Clemens Suter-Crazzolara un691cs at
Thu Apr 13 04:08:50 EST 1995

a.b. wrote:

> Jim's comments echo an argument put forward locally (here in Pasadena
> at Caltech) by David Goodstein (Vice Provost/Physics Professor at
> Caltech) a couple of years ago.  Writing about ethics in science,
> Prof. Goodstein noted that the vast majority of scientific ethics
> charges and actual "convictions" (something like 95%) occur in the
> medical fields, where over the past 10 years the funding and
> employment climate has been more competitive than in physics, for
> instance.  Prof. Goodstein speculates that as the funding became more
> competitive the peer review process breaks down because of the natural
> self-preservation interests of the reviewers.  He goes on to argue, as
> Jim does, that the ethics problems that the medical and biological
> fields will spread to chemistry and physics with reduced funding
> levels, as they are now.
> I personally do not know of many cases of outright fraud in my
> discipline (physics), but I expect that Jim and Prof. Goodstein are
> right in expecting that ethical abuse rates are inversely related to
> competition levels for positions and funding.  The challenge to all of
> us is to maintain our integrity in the face of (increasingly) tough
> times ahead.
> 							- A.B.

I think you are right. It compares a little bit to policemen, 
who constantly have less pay, but more work to do. In the end
people are surprised some of them are corrupt....
I feel strongly that the fun should be brought back into science,
which could be achieved by better prospects for the future. Even 
I have become very cinical towards my employer (he will kick me out
anyway in a few years if I won't produce...).

clemens, heidelberg

More information about the Bioforum mailing list