Addressing the urgent need for fighting fraud, forgery and plagiarism in science world-wide. Promoting integrity, responsability and solidarity within the scientific community, including its relationship with the society at large. Aims at developing a common perception and support of the cultural, ethical and legal value of science and research within Europe.
Presence at the First World Conference on Research Integrity: Fostering Responsible Research
Lisbon, 16-19 September 2007
The final report of the Conference co-chairs Anthony Mayer, European Science Foundation (ESF) and Nicholas Steneck, US Office of Research Integrity (ORI) is now on the conference site :www.esf.org/conferences/integrity/
All presentations are accessible there, including the « Action oriented Summary » by Peter Tindemans, the conference rapporteur.
He emphasizes four themes within the broad notion of research integrity :
i) research misconduct proper focusing on plagiarism, fraud and fabrication and the broader view including questionable research practices ;
ii) bioethics refering to all infringements on national or international regulations ;
iii) conflicting interests when external pressures (at the interface of research and political,economic or military interests) on researchers and/or scientific institutions leads to misrepresenting or hiding research results ;
iv) institutional integrity when trust, credibility and responsibility are perceived as crucial values from government to individual faculty members, students and the society.
In each theme several areas for actions are defined by the rapporteur and Euroscience members are encouraged to think at them and react. Several actions pertain to the responsibility of authors and scientific journals in publications. A pertinent analysis of the scientists' communication is given by Marie-Claude Roland in her report to the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO Reports, vol. 18, May 2007) : « Publish AND Perish : hedging as fraud in scientific discourse », see www.reflexives-lpr.org
The Tindemans' report concludes on two cross-cutting issues :
i) ways to help promoting research integrity by scientists and institutions in the developing countries ;
ii) links between science culture in society at large and trust in science.
A good example of a national ethics committee catching up in Nigeria was given in her invited talk by Ayse Erzan , see http://www.nhrec.net/nhrec/
« The National Health Research Ethics Committee, Nigeria (NHREC) has United States Federal Wide Assurance so that when the NHREC functions as an ethics committee according to the National Code and reviews protocols, such protocol review meets the requirements of United States Federal Government funded research. »
Also Nigerian citizen's initiatives are being set up : Nigeria Heath Watch, seehttp://nigeriahealthwatch.blogspot.com/
The ESOF2008 meeting will be an opportunity to discuss these issues and suggest new actions for education at elementary and high school level and development of a strong science culture.