Sunday, March 01, 2015

A Reminder of Responsibility and Good Habits

I had recently chanced upon this rather old article: What pushes scientists to lie? The disturbing but familiar story of Haruko Obokata

For those working in the Science field, especially those working on stem cells, the case of Haruko Obokata should be a familiar thing, for it was getting a lot of attention for the whole of 2014, from the publishing of Stap cells to retraction to investigation to the unfolding of the truth, which is now still on-going. This whole incident, costs several's career, many lab's research direction, integrity of science community and life of a scientist. 

However, I did not plan to direct my points in reference to this case alone since it was not a closed case yet. 

Many of us may be familiar with the mysterious chicken cell experiment scandal. That was one of the bigger ones that shook the scientific community involved because it was dragged for so many decades. 

All in all, these news and incidents, served well as a reminder for those of us who are working in the Science field - well, actually it applied to any other field, the role we play when we are pursuing our career and dreams. We should be aware of the responsibility we shoulder as we do the research, knowing that even though many of what we were doing may go into silence in the end of the day, but one could never know which part of it would be a keystone to other's research, or developed into something important and useful for the world. And when that happen, the truthfulness and the organizig of your research and data would be crucial to provide a solid research and platform. In this case, integrity was very important and the ethics of a researcher was inevitable.

Second point which I gathered, which would be useful to anyone of us, especially for me when I just started my path in Science, was the mindfulness and cultivating of a good habit. There may be lots of stories of how untidy a scientist's table could be or how the log books were always not as 'printed'. But, to do good Science, you must be concised, know what you're doing, organized and where things are - period. This might not come in natural to many, but if we are mindful about it, we could slowly cultivate the habit and it would lead to good character and research planning. This, in my opinion, not only applies to scientists, but many parts of our lives. It is true that tables and desk could be hidden under piles of papers and stuff after some time, but in my opinion, clutters are not the source of creativity or 'smart'. Most of the time, clutters are the result of people concentrating on their work so intensely, hence their result of wonderful work. Therefore, this one do really serves as a good reminder for me, to be organized when conducting my experiments and do good science.

All these are my two-pence worth of thought, from a person who are not very old, or wise, or very experienced. So, I apologize if any of these points were not well thought or written and I welcome opinions and suggestions.

Thank you.

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