Week 3: The Principles of a Good Scientist

In week 3, I chose to read the reading regarding what governs scientists, since I’m an engineer. I skimmed over “On Being a Scientist: A Guide to Responsible Conduct in Research”. In the light of this reading, when considering the guidelines for scientific conduct–what I found was no surprise. It is clear, and obvious, that ethics are the most important guiding factor in any profession. Ethics are the way to be a good scientist. In fact, as was stated in the reading, it is the ethics that govern human lives in general, that need to be followed in science. When they are followed, scientists can be good scientists. These ideas are determined by what’s right and wrong in any human’s regular daily life.  These set of principles, governing the ethics of scientists,  according to the reading is called” Scientific Standard”. At the same time, not abiding by these rules is known as “Scientific Misconduct”, as the authors state.

The interesting part, when examining the reading, that sometimes the authors see it as unethical to remove some of the data, and that I found interesting. Because I’d understand if that skewed the reader’s understanding of the results. However, if you focus on successes, and say that the other data for other samples are not supportive of these results–apparently that’s unethical. It’s always interesting to read about publishing data, especially that I’m not particularly there yet.

When comparing the scientific guide to what IEEE had to offer, I had to take a look at a previous blog post that I had written earlier this year. The blog post is titled Professional Organization for EE and Their Rules. In that post I thoroughly examined the ethical guidelines for engineers. In engineering, they do a really good job reminding people repetitively that people’s lives are a responsibility to every engineer. This is something that’s common across the board.

At the same time, the principles of being a good scientist are similar to the principles of being a good human. In fact, most of Ethics play on the right and the wrong, and what’s ethical and unethical to do. If people are cognizant of ethical practices in their work life, they will have the ethics and the right and wrongs of their careers down well.