Ethics in science


Educational Concerns Case Study: Whistle Blowing

This is a case of an advisor to a graduate student who fabricateshis data in his published papers. The graduate student, who iscarrying out research on her Ph. D. dissertation, has evidence thatindeed her advisor has been fabricating data. This is an ethicalmatter and it involves whistle blowing. It is against the scientificethics for the advisor to fabricate data in his published papers (APSPhysics, n.d). The case presents an ethical situation for thegraduate student on whether she should report the advisor or remainsilent. According to the scientific ethics, the student should indeedreport the matter but should make it confidential. She should onlyinform one or two people who will most probably be involved inresolving the matter.

It is unacceptable and unethical for any scholar to fabricate datain his scientific research. Numerous universities have policies andrules to deal with such situations and this may amount todisciplinary action such as dismissal from the university. Theadvisor violated the ethics of conducting original research andpublishing original and well researched data (APS Physics, n.d). Itis worth noting that the scientific publications are normally used innumerous practical applications and therefore any fabricated data maylead to dangerous experiments.

I think this is a case that presents an extremely serious and graveethical issue. Fabrication of data in published scientific papers isextremely dangerous and unethical. It is rather unfortunate that theaccused person is an advisor to a graduate student. I stronglybelieve that if the evidence collected by the graduate student isincontrovertible, the advisor should have all his published paperscancelled and he should also be dismissed from the university.

Educational Concerns Case Study: Reporting Violations and Plagiarism

This case presents one of the most common aspects in the world ofacademics. Plagiarism is unacceptable and unethical in every academicinstitution across the world. Whereas people are encouraged to carryout their own original research, it is essential to realize that anyforeign material must be quoted and well referenced or cited. Thecase study describes a situation where a graduate student has copiedvast of his work from the internet. The student failed to neitherquote the information nor cite it (APS Physics, n.d). The studentmentor who discovered this violation is at a dilemma on whether toreport the student warn him or mentor him regarding the dangers ofplagiarism. However, it is fortunate that the paper has not beensubmitted by the student for assessment. This is an indication thatthe mentor can indeed request the student to change the paper beforesubmitting it.

In scientific studies, it is unethical for any scholar to copyanother person’s work without proper citation and acknowledgement(APS Physics, n.d). It is even illegal to do such a thing in manyinstitutions. Original research is always encouraged and learners areadvised to always cite their information sources. The student in thiscase violated this code of ethics in scientific studies.

I believe that the student did a gross violation of a code of ethicsthat he knew extremely well. Numerous universities will inform theirlearners of plagiarism during orientation and therefore this studentmust have been aware of the consequences of plagiarism. Since thestudent handed the paper to the mentor before submitting it forassessment, I think the mentor should warn and counsel the student onthe harsh and dire consequences of plagiarism.


APS Physics. (nd). Ethics case studies. Teacher edition. Pdf.