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  • “Cargo Cult Science,” 1974 CalTech Commencement Address by Richard Feynman: Subtitled: Some remarks on science, psuedoscience, and learning how not to fool yourself
  • Cargo Cult Science Link


  • Pick a current topic and apply logic of the reading.
  • Examples include controversial areas for which one can ask if it is based on science or cargo cult science such as:
  • Global climate change
  • Gender identity vs. biological sex
  • Food shortages vs. bad governance
  • Will the earth be uninhabitable in 50 years
  • Are the medical treatment and drug efficacy statistics
  • Abortion and when life begins
  • The goal is not to reach an answer the instructor believes, but rather to tie together the ideas presented in class on ethics and scientific integrity and the ideas presented in “Cargo Cult Science,” and apply those to material you find on a controversial topic of current interest to you.


  • This week’s 4MAT assignment is the following for the 4 parts:
    1. Summary of information learned (no opinions)
      • Summarize the key ideas in this week’s presentation and the the reading (Cargo Cult Science)
      • Summarize your selected issue and the key issues involved in determining if the science is real or Cargo Cult Science
    2. Personal reflection (your opinion):
      • Which source of ethics is closest to your worldview and why?
      • Give your opinion on the scientific controversy you selected on whether the science is or is not being done with scientific integrity and why you believe that.
    3. Questions you have on the topics
    4. Personal Application: Make a specific plan to change one thing you do related to your chosen Scientific Integrity Controversy


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