Ethics in research question

Thu Aug 19 04:54:55 EST 1993

Regarding the issue of cooperation vs competition in science
I highly recommend David Hull's "Science as a Process" (U. Chicago
Press).  He contends that the most successful science is a
delicate balance between those two forces.  He would probably
analyse the current scenario by declaring that the truly
unethical act was not acknowledging the previous work.  As a
previous poster has noted, the data was presented with no
expectation of confidentiality.  Thus, while scooping the other
lab might be sleazy, it is within the bounds of ethical (i.e.,
not diserving of sanctions) behavior.  On the other hand, I also
agree with previous suggestions that the rumor mill should be
set to working.  Then the sleazoids will find out that in the
long run cooperation and *gentlemanly/ladylike* competition
is in their best interest.

BTW: In my fields (ecology & evolution) cooperation is by far
the norm, probably because the nature of the fields is such that
scooping is difficult and very little money is available :-)


* Samuel M. Scheiner                 +                            *
* Department of Biological Sciences  +    Education is a          *
* Northern Illinois University       +                            *
* DeKalb, Illinois 60115             +    subversive activity!    *
* Phone:  (815) 753-7847             +                            *
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