Should scientists take a “Hippocratic”-style oath, to reduce dishonesty?
|October 16, 2018||Posted by News under Culture, Peer review, Science|
The authors suggest that researchers sign off on a number of statements, including:
I will practice and support a scientific process that is based on logic, intellectual rigour, personal integrity, and an uncompromising respect for truth;
I will never let the potential for personal recognition or advancement cause me to act in a way that violates the public trust in science or in me as a scientist.
Fleischfresser outlines a number of such proposals in recent history and then quotes the current Oath’s critics:
While Doherty reserves judgement on the idea in general, he is not sold on the wording of the oath crafted by Bettridge and colleagues: “I think that it is basically useless”.
Alan Finkel, Australia’s Chief Scientist and another Cosmos columnist, is similarly unimpressed.
“I looked at the oath and found it uninspiring and repetitive,” he says. “Compare it with the original Hippocratic Oath, which is an extraordinary clear aspirational pledge with several overlapping commitments. Stephen Fleischfresser, “Disagreement flares over “Hippocratic Oath” proposal for scientists” at Cosmos
Now that Finkel mentions it, Kermit Gosnell could hardly have taken the Hippocratic Oath in good faith.
If people honestly believe that consciousness is an illusion that arises for reasons of fitness, not truth, promoting nonsense isn’t really unethical anyway. It won’t matter in the long run because nothing does.
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See also: Rob Sheldon on why so many sciences seem to be devolving
“Perhaps physics has slipped into a post-empirical era”
The Hippocratic Oath (modern form)