ers, malicious allegations of misconduct in science, and violations of due process protections in handling complaints of misconduct in science. These forms of other misconduct may require action and special administrative procedures (see Chapter 5 for further discussion).

Understanding Causes and Evaluating Cures

The causes of misconduct in science are undoubtedly diverse and complex. Individual scientists, institutional officials, and scholars in the social studies of science over the past decade have suggested that various factors lead to or encourage misconduct in science, but the influence of any individual factor or combination of suggested factors has not been examined systematically.

Two alternate, possibly complementary, hypotheses have been advanced for considering the causes of misconduct in science and formulating methods for prevention and treatment. Many observers have explained the problem of misconduct in science as one that results primarily from character or personality flaws, from environmental stimuli in the research system, or from some interaction of both:21

  1. Misconduct in science is the result of individual pathology. Misconduct in science is commonly viewed as the action of a psychologically disturbed individual. An analysis by Bechtel and Pearson (1985) of 12 cases of deviant behavior reported in the 1970s and early 1980s supported the hypothesis that scientists who engage in deviant behavior are commonly individuals who operate alone and who conceal their misconduct.22

  2. Factors in the modern research environment contribute to misconduct in science. But although the “bad person” approach to explaining deviant behavior in science has had strong support within the scientific community, Bechtel and Pearson and others have questioned whether this hypothesis alone adequately explains the phenomenon of misconduct in science.

A broad range of factors in the research environment have been. suggested as possible causes of misconduct in science. Such factors include (a) funding and career pressures of the contemporary research environment (such as the pressure to publish; NSB, 1988); (b) inadequate institutional oversight; (c) inappropriate forms of collaborative arrangements between academic scientists and commercial firms; (d) inadequate training in the methods and traditions of science;23 (e) the increasing scale and complexity of the research environment, leading to the erosion of peer review, mentorship, and educational processes in science; and (f) the possibility that misconduct in science



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