ETHICS OF SCIENCES: A FACTOR IN ITS PRESERVATION AND DEVELOPMENT
1 Dobrov Institute for Scientific and Technological Potential and Science History Studies of the NAS of Ukraine
Nauka naukozn. 2021, 3(113): 39-49
Section: Vital problems of modern science
Abstract: Commitment to the high requirements of moral and ethical norms developed by many generations of scientists is an important factor in the prestige of the research profession, especially in the eyes of young people. In view of this and taking into account the extreme importance of the Ukrainian science system in increasing the researchers’ prestige, it was decided that a study aimed at finding ways to increase the inflow of young people in research institutions of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) of Ukraine would include an interview with several questions on scientific ethics and its contribution in creating the research team environment attractive to young people.
The article contains results of an interview of young researchers from the NAS of Ukraine about the commitment to the scientific ethics requirements in the institutions where they work, conducted by online questioning in February — April 2021. It covered 352 respondents from 83 research institutions of the NAS of Ukraine, incorporated in the Section of Physical, Technical and Mathematical Sciences, the Section of Social Sciences and Humanities, and the Section of Chemical and Biological Sciences. The respondents were asked to answer four questions pertaining to various dimensions of the scientific ethics: “Have cases of academic dishonesty been ever witnessed in your institution?”, “Have you ever had to include in the coauthors the ones who did not participated in research?”, “Have you ever witnessed cases of corruption in your research institution?”, and “Have you learnt about the Ethical Code of Ukrainian Scientist?” The novelty of results is that the survey covered only young researchers from the NAS of Ukraine, with providing the possibility to identify an institution where they work.
The survey results show that negative phenomena like cases of academic dishonesty, coauthorship of ones who did not participate in research or even cases of corruption have not become as widespread in the NAS of Ukraine as in the broader society. But rare cases have nevertheless occurred in research institutes of all the sections and nearly in all the divisions of the NAS of Ukraine.
The authors argue that the spread of this “social disease” among researchers carries the immense threat not only for the research system per se (its performance and development pace) but also for the social progress in general and even for the very existence of mankind. This requires intensified efforts to clean the research system from defilement, e. g. through elaborating appropriate mechanisms and regulations. To this end, it is proposed to make better use of the Code of Ethics of the Ukrainian Scientist, approved by the General Meeting of the NAS of Ukraine in 2009, supplementing it with clear recommendations on sanctions to be applied to its violators, as done by the Senate of the Max Planck Society
Keywords: young researchers, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, research institutions, research teams, scientific ethics, corruption, ethical code of scientist.
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