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On Being a Scientist Paperback – December 1, 1999

ISBN-13: 978-0309051965 ISBN-10: 0309051967 Edition: 2 Sub

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Editorial Reviews

Book Description

Since the first edition of On Being a Scientist was published in 1988, more than 200,000 copies have been distributed to graduate and undergraduate science students. Now this well-received booklet has been updated to incorporate the important developments in science ethics of the past 6 years and includes updated examples and material from the landmark volume Responsible Science (National Academy Press, 1992).
The revision reflects feedback from readers of the original version. In response to graduate students' requests, it offers several case studies in science ethics that pose provocative and realistic scenarios of ethical dilemmas and issues.
On Being a Scientist presents penetrating discussions of the social and historical context of science, the allocation of credit for discovery, the scientist's role in society, the issues revolving around publication, and many other aspects of scientific work. The booklet explores the inevitable conflicts that arise when the black and white areas of science meet the gray areas of human values and biases.
Written in a conversational style, this booklet will be of great interest to students entering scientific research, their instructors and mentors, and anyone interested in the role of scientific discovery in society.

About the Author

National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 40 pages
  • Publisher: National Academies Press; 2 Sub edition (December 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0309051967
  • ISBN-13: 978-0309051965
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 8.8 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,509,025 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Paula JP on March 31, 2000
Format: Paperback
This well-written primer grounds both neophyte and experienced scientist in the culture of Western science as it is today. It explores such topics as values in science, conflicts of interest, assigning of credit, and authorship conventions, meanwhile managing to shed useful light on a whole range of other topics. I would recommend this book to any scientist, science student, or person interested in pursuing the sciences. "On Being a Scientist" fosters interest in the sciences and builds a foundation upon which to become a more informed, responsible, and productive researcher. Additionally, this text could benefit educators, policy-makers, and nonscientists by giving them a window into the pressures and experiences associated with life in the scientific realm.
Without being discouraging or unrealistically sanguine, this concise document lays out the conventions, factors, and shifts of perspective that scientists today need to know about both regarding behavioral expectations within the disciplines and the roles of science and scientist in the public domain. Subtler points of a largely unspoken scientific etiquette are also elaborated, and knowledge of these conventions and expectations can go a long way toward preventing harmful mistakes of omission, misunderstandings, and hard feelings among scientists, colleagues, and student researchers.
Ethically challenging case studies at the end of each section stimulate reflection and discussion on ethical decisions that can be especially fruitful in science or ethics of science courses. In relatively few pages, this book plants a broad spread of ideas and perspectives in the developing scientists' mind.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Doofusdan on December 31, 2010
Format: Paperback
This book is required for a graduate program I'm in, and it lives up to the title.

If you don't need a paper version, you should know that this publication is also available as a free PDF from the National Academy Press.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By EdD Candidate Barbara on October 25, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book was brief, to the point and helpful in explaining some of the contemporary ethical questions involved in writing a research article or paper, especially when co-authors are involved. It could be used as a textbook for a class because each section included ethical questions for debate.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Required for school. Easy to read. Only issue, various sections do not translate well in e-version of book. Took a while to realize there was a scroll up and down to certain areas.
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By Sean on March 28, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book offers an entrance into the field of science for those that do not have an understanding of what it means to think scientifically. While I would not recommend this book to scientists at any level, I would recommend it to individuals who want to take the first steps into a different way of looking at the world.

The only negative aspect I have of this book, which some may like, is that it does not critically approach the culture of science. While this is effective at introducing people into the cultural aspect of science in America in specific and western science in general, it fails to look scientifically at the culture of science. It has a role, which it serves well, so long as you understand what that role is.
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By deb on March 6, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An not sure how to rate this book, I have a love and hate relationship with it. I found some useful information in it and I thought some other information could have been more simplified. In all, it's still a good book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a good introduction into the ethical demands of conducting scientific research. We read this our first year of graduate school and I recommend it to other graduate students and practicing scientists.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very interesting if you're searching for a general book about ethics in research, but it more like a list of advices than a deep analysis.
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