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Scientific Misconduct: Part 4 - The Costs of Hubris.

By Charles Walter and Edward P. Richards, III, 11 IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Magazine #3, pg. 77 (September 1992)

This series of articles discusses the Federal statutes and regulations related to research misconduct. These laws apply to everyone who receives federal funding or works for an institution that receives federal funding. Persons who violate their provisions can be banned from receiving federal funds and are subject to criminal prosecution. Persons who are investigated may lose substantial time from their research, incur large legal fees, and be subjected to public humiliation and epitaphs to their careers.

Part 1 reviewed the applicable laws, the effects of these laws on scientists, and the potential penalties for scientists found guilty of misconduct. Part 2 discussed the constitutional rights to due process for a scientist accused of misconduct. Part 3 dealt with the legal rules for maintaining laboratory notebooks and other research records.

This article deals with the perils of hubris: the potential risks posed by scientific professional organizations that decry the misconduct regulations and seek to blunt their application. By misapprehending the public's view of science and scientists, these organizations invite Draconian regulations designed to eliminate all self-governance by scientists.


The FASEB View
Recognizing Misconduct When You See It
Should Scientists Get Special Treatment?
Not Everyone is a Crook
Facing the Real Issues

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