When in conflict, which of these principles of scientific ethics should be most important: Honesty, Openness, or Freedom?
When discussing scientific research and ethics, controversy will always arise. There are several fundamental principles or ethics of scientific research such as scientific honesty, freedom, and openness. Of these three ethics, honesty is the most vital ethic when in conflict because whenever telling a false statement with deliberate intent to deceive than misconception is present. In the world of scientific research there is no room for misconception. This can lead to detrimental damage in the world as we know it. After all, “honesty is the best policy”.
Dealing with ethics can be particularly confusing because there are two concepts of the term ethics. The first meaning of ethics is “morality, or the set of beliefs that society, individuals, or subgroups of society hold about good and bad, right and wrong, justice and injustice, fairness and unfairness.” The second concept of ethics is the logical examination, critique and study of the first concept of ethics. Ethics can be divided into the three categories of social ethics, personal ethics, and professional ethics (Rollin).
Social ethics are the rules and morals that society considers acceptable. This type of ethics governs our day to day life. For example, “when people attempt to legislate policy that most people do not consider morally acceptable, the law simply does not work”. This is because society has sets of morals that are set in place to determine what is and what is not acceptable (Rollin).
Although social ethics determine what is morally acceptable for society as a whole, it is personal ethics that govern one’s personal practices and beliefs. In fact as Rollin noted, “As society evolves and changes over time, certain areas of conduct may move from the concern of the social consensus ethic to the concern of personal ethic and vice versa.” At one point homosexual behavior was...