Ethics, values and culture driving research

This issue will dive into the darkest corner of what scientific minds are capable of contriving to get to the goal of being funded and progressing in their career. By reading this special issue, you will find out the damage inflicted on science by scientists neglecting to follow the very essence of scientific endeavour, based on integrity. One lesson is clear. Regardless of personal responsibility, it is essential to examine the failings of the scientific process in the context of the values and the culture influencing scientists.

Is the culture of research encouraging good science?

A quick look at the back catalogue of the EuroScientist provides an illustration of the wide range of issues that affect the working lives of scientists today. Previous articles have covered research evaluation, the open access movement, career structures and responsible innovation, among many others. These issues are often dealt with individually—and rightly so given their complexity. But considered as a whole, they help to make up a culture. And scientists must work within this culture to do what they set out to do: usually, to produce high quality, ethical research that is of benefit to society.

Funding system of research: changes, yes, but don’t distort reality

Apart from the fact that funding agencies don’t claim to fund the best research ever, there are certainly good reasons for criticisms of many research funding practices. There is too much competition; success rates are too low; career advances are too much linked to success in getting large research grants; writing and evaluating proposals take too much time; and so on.

Lance Dann: behind the scenes of the Blood Culture podcast

There is innovation in the podcast world. The new audio and digital media drama series Blood Culture is case in point, as it goes beyond traditional borders of podcasting by encompassing website, film, live discussion with scientific experts and even a SMS text game. Find out from the mouth of his producer, Lance Dann how this bio-medical thriller series came about. Initially centred on the concept of blood research, it explores people’s anxieties of the marketisation of the human body, exploitation of Millennial interns and the pervasiveness of corporate control in our everyday lives. The series results from a combination between creative practice and science, with experts and scientists contributing throughout the development of the narrative.

Breaking grounds in research and innovation through Indo-European partnerships

India and the European Union have become important research and innovation partners over the past years. One of the most important areas of cooperation is Science, Technology and Innovation. EU-funded projects such as INNO INDGIO and INDIGO POLICY will present final results at a conference on 26th April 2017 in Ghent, Belgium, that will include discussions with a panel of high profile European and Indian experts. The event is aimed at stakeholders from policy & programme management level, who are involved in EU-India Science, Technology and Innovation cooperation.

Macchiarini scandal: overstepping the research ethics mark

A star scientist overstating the outcome of his pioneering transplant experiments may be worrying. But when these experiments are performed in humans, used a guinea pigs, before laboratory research proves the validity of the approach, we have a recipe for disaster. The recent Macchiarini scandal has led to one of the most shocking case of scientific misconduct in recent years. It reveals a lot about the vanity culture pervading some fields of research. Our outlook on what constitutes success in research may need to be revised.

Can ethics training improve the quality of research?

Critiques are increasingly challenging the way research is being performed. Recent scandals revealing scientific fraud have made media headlines. Meanwhile, some are challenging the established ways of measuring research. It appears that research integrity is not sufficiently ingrained in the current practice of science. So much so, that it sometimes appear like an unattainable goal. To remedy this problem, some believe that part of the solution lies in making research integrity training compulsory, even though it is far from being a magic bullet.

Shaping tomorrow’s research integrity

The ultimate responsibility for good research practice lies with individual researchers. However, such practice can only flourish in a favourable research and funding environment. According to the findings of the latest report from Science Europe, who surveyed its members on research integrity policies and practice, there are still a number of measures that research organisations and funding agencies can take to guarantee a higher level of research integrity. Read on to learn about the Science Europe working group findings and recommendations.