Science still strong brand

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“After the pastor and the doctor is also the authority of the scientist no longer self-evident.” The Academy sees confidence in science decline. In a new report, the Academy of integrity advocates “sensible policy, radical recommendations are unnecessary.”

The Academy has prepared a report, at the request of former State Secretary Zijlstra, to examine the state of confidence in the integrity of science and how they can be reinforced. The Academy did not comment on individual cases but with a broad framework to look at these questions of trust and integrity.

“The scope of this report is to explicitly broader than just the issue of academic integrity and specific cases of fraud are also not addressed as such.”

Radical recommendations unnecessary

The Academy notes that confidence in science in the Netherlands is still high and therefore conclusions should not be drawn too quickly. “The discussion about the state of trust in science should also be conducted. With a certain nuance Blind is no need to trust and a certain degree of skepticism argued part of the science. Moreover, it seems the level of trust in the Netherlands are relatively high: science is still, in advertising terms, a ‘strong brand’. Sensible policy is desired, radical recommendations are unnecessary. ”

Distrust can have multiple backgrounds, but these are difficult to define “Healthy skepticism is not asking for corrective policy. On the other, distrust of hardened cynics, or mistrust based on ideological or religious motives are difficult to adjust. Where science by its actual organization or process runs the risk of losing its image of reliability, it is worth by policies to contain these risks. There are draw on developments such as the often assumed decline in confidence in science. “No reliable conclusions

Government must resist temptations

Nevertheless, warns the Academy of dangers. There are aspects that might bring. Independence of research in danger “The government should as a client of scientific research and advice to respect. The independence of science The government must resist the temptation firmly rigged guidance committees commissioned research and engage. “Asked advice

According to the Academy should be taken to ensure that the government hides behind the science. “Government and politics to make decisions without knowing as advisor to compromise. Therein itself On dealing with scientific advice to government-wide agreements are made. Appointment of a Government Chief Scientific Adviser and Adviser to the Prime Minister, following the example of Canada and England, the Academy will it “an experiment.

In this whole, there also play a special role for education. “The education – from primary school to PhD – can play an important role in promoting a realistic picture of science. In the Bachelor’s and Master’s degree of science education practice cases can be discussed on the basis of the Dutch Academic Integrity. In primary and secondary education, the emphasis should be on stimulating interest in the value of science. ”

Integrity: the case of the university

Science itself is primarily responsible for its integrity. Universities and research institutions have a duty to ensure the right conditions and circumstances. “This is not only to conduct, but also to the establishment of research programs and the internal organization of universities.”

“The latter includes the care of sufficient internal discussion, and checks on, good scientific practice (peer pressure). Should also sufficient space be made available for the careful execution of peer review. All this to the self-correcting and self-cleaning ability of science to keep. “to position

Crumbling image

However, external parties also play a role in maintaining and promoting trust in science. The financiers. “The pressure imposed by the financing system, brings with it risks for inflated claims and expectations for erosion of the image of independence and erosion of the self-correcting and self-cleaning ability.”

The business community should respect the independence and objectivity of science and to promote both in-house R & D and in public-private partnership, the Academy. “Big companies have often already fairly extensive codes. To the business task the good practices across the sector to enter. In public-private partnerships should, as with purely publicly financed research, the Dutch Academic Integrity to be. “Guiding

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