Misconduct

Adventures in Ethics and Science

Category archives for Misconduct

Here we continue our examination of the final report (PDF) of the Investigatory Committee at Penn State University charged with investigating an allegation of scientific misconduct against Dr. Michael E. Mann made in the wake of the ClimateGate media storm. The specific question before the Investigatory Committee was: “Did Dr. Michael Mann engage in, or…

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…

Preventing Plagiarism.

Especially in student papers, plagiarism is an issue that it seems just won’t go away. However, instructors cannot just give up and permit plagiarism without giving up most of their pedagogical goals and ideals. As tempting a behavior as this may be (at least to some students, if not to all), it is our duty…

That post about how hard it is to clean up the scientific literature has spawned an interesting conversation in the comments. Perhaps predictably, the big points of contention seem to be how big a problem a few fraudulent papers in the literature really are (given the self-correcting nature of science and all that), and whether…

In the last post, we looked at a piece of research on how easy it is to clean up the scientific literature in the wake of retractions or corrections prompted by researcher misconduct in published articles. Not surprisingly, in the comments on that post there was some speculation about what prompts researchers to commit scientific…

Science is supposed to be a project centered on building a body of reliable knowledge about the universe and how various pieces of it work. This means that the researchers contributing to this body of knowledge — for example, by submitting manuscripts to peer reviewed scientific journals — are supposed to be honest and accurate…

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.…

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.…

I received an email from reader Doug Blank (who gave me permission to share it here and to identify him by name) about a perplexing situation: Janet, I thought I’d solicit your advice. Recently, I found an instance of parts of my thesis appearing in a journal article, and of the paper being presented at…