Scientists Bemoan Research Fraud
A commentary entitled “Repairing research integrity” published in Nature June 181 struck a nerve. Three letters to the editor in the July 31 issue said the problem is worse than Titus, Wells and Rhoades indicated when they said many issues of research fraud go unreported, and suggested principles to fix the problem.
The letters to the editor were disturbing. Two Brazilian researchers said fraud is widespread in their country: “If misconduct allegations are ever filed, official statements are usually vague and investigations can take several years,” they said. “Whistle-blowers are typically frowned upon by their colleagues and officials at their institutions.”
A Croatian letter-writer said that integrity is more common in America than elsewhere. “Take Europe, where – apart from in Scandinavia, Germany, the United Kingdom and, to some degree, France – little or no regulation exists to control scientific misconduct. Individual cases of fraud can therefore be more easily hidden and may be far more common than in countries with established standards.”
A letter by two Americans was perhaps the most disturbing. They opined that dishonesty is endemic from the top down: “The academic and financial rewards of calculated, cautious dishonesty on the part of some scientific leaders are, we believe, all too apparent to the junior scientists they supervise,” they said. “No amount of tutoring, stricter supervision or courses in research ethics will fix this problem.”
Maybe scientists need a little fear of God.
1. Titus, Wells and Rhoades, “Repairing research integrity,” Nature 453, 980-982 (19 June 2008) | doi:10.1038/453980a.
Remember, this is the culture announcing to you that Darwinism is a fact of science. Tell us, Mr. Darwin, where integrity evolved from. Science needs Biblical morality whether it acknowledges it or not. Let him who is without sin cast the first stone at the despised outcast accused of prostituting science with religion.