News: News Archives
AAAS Panel Explores the Subtle Dilemmas of Science Ethics and Integrity
Falsification, fabrication and plagiarism are the focus of federal rules on research misconduct, but a wider range of questionable practices could pose a more serious threat to the integrity of science, according to a historian who studies scientific misconduct.
Nicholas H. Steneck, professor of history at the University of Michigan, says there is little evidence that high-profile misconduct cases, such as the faking of data by leading stem cell researcher Woo Suk Hwang, send science off track for long. Such episodes typically are exposed when colleagues report their misgivings or other scientists fail to replicate the research.
But Steneck told the 31st annual AAAS Forum on Science and Technology Policy that some less dramatic, often less detectable practices can undermine the objectivity and integrity of the research record. The questionable practices include duplicate publication of data (which can skew meta-analyses of the scientific literature on a topic), conflicts of interest that can affect a researcherís objectivity, biased research designs, inadequate literature reviews and failing to present data that contradicts oneís own previous research.
For more information, read the full story.