Lab Certification - Summary

U27111 at U27111 at
Wed Jul 5 01:31:52 EST 1995

Andrew Chung, MD/PhD wrote on 2 Jul 1995 18:32:48 GMT:

>The stance that the certification of labs and their personnel will
>ensure cost-effective valid research is naive.  Unethical persons
>are just as capable of becoming certified as sincere persons.
>There is no examination, no professional society, no certification
>bureaucracy that is going to tell you a priori that a researcher
>or technician is inclined to fabricate data and pass it off as
>genuine if significant gains can be obtained.

True... people who want to commit fraud will find any way around
anything we purpose.  The only thing I would suggest is to make
things like this an actual crime... to make some laws in this realm
which can be enforced... and maybe elongate some statues of
limitations on current laws which falls within this realm since it
takes so damn long to discover such frauds!

But what about certification of research lab personal in helping in
getting rid of sloppy people (which their is probably more of than
those which commit mis-conduct)?

>Certification would be a big waste of money.  I am more inclined
>to believe the results of a researcher who I know to be honest
>than one with lots of diplomas/certificates but doubtful

And am I to take *your* word on who *you* believe to be an
ethical/honest researcher?  Are you going to doing monthly postings
of a list of current believable/credible data for those of use less
fortunate to know all the people you do?

>Instead, just as ethics in taught in medicine, it should also be
>taught to graduate students and post-docs.  Principal
>investigators (mentors) must be exemplary in their conduct both in
>the sharing of credit and in the pursuit of research excellence
>because they serve as examples of proper behavior for junior
>scientists.  Those that fall short should be summarily dismissed.

And how are you to enforce such behavior and ensure such behavior
is being conducted?

And how do you 'dismiss' those which fall short... what power can
you exercise to do such a thing?  What kind of system do you
purpose to enforce such things or are we to just talk a lot of good
talk but remain in the honor system approach which has failed us
thus far?

I mean all this 'sounds' good... but where is the bite?  How do
'make' such an idealist (naive) thing work?

Questions to ponder.


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