Ethical dilemmas and solutions for risk assessment scientists.

M. R. Greenberg, J. Martell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

A sample survey of U.S. scientists who belong to the Society for Risk Analysis (SRA) was made to ascertain their observations of unethical behavior in the workplace and their opinions of the likely success of programs to prevent misconduct. SRA, an international organization with almost 1,700 U.S. members, includes toxicologists, epidemiologists, industrial hygienists, engineers, and social scientists, as well as experts in exposure assessment, statistics, and risk communications. Respondents reported relatively low rates of clearly unethical acts such as data destruction and fabrication (7%); however, 21% reported at least one observation of plagiarism. Reporting of other problematic behaviors ranged from less than 4% for human subjects violations to 51% observing deliberate overstatement of positive and deliberate understatement of negative results. SRA members did not think that government intervention would be effective in reducing misconduct. They were more supportive of formal education, seminars, videotapes, and a hotline that could be called for advice. We offer suggestions to ISEA and its members for developing a proactive approach to ethical misconduct.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)381-389
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of exposure analysis and environmental epidemiology
Volume2
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Toxicology
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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