Research Ethics Roundup: Research integrity, budget cuts, and more!

Suffering from a little campaign fatigue? Turn off the television and check out this week’s Research Ethics Roundup! This edition features stories on a whistle-blowing principal investigator, preparing for sequestration, and the candidates’ views on science (sorry, we couldn’t resist!).

World science academies release report to promote research integrity: The InterAcademy Council (IAC) and IAP, the global network of science academies, have issued a new report on responsible science. The report is the first product of the IAC and IAP’s project on scientific integrity, which was “initiated in response to several major trends reshaping the research enterprise, including the increasingly global and interdisciplinary nature of science, its heightened role in policy debates, and the continued emergence of high-profile cases of irresponsible research behavior in many countries.” The report “identifies fundamental values and principles that researchers should incorporate into every part of the process, from developing a research plan to reporting results and communicating with policymakers and the public.”

Whistleblower wins unfair contract termination suit: When Dr. Weihua Huang reported his supervisor, Dr. Ming Li, for unauthorized modifications to the terms of a research grant, he was subsequently terminated from his position at the University of Virginia. Last month, Dr. Huang received more than $800,000 in compensation after a federal jury decided he had been unfairly fired.

U.S. medical researchers brace themselves for budget cuts: The fear of sequestration, which would cause federal science budgets to fall by at least 8.2%, has left some in the research community feeling nervous about the future. This article outlines the effect smaller budgets would have on the research enterprise, as well as how some creative scientists and administrators are preparing.

The top American science questions: 2012: worked with the leading US science and engineering organizations, including the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academies, and Scientific American, to form a consensus on what are the most important science policy questions facing the United States in 2012. Both presidential candidates’ answers can be found on this webpage.

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