Responsible Conduct of Research
Spring 2012

Professor T. L. Taigen

TLS 184
486-4154, email:

Scientific research is based on a commitment to the values of honesty, accuracy, and objectivity. Science cannot function when any of these is compromised, a lesson that can be seen again and again in the history of scientific fraud and deception. The science ethics literature documents the breadth and depth of this issue, and the American Institute of Biological Sciences offers this statement about professional expectations for ethical conduct in science.

First, a little history on politics, objectivity, and ethics in science--

Science and the Holocaust

The Ethics Of Using Medical Data From Nazi Experiments
The EPA and the use of Nazi data on phosgene gas exposure
The way it plays on eBay
Did anything useful come out of the Nazi experiments?
The results of the Spinal Cord Injury survey

The Tuskegee Syphilis Project

The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment -- raises questions that remain hard to answer
Deceptive recruitment poster and the results
Tuskegee letter
Doing Bad in the Name of Good
The USPHS: On to Guatemala (1946-48), with devastating consequences, that continue reverberating today

The Wendell Johnson Stuttering Project

The Monster Study

Politics and scientific objectivity

Trofim Lysenko--When objectivity gives way to politics: A Cold Warrior shatters the integrity of science
Fleischmann and Pons--Without peer review, things can go very badly...

The FFP's (Falsification, Fabrication, and Plagiarism)

Mark Spector--"Fudging Data for Fun and Profit"
Eric Poehlman--The only scientist to do hard time for FFP, and the student who wouldn't stop asking questions
Woo-Suk Hwang-- A Korean national hero who became infamous for fabricating cloned embryonic stem cells
Dipak Das--Fraud comes to UConn: bad for us, bad for science...

Beyond FFP

"Normal" misbehavior and the ethics of research
Misconduct--in the eye of the beholder