Whistleblowing and Scientific Misconduct: Renewing Legal and Virtue Ethics Foundations

Journal of Medicine and Law, Vol. 26, No. 3, pp. 567-84, September 2007

22 Pages Posted: 18 May 2009 Last revised: 26 May 2009

Date Written: September 18, 2007

Abstract

Whistleblowing in relation to scientific research misconduct, despite the benefits of increased transparency and accountability it often has brought to society and the discipline of science itself, remains generally regarded as a pariah activity by many of the most influential relevant organizations. The motivations of whistleblowers and those supporting them continued to be questioned and their actions criticised by colleagues and management, despite statutory protections for reasonable disclosures appropriately made in good faith and for the public interest. One reason for this paradoxical position, explored here, is that whistle blowing concerning scientific misconduct lacks the policy support customarily derived from firm bioethical and jurisprudential foundations. Recommendations are made for altering this situation in the public interest.

Keywords: Whistleblowing, virtue ethics, public interest disclosure laws, scientific misconduct laws

JEL Classification: H41, I18, O34, M14, K31

Suggested Citation

Faunce, Thomas Alured, Whistleblowing and Scientific Misconduct: Renewing Legal and Virtue Ethics Foundations (September 18, 2007). Journal of Medicine and Law, Vol. 26, No. 3, pp. 567-84, September 2007 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1406286

Thomas Alured Faunce (Contact Author)

Australian National University ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia
61 2 61253563 (Phone)

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