Criticizing the Critics

Your article about British science1 misrepresented our Joint Code of Practice for Research. Far from wishing to "regulate" scientists or drown them in red tape, the Code of Practice is a significant and straightforward way in which we are striving to rebuild public confidence in science. We believe it is in everyone's interest that we ensure the highest quality standards in UK research.The criticisms in the article would perhaps be fair if, as the article suggests, our Code of Practice was a com

Howard Dalton
Apr 25, 2004

Your article about British science1 misrepresented our Joint Code of Practice for Research. Far from wishing to "regulate" scientists or drown them in red tape, the Code of Practice is a significant and straightforward way in which we are striving to rebuild public confidence in science. We believe it is in everyone's interest that we ensure the highest quality standards in UK research.

The criticisms in the article would perhaps be fair if, as the article suggests, our Code of Practice was a complicated set of paperwork "dreamed up" by a civil servant. This is not the case. The code has been developed by qualified and experienced scientists employed by the Civil Service and Research Councils, in discussion with scientists in research institutes. In reality, the Code of Practice simply provides a more overt framework for procedures that most researchers should already have in place: that managers ensure a...