Ethics in research; What is acceptable and what isn’t?

Ethics in research; What is acceptable and what isn't?

As depicted by the fight between two wolves, the discussion of ethics governing research today is plagued with dilemmas and traps regarding what’s appropriate and what’s not.

Guided by morality values, ethical norms are largely acquired via educational, cultural and social settings.

Ubiquitous and commonsensical as it seems, we often tell ourselves “surely he/’she must know that that is wrong!?”
Yet there still remains an abundance of ethical disputes and issues regarding research.

We are all in reality, hostages to our experiences.

While most people recognize common ethical norms, individuals interpret, practice, and balance norms in light of their own values and experiences.

Whilst various disciplines, institutions, and professions have norms to standardize professional codes of conduct, there are several core reasons outlining the importance of adherence to ethical norms in research:

• Aimed at providing knowledge, truth, and avoidance of error, researchers should refrain from fabricating, falsifying, or misrepresenting research data for the sole purpose of objectivity.

• Given that research may adopt a multidisciplinary approach involving cooperation and coordination amongst individuals from various disciplines and institutions, ethical standards promote trust, accountability, respect and fairness pivotal to collaborative work.

• In relation to beneficence towards mankind, researchers’ duty of care should extend beyond the study for accountability purposes.

• While norms of research promote a variety of other important moral and social values (social responsibility, human rights, animal welfare, compliance with the law, and health and safety), ethical lapses in research can have disastrous consequences on participants, animal subjects, students, and the public.

“A man does what he must – in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers and pressures – and that is the basis of all human morality.” – Winston Churchill

As tempting as it maybe my dear fellow researchers, it is the wolf that you feed that will triumph.

Choose wisely.


9 thoughts on “Ethics in research; What is acceptable and what isn’t?”

  1. The one you feed is the one that wins..ha ha, so true. It’s similar to what I wrote about thought – the one you allow to take root is the one that defines you. Thanks for stopping by my blog post. Do leave a comment to take it forward.

  2. Well done. This is both accessible and discerning. How rarely are they combined? The appetites, the thoughts, the advances in technology and the values we hold are all subject to our prioritizing; what we feed and fuel. You have some pertinent warnings regarding research here and I am reminded that research into people changes the people observed, research into potential capabilities germinates a burden to realise that potential. If the research therefore is for the good of humankind… to end bigotry, disease and ignorance well and good. But researchers must give some heed I think to what will replace those things they remove, denounce, demystify and homogenize.

  3. fantastic illustration. What ever you allow to enter into your head will most certainly depict which wolf will become stronger -BEAST

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