Das Dilemma wissenschaftlichen Betrugs

Über alle Zweifel erhaben waren die Wissenschaft – und das Verhalten der Wissenschaftler – noch nie. Man denke an den koreanischen Forscher Hwang Woo-suk, dessen Behauptung, er habe Stammzellen aus von ihm geklonten menschlichen Embryonen entnommen, auf gefälschten Forschungsergebnissen beruhte. Hwang wurde nun kürzlich von der Universität Seoul entlassen, und sechs seiner Mitarbeiter wurden suspendiert oder mussten Gehaltskürzungen hinnehmen.

Hwang und seine Kollegen sind kein Einzelfall. Als Reaktion auf wiederholte, große Aufmerksamkeit erregende und hochgradig schädliche Skandale in den letzten Jahren setzen inzwischen viele Universitäten und in manchen Fällen sogar ganze nationale Forschungsförderungseinrichtungen Prüfungsausschüsse ein, die sich mit Verstößen gegen das befassen, was man heute mit dem Begriff „Forschungsethik“ bezeichnet.

Aber sind derartige Ausschüsse erforderlich? Und falls ja, in welchem Geist sollten sie ihre Arbeit durchführen?

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