Imagine that you had just completed a component of an
important task that you had worked on for years. Imagine you were a scientist,
something that is easy for me because I am. Imagine that you had had an
original idea about how something in nature worked. You mustered the available
resources and performed some preliminary studies that were supportive that your
idea was in fact correct. You spend weeks or months organizing your ideas, your
vision, and your preliminary data into a grant proposal and submitted this to a
federal agency or private foundation for funding. Imagine further that your
grant proposal was viewed favorably by your peers who supported your idea so
your grant application was funded. You would be able to support a laboratory
and a staff allowing further studies. You and your coworkers execute these
experiments over a period of time that is likely to be measured in years. These studies provide strong support that meets
the standards for scientific proof that your idea was in fact correct.
Now you are able to begin the process of writing the
scientific paper so that you can tell the world your great idea and studies you
have done which provide support that your idea is correct. You and your
coworkers, now coauthors, carefully construct the introduction where you explain
to the world why you thought what you thought and did what you did. You
carefully and in excruciating detail describe exactly how you did the experiments
which yielded the data, and how you analyzed the data.
The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.