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Posts Tagged "professional ethics"

Doing Good Science

The Rosetta mission #shirtstorm was never just about that shirt.

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Last week, the European Space Agency’s Spacecraft Rosetta put a washing machine-sized lander named Philae on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Landing anything on a comet is a pretty amazing feat, so plenty of scientists and science-fans were glued to their computers watching for reports of the Rosetta mission’s progress. During the course of the interviews streamed to [...]

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Doing Good Science

You’re not rehabilitated if you keep deceiving.

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Regular readers will know that I view scientific misconduct as a serious harm to both the body of scientific knowledge and the scientific community involved in building that knowledge. I also hold out hope that at least some of the scientists who commit scientific misconduct can be rehabilitated (and I’ve noted that other members of [...]

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Doing Good Science

Adjudicating “misbehavior”: how can scientists respond when they don’t get fair credit?

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As I mentioned in an earlier post, I recently gave a talk at UC – Berkeley’s Science Leadership and Management (SLAM) seminar series. After the talk (titled “The grad student, the science fair, the reporter, and the lionfish: a case study of competition, credit, and communication of science to the public”), there was a discussion [...]

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Doing Good Science

Are scientists who don’t engage with the public obliged to engage with the press?

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In posts of yore, we’ve had occasion to discuss the duties scientists may have to the non-scientists with whom they share a world. One of these is the duty to share the knowledge they’ve built with the public — especially if that knowledge is essential to the public’s ability to navigate pressing problems, or if [...]

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Doing Good Science

Doing science is more than building knowledge: on professional development in graduate training.

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Earlier this week, I was pleased to be an invited speaker at UC – Berkeley’s Science Leadership and Management (SLAM) seminar series. Here’s the official description of the program: What is SLAM? Grad school is a great place to gain scientific expertise – but that’s hardly the only thing you’ll need in your future as [...]

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Doing Good Science

Some thoughts about the suicide of Yoshiki Sasai.

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In the previous post I suggested that it’s a mistake to try to understand scientific activity (including misconduct and culpable mistakes) by focusing on individual scientists, individual choices, and individual responsibility without also considering the larger community of scientists and the social structures it creates and maintains. That post was where I landed after thinking [...]

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Doing Good Science

When focusing on individual responsibility obscures shared responsibility.

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Over many years of writing about ethics in the conduct of science, I’ve had occasion to consider many cases of scientific misconduct and misbehavior, instances of honest mistakes and culpable mistakes. Discussions of these cases in the media and among scientists often make them look aberrant, singular, unconnected — the Schön case, the Hauser case, [...]

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Doing Good Science

Conduct of scientists (and science writers) can shape the public’s view of science.

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Scientists undertake a peculiar kind of project. In striving to build objective knowledge about the world, they are tacitly recognizing that our unreflective picture of the world is likely to be riddled with mistakes and distortions. On the other hand, they frequently come to regard themselves as better thinkers — as more reliably objective — [...]

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Doing Good Science

Do permanent records of scientific misconduct findings interfere with rehabilitation?

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We’ve been discussing how the scientific community deals with cheaters in its midst and the question of whether scientists view rehabilitation as a live option. Connected to the question of rehabilitation is the question of whether an official finding of scientific misconduct leaves a permanent mark that makes it practically impossible for someone to function [...]

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Doing Good Science

Faith in rehabilitation (but not in official channels): how unethical behavior in science goes unreported.

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Can a scientist who has behaved unethically be rehabilitated and reintegrated as a productive member of the scientific community? Or is your first ethical blunder grounds for permanent expulsion from the community? In practice, this isn’t just a question about the person who commits the ethical violation. It’s also a question about what other scientists [...]

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