Trust, honesty and fraud in science

Georg W. KREUTZBERG
Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology
gwk AT neuro.mpg.ge

Scientific honesty and the observance of the principles of responsible conduct in science are essential in all scientific work which seeks to expand our knowledge and which is intended to earn respect from the public. The principle of good scientific practice can be violated in many ways ranging from a lack of care in the application of scientific methodology or in the documentation of data, to serious scientific misconduct through deliberate falsification, fabrication, or deceit.

Plagiarism (piracy of ideas) has become a new pest at our universities since the internet is extensively used without reference to the source. However, misconduct in science is not a new phenomenon. Looking back into the history of 2000 years of scientific discoveries reveals a Pandora's Box of questionable behaviour, also in the brain sciences.

Educators in science increasingly face responsibility for developing moral awareness and not merely technical and strategic research skills in the young generation. Mediation of the standards of responsible conduct in science is an important contribution for limiting misconduct and for establishing the enduring trust of the public in scientific work.


Session V.  Neuroethics (President-elect's Lecture)
Thursday, 21 June 2007, 9:00 - 9:30 am

12th Annual Meeting of the International Society for the History of the Neurosciences   (ISHN)
Los Angeles, California, USA, 19-23 June 2007