ADVERTISEMENT
  About the SA Blog Network

Posts Tagged "scientific misconduct"

Doing Good Science

On the value of empathy, not othering.

composite-square-01

Could seeing the world through the eyes of the scientist who behaves unethically be a valuable tool for those trying to behave ethically? Last semester, I asked my “Ethics in Science” students to review an online ethics training module of the sort that many institutions use to address responsible conduct of research with their students [...]

Keep reading »
Doing Good Science

Do permanent records of scientific misconduct findings interfere with rehabilitation?

composite-square-01

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 [...]

Keep reading »
Doing Good Science

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

composite-square-01

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 [...]

Keep reading »
Doing Good Science

How plagiarism hurts knowledge-building: Obligations of scientists (part 4)

composite-square-02

In the last post, we discussed why fabrication and falsification are harmful to scientific knowledge-building. The short version is that if you’re trying to build a body of reliable knowledge about the world, making stuff up (rather than, say, making careful observations of that world and reporting those observations accurately) tends not to get you [...]

Keep reading »
Doing Good Science

Don’t be evil: Obligations of scientists (part 3)

composite-square-01

In the last installation of our ongoing discussion of the obligations of scientists, I said the next post in the series would take up scientists’ positive duties (i.e., duties to actually do particular kinds of things). I’ve decided to amend that plan to say just a bit more about scientists’ negative duties (i.e., duties to [...]

Keep reading »
Doing Good Science

Scary subject matter.

Death

This being Hallowe’en, I felt like I should serve you something scary. But what? Verily, we’ve talked about some scary things here: Dangers to life and limb in academic chemistry labs, and the suggestion that lab safety is too expensive. My unsavory habit of sending gastropods in my garden to a soapy end Implicit biases [...]

Keep reading »
Doing Good Science

Individual misconduct or institutional failing: “The Newsroom” and science.

composite-square-01

I’ve been watching The Newsroom*, and in its second season, the storyline is treading on territory where journalism bears some striking similarities to science. Indeed, the most recent episode (first aired Sunday, August 25, 2013) raises questions about trust and accountability — both at the individual and the community levels — for which I think [...]

Keep reading »
Doing Good Science

Strategies to address questionable statistical practices.

composite-square-02

If you have not yet read all you want to read about the wrongdoing of social psychologist Diederik Stapel, you may be interested in reading the 2012 Tilburg Report (PDF) on the matter. The full title of the English translation is “Flawed science: the fraudulent research practices of social psychologist Diederik Stapel” (in Dutch, “Falende [...]

Keep reading »
Doing Good Science

The continuum between outright fraud and “sloppy science”: inside the frauds of Diederik Stapel (part 5).

composite-square-01

It’s time for one last look at the excellent article by Yudhijit Bhattacharjee in the New York Times Magazine (published April 26, 2013) on social psychologist and scientific fraudster Diederik Stapel. We’ve already examined strategy Stapel pursued to fabricate persuasive “results”, the particular harms Stapel’s misconduct did to the graduate students he was training, and [...]

Keep reading »
Doing Good Science

C.K. Gunsalus on responsible — and prudent — whistleblowing.

composite-square-02

In my last post, I considered why, despite good reasons to believe that social psychologist Diederik Stapel’s purported results were too good to be true, the scientific colleagues and students who were suspicious of his work were reluctant to pursue these suspicions. Questioning the integrity of a member of your professional community is hard, and [...]

Keep reading »
Observations

Journal Retracts Paper that Linked Chronic Fatigue Syndrome to Retrovirus

A recent research paper that linked a retrovirus to chronic fatigue syndrome was fully retracted Thursday, following more than a year of growing doubts and incremental backpeddling by researchers and journals alike. Subsequent studies by others and even retests by the original research team (led by Vincent Lombardi, of the Whittemore Peterson Institute in Reno) [...]

Keep reading »
Observations

Federal Agency Encourages Its Scientists to Speak Out

eagle

SAN FRANCISCO—The public at times questions scientific results produced by government agencies, thinking that the findings may be meant to support particular political policies or positions or to deflect criticism of those policies. Jane Lubchenco, the administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released a formal scientific integrity policy yesterday that is intended [...]

Keep reading »

More from Scientific American

Scientific American Dinosaurs

Get Total Access to our Digital Anthology

1,200 Articles

Order Now - Just $39! >

X

Email this Article

X