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“We’ve learned from experience that the truth will come out. Other experimenters will repeat your experiment and find out whether you were wrong or right. Nature’s phenomena will agree or they’ll disagree with your theory. And, although you may gain some temporary fame and excitement, you will not gain a good reputation as a scientist if you haven’t tried to be very careful in this kind of work. And it’s this type of integrity, this kind of care not to fool yourself, that is missing to a large extent in much of the research in cargo cult science.” — Richard Feynman
Richard Feynman was a Nobel Prize-winning physicist, well known for his role on the Presidential commission investigating the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger. The above quote came from his 1985 book Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman! and was based on his 1974 Caltech commencement address. He was a strong advocate of scientific integrity that corresponds to utter honesty — test and retest your data and eliminate any other explanations. Note his disdain above to “cargo cult” science, which plagues us today with “Climate Change” and other such theories.
While at the university contemplating a degree in physics, I learned aspects of the Feynman diagram. Later, I saw the 1989 PBS Nova special “The Last Journey of a Genius,” which showed him being a bongo-playing scientist, adventurer, safecracker, and yarn-spinner. While dying of cancer, his last request was to visit Tuva, a part of Russia, located in the middle of Asia. Tuva was best known for its colorful postage stamps and for Throat Singing. For Feynman, it was the ultimate challenge to get there during the Cold War, but he died the day before being granted permission. His daughter visited Tuva in 2009.
Being a scientist, he was colorful and somewhat flamboyant, but his integrity was never questioned.