Lisbon / 19.09.2007
Public Policies and Strategies Fostering Research Integrity
Dear Chairlady and Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen,
1. In Berlin, last May, also representing the European Parliament, I have participated in a European Conference about the integrity of scientific publishing.
The following days, during our World Conference, we are going deeper. We are discussing Research Integrity.
2. The role of technology and science for the economic and social progress of humanity is far too important to permit any tolerance towards any fraud or misconduct in scientific research and in the technological applications of scientific discoveries.
3. Citizens in general usually believe, most of them, not in the results of scientific publications, which they don't read, but in the diffusion through the mass media. And the journalists who prepare and write the scientific news usually believe in information coming from recognised scientific publications.
4. The quality control of scientific research must probably be reinforced in several countries and in different institutions. I think that the evaluation of the integrity and quality of research should be made by qualified and recognised members of the scientific community. I mean, I still believe that a kind of auto regulation of the scientific community is very important but, if necessary, we could go further, with the general agreement of the scientific community, their professional representatives, the more prestigious members of their community.
5. But, when there are frauds or misconduct inside the scientific world community, when there are manipulated researches, ordered by some managers who are not very serious, or in order to build better curricula for a scientist who is also not serious, I think that we must have a very strong attitude towards this small minority of scientists that do not deserve to be called true scientists.
6. On one hand, the control and sanction by more experienced and qualified scientists. On the other hand, we must admit a strong sanction by the State, by the Courts, with the support of the public opinion and the elected politicians.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
7. I think that we also need a better comprehension between politicians and scientists. That's one of the reasons why we have created, in the European Parliament, the pairing scheme, linking one-to-one, researchers and members of the European Parliament - A MEP-Scientist Pairing Scheme. The Scheme will begin this October with the first meeting in Brussels.
8. To conclude, I would like to tell you that I think that fraud and misconduct cases represent a very small minority of the scientific community, but we can also suppose that the pressure of some enterprises, interested in the health business, could be stronger than some years ago.
- The relationship between scientists, research institutions and private enterprises should be very clear.
- We need transparency in this field. All citizens and all politicians must go on believing in one of the most important activities in the World: Scientific Research.
9. To conclude, I would like to tell you that, concerning the legislative activity, I am very open to propose clear regulation on this subject, always with your cooperation, the cooperation of the European and the International Scientific Community.
Thank you for your attention.