chapter  11
10 Pages

content and context

WithJack Cohen, Graham Medley, Ian Stewart

This chapter aims to give advice on how to get postgraduates’ work into the right context, with wider applications. The real problem is misunderstanding what science is about, and inventing false worlds, false results and a false universe. The most common problems are those people who foment misunderstanding, often by requiring others to hold to absurd standards. Rarely the falsely constructed universe is just on paper – it’s more likely to be in the mind, a stance committed to because it’s been discussed with others. There are probably two ways in which the dishonesty shows itself. First, and less common, students make up some results. The second, fabrication is hiding a set of results that don’t fit prejudices or making assumptions that are blatantly untrue but which the student would like to be true. The work wanders away from the issues because the student takes a path away from confrontation with the problem at hand.