Agroscope, Institute for Plant Production Sciences IPS, 1260 Nyon, Switzerland

Principles of research in natural science

Science aims at putting facts into context. Science attempts to define laws that underlie these facts and to clear its purview. Scientific work requires good techniques and methods. A real scientist is prepared to discard a hypothesis if it is in contradiction to the facts. A good scientist not only examines the results of an experiment, but also considers the conditions and assumptions under which it was carried out. The results are valid only in the case where the conditions and assumptions have been met. Teaching and research at the university level shall be in no case centrally directed. They shall be as independent as possible of political influence. The type and field of basic research to be investigated should not be dictated by society. We are against any moratorium on different thoughts and research. However, society has the right and the obligation to restrict or prohibit specific applications of basic research. It is, of course, very difficult to deal here with the various aspects regarding scientific research and arrive at impartial decisions.

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