Science and technology ethics by R Spier

By R Spier

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Thus a mentor’s advice should always be carefully evaluated in light of the mentee’s own background, needs, values and goals. Discrimination and harassment The research setting, like any workplace, is a microcosm of society to which co-workers bring their values, concerns, tensions, unconscious perceptions and biases. It is a structured, hierarchical setting with a differential distribution of power. There exist the same potential for stereotypic thinking regarding roles and responsibilities and the same possibility of differing expectations, miscommunication and misunderstanding.

Both human volunteers and research animals play a role in the research process. Although some areas of scientific research are independent of life processes, life and social science research are dependent on the participation of living organisms. While computer models and tissue and cell culture can replace some experiments, computers depend on information obtained from real living systems, and individual cells cannot fully inform our understanding of how a whole, complex and dynamic organism will be affected by different variables.

Definitions of scientific misconduct Because they strike at the heart of scientific integrity, fabrication and falsification of scientific findings have always been abhorrent and unacceptable. Given the many important roles of authorship, plagiarism is the third member of the scientific misconduct triumvirate (FFP) (National Academy of Sciences 1992). Although some favour limiting the definition of scientific misconduct to these three misbehaviours, others recognize the limitations and vagueness of these concepts and that other behaviours in the context of scientific practice do not fit under the rubric of any version of FFP and yet are considered serious deviations from the range of practices accepted by members of the scientific community itself (Buzzelli 1999).

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