Advice to Whistleblowers

In your May 15, 1995 article entitled "Veteran Whistleblowers Advise Other Would-Be 'Ethical Resisters' to Carefully Weigh Personal Consequences Before Taking Action" [F. Hoke, page 1], you indicate that some have said that the National Academy of Sciences' advice in its guidance document, On Being a Scientist: Responsible Conduct in Research, regarding reporting instances of misconduct, was "facile, even irresponsible." In summarizing the advice, you indicate that the academy advises beginnin

Phillip Sharp
Oct 1, 1995
In your May 15, 1995 article entitled "Veteran Whistleblowers Advise Other Would-Be 'Ethical Resisters' to Carefully Weigh Personal Consequences Before Taking Action" [F. Hoke, page 1], you indicate that some have said that the National Academy of Sciences' advice in its guidance document, On Being a Scientist: Responsible Conduct in Research, regarding reporting instances of misconduct, was "facile, even irresponsible."

In summarizing the advice, you indicate that the academy advises beginning researchers that "if they suspect a colleague of violating the ethical standards of the scientific community, they have 'an unmistakable obligation to act'-that is, to blow the whistle on the misconduct." Your article suggests that the consequences of such action were not adequately considered in the report. However, throughout the document we felt a responsibility to be fair and honest with young scientists making difficult decisions concerning misconduct.

As chairman of the committee that developed this project, I would...

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