Thursday, February 18, 2010

B - Are you an honest scientist? Truthfulness in science should be an iron law, not a vague aspiration

Editorial. Are you an honest scientist? Truthfulness in science should be an iron law, not a vague aspiration. Medical Hypotheses 2009;73:633-5
(doi:10.1016/j.mehy.2009.05.009)

In the last 20 years there has been a progressive decline in the honesty of scientific communications. In science truth should be the primary value, and truthfulness the core evaluation. Everyone should be honest at all times and about everything, but especially scientists. On the contrary, the activity stops being science and becomes something else: Zombie science, a science that is dead but it is artificially kept moving by a continuous infusion of funding. Many are the causes of dishonesty in science, for example scientists may be subjected to such pressure that they are forced to be dishonest. The corruption of science has been amplified by the replacement of "peer usage" with "peer review" as the major mechanism of scientific evaluation, thus creating space into which dishonesty has expanded. The hope is in an ethical revolution capable of re-establishing the primary purpose of science: the pursuit of truth.

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