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William L. Siler, Ph.d.
04-20-1993, 12:12 AM
Last July, I joined the faculty of the Department of Physical Therapy at
Saint Louis University. As a basic scientist working closely with
clinicians and advising them as they conduct their research, I have begun
to consider several philosophical questions. In my search for answers I
have begun to read in the area of philosophy of science and am currently
sitting in on a course entitled "Phiolosphy of Physical Science." The
readings and the course have been very enlightening but one question is
particularly troublesome.

How do we, as biomechanists, define "ggod science" or "hard research?" I
have heard those term used and have even used them myself. A student
recently asked me that question and I was troubled by my inability to offer
an answer that did not imply that research is good if it meets the
standards of the "moral majority." Do any of you have a working definition
for the phrase "good scienc?" Is this a question that needs to be considered
by our community?

I look forward to receiving your responses.

William L. Siler, Ph.D.
SILERWL@SLUVCA.SLU.EDU