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Middle School Science: Ethics in Science

Resources for MYP/DP Science

Databases to Use

Habits of Mind

From BrainPop:
Language

Logical fallacies are tricky because they're so hard to spot. An argument with a fallacy often seems to make complete sense, when in reality its logic is deeply flawed!

Here are just a few common fallacies that you should learn to avoid:

Non sequitur: Latin for "it does not follow," a non sequitur argument has a claim that does not necessarily follow from the reason(s) given.
Ex. "If you don't ride a bicycle, you don't care about the environment."

Argument from ignorance: When something is claimed to be true because there is no evidence to disprove it. An effective argument must be based on evidence that exists, not evidence that does not exist.
Ex. "There is no proof that aliens haven't visited Earth. Therefore, aliens must have visited Earth."

Appeal to the people: This fallacy argues that a claim must be true because a lot of people believe it. The popularity of an idea has nothing to do with its truth.
Ex. "So many people have reported near-death experiences that they must be something more than hallucinations."

Argument from authority: This type of appeal depends upon the title or position of the arguer, rather than on the merits of any evidence given in support of the argument. The arguer could be an authority figure, an expert in either a relevant or irrelevant field, or someone with a special relationship to the listener, like a friend. Regardless of who's making an argument, it must be backed by solid proof. Expertise is not a replacement for evidence.
Ex: "My aunt is a teacher, and she said that's not a good school, so it must not be."

Scientific Skills

Peer Review, from BrainPop:

One of the most important concepts behind the scientific method is that experiments must be repeatable by others. So when scientists publish the results of their experiments, those results go through a very thorough process called peer review

In peer review, other scientists read and evaluate an experiment, making sure that the original researcher(s) followed all the steps of the scientific method. They also check to make sure that there are no lapses in logic between the experiment’s hypothesis and conclusion. 

Peer review is important not only because it ensures that experiments are carried out correctly; it also acts as a stamp of approval from others—including competitors—working in a particular field. 

Peer review is therefore considered an extremely critical part of the scientific establishment. In fact, if an experiment is published by an individual or organization that does not peer review its articles, the results of the experiment are usually considered suspect by members of the scientific community.

Evolution of Science

Videos to Watch

Ethics

Ethics in Science

Case Studies