to fight these biases and trying to be objective can help us work toward finding the facts, rather than finding what aligns with what we want things to be. However, on the flip side, knowing what your beliefs are and thinking of ways to disprove your beliefs can help lead to discoveries. As I mentioned in the first question response, finding ways to disprove certain ideas can help us deepen our knowledge and narrow down possibilities in order to confirm or deny certain hypotheses about the world around us. So I guess, in short, my answer is: it really depends on how your emotions and beliefs interact with your scientific research. If you follow confirmation bias, it can have a very negative effect. If you use the knowledge of your beliefs to try to find ways to disprove any confirmation bias, it can help lead to extraordinary discoveries.


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