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Science Community Needs Its Conduct Rules To Be Explicit

Every day our personal interests come in conflict with the goals, missions, or rules of the institutions and groups to which we belong or are responsible. Most often we resolve these conflicts quickly and, if we fail in our responsibility, the repercussions are minor. As researchers, for example, we have all, at one time or another, chosen work over family (or vice versa). We balance these interests well or endure the consequences. Increasingly, however, scientists and social scientists are exp

Daryl Chubin

Every day our personal interests come in conflict with the goals, missions, or rules of the institutions and groups to which we belong or are responsible. Most often we resolve these conflicts quickly and, if we fail in our responsibility, the repercussions are minor. As researchers, for example, we have all, at one time or another, chosen work over family (or vice versa). We balance these interests well or endure the consequences. Increasingly, however, scientists and social scientists are experiencing deeper, less easily resolved conflicts - as professional colleagues, grant recipients, faculty members, or employees. Our various responsibilities and our desire to succeed can conflict as we participate in peer review systems, advise industrial or government clients, or participate in investigations of alleged misconduct.

Scientists have heretofore had the luxury of settling these local disputes among themselves in closed meetings of hand-picked committees. In the future, these will be national...

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