What is Ethics in Research and why is it Important?

Last modified: May 25, 2017

What is ethics in research? And why is it important? In this article the bioethicist David B. Resnik gives a clear and eloquent answer to both of these questions. Starting with a description of ethics in general and how the term is commonly used, Resnik then moves to the function and importance of ethical standards in scientific research. He provides his readers with several reasons why scientists should adhere to these norms of behavior, while at the same time admitting that in practice this can be quite hard.

According to Resnik this has to do with the different types of ethical decisions scientists can encounter. While some decisions involve a straightforward application of an ethical rule, in other cases the right thing to do can be less clear. Or as Resnik puts it: ’although codes, policies, and principals are very important and useful, like any set of rules, they do not cover every situation, they often conflict, and they require considerable interpretation.’

In total this article offers an interesting theoretical and practical background on what research ethics is and why we have it.



Title: What is Ethics in Research & Why is it Important?
Author: Resnik DB (2015)


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