But, really on topic. I don't think university researchers as a lot are
corrupt. I do think that the really/truly important biases are present
throughout society; university researchers, mostly, no more nor less
affected by those biases. There isn't, imho, such a think as biasless
research/thought/life. The questions to ask is what biases are influencing
your research and do you want those to be the biases that influence your
A lot of bias creeps in at the level of what questions are
framed for research/what's considered worthy of research. I always think
it is a good idea to ask the question: Why are these the questions we're
asking? Why is this area something we want to study? (For example, ask:
Why has there been so much focus on the "hereditary" causes of cancer?
Or, in a particular case: Why are we searching for the "hereditary"
causes of *this* cancer? The answer(s), the myriad ones that are possible,
tell much. When I ask these questions they lead me to reflect on the
possibilty of environmental causes to cancer and the reasons these causes
may be neglected more than they deserve...They lead me to think of
thousands of worthwhile questions for study. Excuse me, I'm not
particularly coherent right now because I am very tired but I can't sleep
too much fire truck noise...and can't leave easily because streets blocked
OTOH, I think where one gets one's funding will curtail one's creativity
in developing questions for research. And, there's no doubt about where
university ag and science departments get the bulk of their
funding...Again, this isn't to suggest that we're talking about "bad
science" or "corruption" just the everday nature of how bias works....
Of course, you might say, my thoughts reflect my own biases and academic
background in the philosophy of science (social science).
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