Ethical research

Adventures in Ethics and Science

Category archives for Ethical research

When you’re investigating charges that a scientist has seriously deviated from accepted practices for proposing, conducting, or reporting research, how do you establish what the accepted practices are? In the wake of ClimateGate, this was the task facing the Investigatory Committee at Penn State University investigating the allegation (which the earlier Inquiry Committee deemed worthy…

I want to apologize for the infrequency of my posting lately. Much of it can be laid at the feet of end-of-term grading, although today I’ve been occupied with a meeting of scientists at different career stages to which I was invited to speak about some topics I discuss here. (More about that later.) June…

A reader writes: I was in a PhD program in materials science, in a group that did biomedical research (biomaterials end of the field) and was appalled at the level of misconduct I saw. Later, I entered an MD program. I witnessed some of the ugliest effects of ambition in the lab there. Do you…

In a post last month, I noted that not all (maybe even not many) supporters of animal rights are violent extremists, and that Bruins for Animals is a group committed to the animal rights position that was happy to take a public stand against the use of violence and intimidation to further the cause of…

Once again, I’m going to “get meta” on that recent paper on blogs as a channel of scientific communication I mentioned in my last post. Here, the larger question I’d like to consider is how peer review — the back and forth between authors and reviewers, mediated (and perhaps even refereed by) journal editors —…

Ethical use of student labor.

MommyProf wonders whether some of the goings on in her department are ethical. She presents two cases. I’m going to look at them in reverse order. Case 2: Faculty member is tenure-track and he and I have collaborated on a paper. He was supposed to work on the literature, and sends me a literature review.…

Dr. Isis considers a downside to having coauthors and an ethical question it raises:

In my earlier post about the findings of the Penn State inquiry committee looking into allegations of research misconduct against Michael Mann, I mentioned that the one allegation that was found to merit further investigation may have broad implications for how the public understands what good scientific work looks like, and for how scientists themselves…

Remember “ClimateGate”, that well-publicized storm of controversy that erupted when numerous email messages from the Climate Research Unit (CRU) webserver at the University of East Anglia were stolen by hackers and widely distributed? One of the events set in motion by ClimateGate was a formal inquiry concerning allegations of research conduct against Dr. Michael E.…

For those of you who have heard me issue calls for dialogue (not debate) on the subject of research with non-human animals — especially if you’re in the Los Angeles area — I’m pleased to announce that there’s an event coming up in February that’s aimed at fostering just such a dialogue, in the three-dimensional…