The only ethical principle which has made science possible is that the truth shall be told all the time. If we do not penalize false statements made in error, we open up the way, don’t you see, for false statements by intention. And of course, a false statement of fact, made deliberately, is the most serious crime a scientist can commit. – C.P. Snow
 
     
 
Chapter 5: The Impossible Dream
 
     
 

     Jeff was awaiting the publication of the last manuscript that would secure his tenure and promotion. The junior faculty in his departure had experienced even more pressure since the departmental tenure and promotion committee had increased the expectations for tenure and promotion. Jeff’s program in life sciences was ranked 35th in the last National Research Council survey rankings. Discussions among the senior faculty who constituted the Promotion and Tenure Committee resulted in a new tenure and promotion guidelines document, which replaced the existing verbal understanding that each of the untenured junior faculty had discussed with the search committee and department chair at the time of their interview and hire. The expectations for publication numbers had now doubled, as had the number of grant proposals to be submitted before tenure.

     But Jeff believed that his published manuscripts plus those in the pipeline would lead to a successful P&T review. Indeed, Jeff’s program chair had asked him to come to her office to talk about his latest groundbreaking, as some colleagues had referred to it, publication in Science. He looked forward to the celebratory discussion.

     Jeff walked into Connie's office. The look on her face gave a clue that this would not be a celebration. Far from it. By the time the conversation ended, Jeff learned he had been accused of data falsification.

 
 
 
Research Ethics
 
 
Chapter 5: The Impossible Dream
Discussion and Reflection Questions
Integration Questions
References and Resources
 


This chapter addresses research misconduct. Upon completion of this chapter, we hope that you can define and identify research misconduct, including fabricating and falsifying data, plagiarism, and abuses of confidentiality. We also hope you learn about institutional and federal consequences for research conduct.

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