30 Jan 2018

An oath for thinking people

I am quick to correct people who call economists "scientists" (we are much more "social" than "scientific"), but I certainly favor this pledge:

An Oath for Scientists (or Academics or anyone who takes thinking seriously)

I swear that I will, according to my ability and judgment, protect the credibility of science by carrying out this oath and this indenture.

To make the grounds for my scientific claims transparent and available for others to scrutinize, to welcome that scrutiny and accept that others will be skeptical of my claims, to help others verify the soundness of my claims; to describe my methods in sufficient detail for others to repeat them, to not obstruct others' attempts to replicate my work; to report all evidence I know of for or against my claim, to not suppress evidence against my conclusions, to correct my past claims if I learn that they were wrong, to support the dissemination of evidence that disconfirms or contradicts my past claims.

I will hold myself and all other scientists to this oath, and I will not exempt any scientist because of her status or reputation. I will judge scientific claims based on the evidence, not the scientist making the claim. Neither will I hold any scientific claim or finding as sacred. Similarly, I will recognize as valuable the work of scientists who aim to correct errors in the scientific record.

In whatever claims I present in my role as scientist, I will not knowingly overstate or exaggerate the evidence, I will not make claims out of interest for advancing my own station, and I will disclose any personal interest that may be perceived as biasing my judgment. I will protect the credibility of my profession by making careful, transparent, calibrated claims.

Now if I carry out this oath, and break it not, may I gain for ever reputation among all scientists for my work; but if I transgress it and forswear myself, may the opposite befall me.

H/T to Enviro-Econ