Professional ethics

Adventures in Ethics and Science

Category archives for Professional ethics

Some thoughts on ClimateGate.

It’s quite likely, if you’re reading anything else on the internets besides this blog for the past few weeks, that you’ve already gotten your fill of ClimateGate. But maybe you’ve been stuck in your Cave of Grading and missed the news that a bunch of emails from the Climate Research Unit (CRU) webserver at the…

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…

There is a story posted at ProPublica (and co-published with the Chicago Tribune) that examines a particular psychiatrist who was paid by a pharmaceutical company to travel around the U.S. to promote one of that company’s antipsychotic drugs. Meanwhile, the psychiatrist was writing thousands of prescriptions for that same antipsychotic drug for his patients on…

Thoughts on university service.

Over at Uncertain Principles, Chad ponders faculty “service” in higher education. For those outside the ivy-covered bubble of academe, “service” usually means “committee work” or something like it. The usual concern is that, although committees are necessary to accomplish significant bits of the work of a college or university, no one likes serving on them…

Eugenie Samuel Reich is a reporter whose work in the Boston Globe, Nature, and New Scientist will be well-known to those with an interest in scientific conduct (and misconduct). In Plastic Fantastic: How the Biggest Fraud in Physics Shook the Scientific World, she turns her skills as an investigative reporter to writing a book-length exploration…

Recently, I wrote a post about two researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) who were caught falsifying data in animal studies of immune suppressing drugs. In the post, I conveyed that this falsification was very bad indeed, and examined some of the harm it caused. I also noted that the Office of…

At his lounge, the Lab Lemming poses an excellent hypothetical question about manuscript review: Suppose you are reviewing a paper. Also assume, that like most papers these days, that it has multiple authors, each of whom applies his expertise to the problem at hand. And finally, assume that you are an expert in some, but…

The New York Times has an article about a physician-scientist caught in scientific misconduct. The particular physician-scientist, Dr. Timothy R. Kuklo, was an Army surgeon working at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. He is now (for the time being anyway) a professor of medicine at Washington University in St. Louis. Since the wrongdoing of which…

Bruce Weinstein (“The Ethics Guy” at BusinessWeek.com) offers advice on how to be ethical to the business school class of 2009. His five nuggets of advice seem like good ones for anyone who is interested in being ethical. Two in particular jumped out at me:

There’s an interesting article in the Telegraph by Eugenie Samuel Reich looking back at the curious case of Jan Hendrik Schön. In the late ’90s and early ’00s, the Bell Labs physicist was producing a string of impressive discoveries — most of which, it turns out, were fabrications. Reich (who has published a book about…