Friday, December 4, 2009

License to Wonder

A thought-provoking article that helps illuminate what science is really all about.

License to Wonder by Olivia Judson

It might help you out when considering Question 2 from the Race for the Double Helix.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Race for the Double Helix Q3

Watson and Crick, after their discovery of DNA structure, received numerous awards and accolades, including the Nobel Prize. As a woman scientist in a man’s world, Rosalind Franklin was for many years, forgotten.

What should the primary goal of a scientist be – being the first to make an important discovery or sharing your results and contributing so that an important discovery can be made as soon as possible, even if you receive no credit for your contribution?

Race for the Double Helix Q2

Rosalind Franklin was a meticulous lab scientist who avoided any sort of speculation. She relied on hard evidence – the factual data – before drawing any conclusions. Watson and Crick on the other hand, did no labor intensive research and merely postulated a possible structure for DNA.

Was Watson and Crick’s approach to solving the problem “less scientific” than Franklin’s?

Do you think there is value in scientific speculation?

Race for the Double Helix Q1

Watson and Crick clearly made use of the ideas and results of other scientists research in pursuing their goal, including work by Linus Pauling, Erwin Chargaff and Rosalind Franklin. Sharing of knowledge is a foundation of scientific investigation.

It has been suggested that the use of Rosalind Franklin’s information without her permission or knowledge was unethical on the part of Watson and Crick. Do you agree or disagree?

Was Pauling’s and Chargaff’s information also used improperly? Thoughts?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

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