Candor and Integrity in Science

Gerald Holton

in Scientific Values and Civic Virtues

Published in print July 2005 | ISBN: 9780195172256
Published online July 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780199835546 | DOI:
  Candor and Integrity in Science

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In the pursuit of research and in the reporting of their results, the individual scientist as well as the community of fellow professionals relies implicitly on the researcher embracing the habit of truthfulness, a main pillar of the ethos of science. Failure to adhere to the twin imperatives of candor and integrity will be adjudged intolerable and, by virtue of science’s self-policing mechanisms, rendered the exception to the rule. Yet both as philosophical concepts and in practice, candor and integrity are complex, difficult to define clearly, and difficult to convey easily to those entering scientific careers. Therefore, it is useful to present operational examples of two major scientists, P.W. Bridgman (known for operationalism) and Niels Bohr (noted for his principle of complementarity), who exemplified devotion to candor and integrity in scientific research.

Keywords: P.W. Bridgman; operationalism; Niels Bohr; truthfulness; candor; integrity; complementarity

Chapter.  7618 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Science

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