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The scientific community depends on both honesty and good science. While designing new studies, experimenters must be very careful to prevent previous ideas and biases from tainting both the experimental process and the conclusions. Scientists have to keep in mind that they are always trying to disprove their favorite ideas. Scientists repeat experiments to verify previous findings. This allows for science to have a method for self-correction and it also keeps researchers honest and credible to their peers in the field.

Conflict of Interest

For most scientists, maintaining a good reputation for collecting and presenting valid data is more important than temporary prestige or income. So, scientists try to avoid any potential conflicts of interest. For example, a scientist who owns a biotechnology company and manufactures a drug would not be the best researcher to critically test that drug's safety and effectiveness. To avoid this potential conflict of interest, the scientist allows an unaffected party, such as a research group, to test the drug's effectiveness. The threat of a potential scandal based on misleading data or conclusions is a powerful force in science that helps keep scientists honest and fair.

figure 1-12

Scientists present their experiments in various forms. The scientists above are presenting their work in the form of a poster at a scientific meeting.

figure 1-12

Scientists present their experiments in various forms. The scientists above are presenting their work in the form of a poster at a scientific meeting.

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