ARTICLE: THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT'S ROLE IN REGULATING MISCONDUCT IN SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNOLOGICAL RESEARCH. Skip over navigation
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Copyright (c) 1988 Journal of Law & Technology.
Georgetown University Law Center

ARTICLE: THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT'S ROLE IN REGULATING MISCONDUCT IN SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNOLOGICAL RESEARCH.

WINTER, 1988

3 J.L. & TECH. 121

Author

Robert M. Andersen *

Excerpt

I. Introduction

The press has devoted a great deal of coverage recently to misconduct in scientific and technological research. Data fabrication, scientific "fraud," and other forms of scientific misconduct are hardly phenomena restricted to modern times. 1 Scholars debate how prevalent dishonesty and misconduct are in science. Some who have studied the problem claim that serious misconduct is anomalous; others assert that some forms of misconduct are widespread and taint a significant amount of scientific research. 2 In any event, the incidence of reported misconduct has risen considerably, causing concern both within and without the scientific community.

The federal government is a major funding source for research and development performed outside the government. It is also a major purchaser of the technological products of such research. Not surprisingly, the government is now being asked to address the problem of scientific misconduct in its role as steward of the public's tax dollars.

The federal government may not be the most appropriate candidate to comprehensively address this multi-faceted problem. Government is certainly not responsible for maintaining the integrity of all scientific and technical enterprise in the United States. Much research activity has little or no nexus with legitimate governmental interests. Moreover, other entities are perhaps better equipped to initially define and regulate scientific misconduct, most notably the scientific and engineering communities, their various professional associations and licensing bodies, and the nation's universities and colleges. Nevertheless, the scientific community's cautious approach to the subject of misconduct, coupled with the ...
 
 
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