- Science blogging ethics from Omphaloskepsis
- Help build the science blogging ethics wiki from Adventures in Ethics and Blogging
- The ethics of science blogging: help set the agenda.
- NC Science Blogging 2008: Ethics
- Hope for Pandora: Blogging Codes of Ethics
- The Scientist : NewsBlog : Science blogging conf.: Ethics, please ...
- Wired Science . Correlations | PBS
- Weblog Ethics Survey Results
Sunday, June 08, 2008
Conflicts of interest, full disclosure, and ethical blogging
Well, I am sure many have heard stories about scientific research ethics gone awry. The latest is an article in the New York Times about two Harvard Psychiatry Professors who failed to disclose all of their income from consulting to the University and to the government. The story they report is pretty icky, with what appear to be clear conflicts of interest not being reported fully. And this is of course nothing new. Conflicts of interest and unethical behavior occur of course in every walk of life. But scientists cringe at it because when it occurs it is really damaging to the whole enterprise.
Well, what about bloggers? Sure there are bloggers railing against conflict of interest and unethical behavior among scientists/MDs (e.g., see Steven Salzberg's discussion of the recent "authorship without contribution" controversy). But that is not what I mean. What I am interested in here is - what about bloggers disclosing their conflicts of interest? Is it done? Is their an ethical code for bloggers? Should there be?
So I did some web browsing and there is really a remarkable series of discussions about this on blogs and in other places. For example:
These discussions cover every type of "Science Blogging Ethics" including things like how polite one should be, etc. Personally, I am not sure I want to go so far as to say their should be a code of ethics. I think the most important thing to think about is "Full Disclosure" of real and possible conflicts of interest. Sort of like what "real" news entities do when they are reporting on a story they have some connection to (e.g., the New York Times always puts something like "The New York Times is owned by XXX and the company we are reporting on here is also owned by XXX"
So from now on I vow to try and do this within my blog (I already do this much of the time when I write about PLoS or my brother but I will try to do it more thoroughly).