The codex of science: honesty, precision, and truth--and its violations

Eur Heart J. 2013 Apr;34(14):1018-23. doi: 10.1093/eurheartj/eht063. Epub 2013 Mar 13.


Science has made enormous achievements for our understanding of the world and for everyday life: we now know that we live on a spherical planet of the solar system, we understand the origin of the species, we can take a train, survive myocardial infarction, and fly to the moon. This has been made possible thanks to a persistent search for truth by great scientists and the scientific community at large. Our assumptions were often wrong, but the scientific process advanced by a productive interplay of conjectures and refutations. As in any profession, there is misconduct, i.e. sloppiness, plagiarism up to falsification, or even fabrication of data. Although eventually fraudulent science has and will be disproved, it is morally inappropriate, damages the reputation of research and journals in which its products are published, may endanger patients, and misuses grant money of federal and private institutions. Thus, as editors and readers, we should be aware of it based on its typical pattern, but we must avoid an atmosphere of distrust, as trust is the essence of scientific exchange and progress.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Portrait

MeSH terms

  • History, 19th Century
  • History, 20th Century
  • Plagiarism
  • Science / history
  • Science / standards*
  • Scientific Misconduct / ethics*
  • Scientific Misconduct / statistics & numerical data
  • Trust*