Institutional ethics

Adventures in Ethics and Science

Category archives for Institutional ethics

I’m used to reading about cases of alleged scientific misconduct in science-focused publications and in major media outlets like the New York Times and the Boston Globe. I’ve had less occasion to read about them in law journals. But today, on the front page of the New York Law Journal, there’s an article titled “Scientists…

This week the New York Times reported on the problem of drug company-sponsored ghostwriting of articles in the scientific literature: A growing body of evidence suggests that doctors at some of the nation’s top medical schools have been attaching their names and lending their reputations to scientific papers that were drafted by ghostwriters working for…

Recently, Steinn brought our attention to some of the difficulties involved in getting a scientific journal to publish a “Comment” on an article. He drew on a document (PDF) by Prof. Rick Trebino of the Georgia Institute of Technology School of Physics detailing (in 123 numbered steps) his own difficulties in advancing what is supposed…

In my last post, I mentioned Richard Gallagher’s piece in The Scientist, Fairness for Fraudsters, wherein Gallagher argues that online archived publications ought to be scrubbed of the names of scientists sanctioned by the ORI for misconduct so that they don’t keep paying after they have served their sentence. There, I sketched my reasons for…

Yesterday, I posted the first part of my interview with Sean Cutler, a biology professor on a mission to get the tribe of science to understand that good scientific competition is not antithetical to cooperation. Cutler argues that the problem scientists (and journal editors, and granting agencies) need to tackle is scientists who try to…

Sean Cutler is an assistant professor of plant cell biology at the University of California, Riverside and the corresponding author of a paper in Science published online at the end of April. Beyond its scientific content, this paper is interesting because of the long list of authors, and the way it is they ended up…

As with yesterday’s dialogue blocker (the question of whether animal research is necessary for scientific and medical advancement), today’s impediment is another substantial disagreement about the facts. A productive dialogue requires some kind of common ground between its participants, including some shared premises about the current state of affairs. One feature of the current state…

You know how graduate students are always complaining that their stipends are small compared to the cost of living? It seems that some graduate students find ways to supplement that income … ways that aren’t always legal. For example, from this article in the September 8, 2008 issue of Chemical & Engineering News [1]: Jason…

In the August 25, 2008 issue of Chemical & Engineering News, there’s an interview with Carol Henry (behind a paywall). Henry is a consultant who used to be vice president for industry performance programs at the American Chemistry Council (ACC). In the course of the interview, Henry laid out a set of standards for doing…

Over at DrugMonkey, PhysioProf delivers a mission statement: Our purpose here at DrugMonkey is to try to help people identify and cultivate the tools required to succeed within the system of academic science as it currently exists. We did not create this system, and we are not in a position to to “take it down”.…