Ethics and the Responsible Conduct of Research in the Chemical Community: The Unique Role and Challenges of the News Media

TitleEthics and the Responsible Conduct of Research in the Chemical Community: The Unique Role and Challenges of the News Media
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsSchulz, WG
JournalAccountability in Research: Policies & Quality Assurance
Date Published2015
Publication Languageeng
ISBN Number08989621
KeywordsAMERICAN , chemical , CHEMISTRY , DECISION , ethics , falsification , JOURNALISM , JOURNALISTIC , media , Responsible , SCIENCE , TRANSPARENCY
AbstractJournalists who cover scientific research, including chemistry research, have an obligation to report on alleged cases of research misconduct when knowledge of these surface. New Government definitions of research misconduct, beginning in the late 1990s with the Clinton Administration, have helped scientists, policymakers, as well as journalists sort out and make sense of alleged research misconduct. Journalistic reporting on research misconduct includes many challenges: gathering information from sources who are intimidated or afraid to speak, strict adherence to journalist ethics that take on a new dimension when careers, reputations, and research funding are at stake; efforts by government and institutional bureaucrats to dampen or thwart legitimate news coverage. The Internet, blogging, and social media have added still more complexity and ethical quandaries to this blend. The author, News Editor of Chemical & Engineering News published by the American Chemical Society, provides examples from his own career and that of colleagues. He suggests that an enhanced spirit of understanding and cooperation between journalists and members of the scientific community can lead to avenues of open discussion of research misconduct--discussions that might prevent and mitigate the very real damage caused by bad actors in science who betray themselves, their peers, and the body of modern day scientific knowledge when they make the decision to march into the darkness of dishonesty, plagiarism, or falsification. 
NotesSchulz, William G. 1; Email Address:; Affiliations: 1: Chemical & Engineering News, Washington, D.C., USA; Issue Info: 2015, Vol. 22 Issue 6, p384; Thesaurus Term: JOURNALISTIC ethics; Thesaurus Term: DECISION making; Subject Term: CHEMICAL research; Subject Term: SCIENCE & ethics; Subject Term: CHEMICAL engineering; Subject Term: FALSIFICATION; Author-Supplied Keyword: American Chemical Society; Author-Supplied Keyword: Chemical & Engineering News; Author-Supplied Keyword: chemistry; Author-Supplied Keyword: ethics; Author-Supplied Keyword: journalism; Author-Supplied Keyword: media; Author-Supplied Keyword: responsible conduct of research; Author-Supplied Keyword: transparency; NAICS/Industry Codes: 541710 Research and development in the physical, engineering and life sciences; NAICS/Industry Codes: 541712 Research and Development in the Physical, Engineering, and Life Sciences (except Biotechnology); Number of Pages: 18p; Document Type: Article