Friday, June 10, 2005

Many scientists admit to misconduct

Few scientists fabricate results from scratch or flatly plagiarize the work of others, but a surprising number engage in troubling degrees of fact-bending or deceit, according to the first large-scale survey of scientific misbehavior.
Mendel was right, but did he cook his peas?

Scientific dishonesty has long been a simmering concern. Many suspect, for example, that Gregor Mendel, the Austrian monk whose plant-breeding experiments revealed with suspicious precision the basic laws of genetics, cooked his numbers along with his peas.

Doubts would exist if efforts to replicate his experimental results failed.

I wonder if economists would answer such a survey differently? Related, what do you get when you survey people about their honesty?


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