Science and Engineering Ethics

, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp 685–701 | Cite as

Research Integrity and Everyday Practice of Science

  • Frederick GrinnellEmail author
Original Paper


Science traditionally is taught as a linear process based on logic and carried out by objective researchers following the scientific method. Practice of science is a far more nuanced enterprise, one in which intuition and passion become just as important as objectivity and logic. Whether the activity is committing to study a particular research problem, drawing conclusions about a hypothesis under investigation, choosing whether to count results as data or experimental noise, or deciding what information to present in a research paper, ethical challenges inevitably will arise because of the ambiguities inherent in practice. Unless these ambiguities are acknowledged and their sources understood explicitly, responsible conduct of science education will not adequately prepare the individuals receiving the training for the kinds of decisions essential to research integrity that they will have to make as scientists.


Responsible conduct of research Science education Science policy Philosophy of science 



Thanks to Mark Frankel, Kenneth Pimple, William Snell and Thomas Mayo for their helpful comments and suggestions regarding this essay.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Cell Biology, Program in Ethics in Science and MedicineUT Southwestern Medical CenterDallasUSA

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