Expert on Scientific Misconduct Kicks Off Fall Semester Science Forums

 

The growing trend of falsified and plagiarized research will be the topic Friday at the first Science Forum of the fall semester.

Neal Stewart, professor and Racheff Chair of Excellence in plant molecular genetics, will present “Scientific Misconduct: Is It Getting Worse?”

The Science Forum is a weekly brown-bag lunch series that allows professors and area scientists to discuss their research with the general public in a conversational presentation.

The presentations begin at noon on Fridays in Room C-D of Thompson-Boling Arena. Attendees can bring lunch or purchase it at the arena. Each presentation is forty minutes long and is followed by a question-and-answer session. Science Forum presentations are free and open to the public.

There are legal consequences to research falsification, fabrication and plagiarism, but the US Office of Research Integrity is reporting increasing numbers of violations. This information, alongside the growing number of retractions in journals, leads Stewart to believe scientific misconduct is on the rise.

“Research integrity is challenged by sanctionable offenses, but the situation of scientific misconduct is getting worse,” Stewart said. “What can scientists and mentors of scientists do?”

Stewart has published a book on the subject: Research Ethics for Scientists: A Companion for Students.

Future Science Forums will feature a variety of topics:

  • September 13—Amy Howard, architect and director of development, and James Rose, architect and adjunct professor of architecture and design, present “The UT Solar House—A Prototype for Zero-Energy Living.”
  • September 20—Jill Mikucki, assistant professor of microbiology, presents “Antarctica: Exploring Ecosystems Below Half a Mile of Ice.”
  • September 27—Hap McSween, Chancellor’s Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences, presents “Exploring the Asteroid Vesta: NASA’s Dawn Mission.”
  • October 4—Stacy Clark, research forester with the US Forest Service, presents “American Chestnut Restoration: Can We Bring Back the Mighty Giant?”
  • October 11—Chad Duty, group leader of the Deposition Science and Technology Group at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, presents “3D Printing: The Next Generation of Manufacturing.”
  • October 25—Kasey Krouse, urban forester for the City of Knoxville, presents “Knoxville Urban Forestry—Year One.”
  • November 1—Gerry Dinkins, curator of malacology and natural history at the McClung Museum, presents “Rediscovery of the Nearly Extinct Alabama Lampmussel in the Emory River.”
  • November 8—Devin White, senior research scientist of geocomputation at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and assistant professor of anthropology, presents “Archaeological Discoveries from Space.”
  • November 15—Phil Colclough, director of animal collections and conservation at Knoxville Zoological Gardens, presents “Eastern Hellbender Conservation and the New Role of Zoos.”
  • November 22—Nathan Schmidt, assistant professor of microbiology, presents “Infection with the Malaria Parasite: Malaria Is Only Half the Problem.”

The Science Forum is sponsored by the UT Office of Research and is presented by Quest. For more information, visit scienceforum.utk.edu.

CONTACT:

Amanda Womac (Amanda@HellbenderPress.org)

Mark Littman (865-974-8156, littmann@utk.edu)

Amy Blakely (865-974-5034, ablakely@utk.edu)

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