To understand the vital work of AITSE, it may be helpful to consider a tree of scienceillustration. The roots represent the scientific knowledge we have to date. Thetrunk corresponds to science education: elementary to post-graduate. Thebranches are comparable to the science professions: medicine, industry, teaching, etc. The leaves are the benefits of science that we enjoy. It’s a great tree—one that we depend upon for our health and well-being.
Unfortunately, our tree of science has become infected. The infection started at the bottom of the trunk and worked its way down so we have some diseased roots. It also goes up the tree, spreading from branch to branch. Even now leaves are turning brown and falling off. In modern science there is an infection called “lack of scientific integrity.” The tree is compromised.
So, what is scientific integrity? Integrity is having consistency, honesty, completeness and wholeness. Scientific integrity happens when students honestly do their own work, industry and research institutions publish the complete story and scientists are free to consider the whole picture, even evidence that deviates from a consensus point of view.
This is not happening in many areas of science today. Cheating is rampant, industry and academia hide results unfavorable to their product or agenda, and scientists are ridiculed or worse if they present evidence that challenges the fashionable scientific view. This infection is spreading rapidly.We need to stop it now.
AITSE is working to restore the tree of science to full health. We provide education and programs to enhance scientific understanding, encourage new discoveries, and advance scientific integrity. With your help, the tree can once again be whole and will continue to bring us the benefits of sound, robust science.