Moral problems of a science

Science occupies very important place in the contemporary world, interacting with different spheres of social life while being a necessary condition of the solution of many problems. One should say that the higher educational science is the key element of the scientific potential of the country and determines the quality of training highly skilled specialists; therefore the observance of the ethics of higher educational science is the characteristic of the cultural development of society and modernization of higher education.
The activity of a contemporary higher educational scientist implies not only the process of study, but also teaching, publication of the results of his studies, information retrieval, reviews and may other things, which lead to the complication of interrelations inside the scientific association. In other words, being a scientist means to observe the ethics of the scientific research. The value directions and the ethical standards, which determine what is allowable and what is unacceptable for a scientist, form the basis of the ethics of a scientific researchEthical standards cover different sides of the scientists’ activity: carrying out scientific studies, publication of the obtained results, conducting scientific conferences and discussions, where the collisions of the absolutely different points of view can arise. The ethics of science forbids the intentional perversion of the truth, plagiarism, it requires a constant innovation activity.
From his point of view there are four fundamental standards in science: universalism, generality or collectivism, unselfishness, the organized skepticism [5, s. 319].
Let us examine each of the ethical standards of science. The essence of universalism consists in the fact that the truth of scientific assertions must be evaluated independently of age, social layer, race, authority and the titles of those researchers, who formulate them. The results of a well-known scholar must undergo the same strict checking and criticism as the results of his young colleague. Thus, progress in science must be based only on the scientific competence.
The second standard − the generality or collectivism – lies in making the scientific knowledge a general property. Having made a discovery, a scientist must share it with his associates so that they could use the scientific knowledge in their further studies, he must submit the obtained results to criticism.
The value of unselfishness consists in the fact that the basic stimulus of a scientist’s activity should be the search for truth, but not money reward or glory.
Skepticism assumes the critical analysis of the experiments, including those carried out by the associates, and so the public criticism of any error. In this case the scientist who rests upon incorrect results of his associates’ studies in his research is not relieved of responsibility, since he did not verify the accuracy of the data. Each scientist must possess the courage to forego his believes having revealed their inaccuracy [5, s. 319-320].
Though ethical standards are social by their nature and they are constantly changing being dependent on the culture of each epoch, historical period of time, its tasks and problems which have to be dealt with, it won’t be an exaggeration to say that ethical values are rather invariant. We assume that in the epoch of globalization it has become even more vital for scientists to realize the importance of the observance of the ethical standards because of the influence of different factors on the higher educational science. S. Peter [Megrat] named some of the factors, which influence universities, like the phenomenon of the stimulation of consumer demand, global ecological problems, and appearance of information technologies [4].
The phenomenon of the stimulation of consumer demand can be observed all over the world. The same refers to the system of higher education, since universities must meet the students’ interests and create favorable conditions for them. In our opinion, the favorable conditions must be also created for the members of professorial-teaching staff, since they are the people to develop educational programs and courses; moreover they are also occupied by the scientific activity. But contribution to the development of consumer demand in respect to students can prove to be lamentable because of the poor state of science and economy in the whole country, since specialist, who is accustomed to consume, but not to produce proves himself noncompetitive in the new conditions of science-intensive economy. Indifference towards the scientific results on the part of the economic sector and state leads to the necessity to search for the sources of the independent financing of the universities, and this changes them into commercial enterprises eager to survive under the conditions of the global informational market. In other words, the importance of knowledge is determined by its cost in the market. V. Gardening points out that the system of higher education today is taken for the sphere of servicesA large gap between the democratic values and the capitalist motives is one of the most pricking up ears aspects of the science-intensive economy. In the Bucharest declaration of ethical values and principles it is said, that academic workers, students and workers must follow the fact so that the attraction of additional profits would not bring damage to the quality of teaching and studies and to the level of intellectual standards” [9]. Global ecological problems are still one of the factors, which have an impact on universities. The data concerning the problem are most important questions for scientific studies. The appearance of the information technologies and Internet is the most essential factor of influence on the universities. Digital and information technologies exert large influence on studies, instruction and teaching. The Internet gives the possibility of contact between groups of scientists occupied with different fields of knowledge. Computer technology gives the possibility to achieve high speed service and to simulate processes in the research work, and also to find rapidly the necessary information. Electronic libraries make it possible to create new forms of intellectual contact and have made unnecessary a constant completion of the book university funds [4]. The possibilities of global network the Internet place before us some more ethical questions, connected with the estimation of the students’ work and academic publications, since too many materials are now taken from the Internet.
Jurgen [Koler] separates some problems of ethical formation and science. Let us transfer in our view the most important of them: the problems, connected with the tendency toward the knowledge; conflicts in the sphere of merit and stability; the disturbance of academic equality [2]. Problems, connected with the tendency toward the new knowledge. Universities and academic association as a whole approach expansion and production of new knowledge, and this leads to a number of new problems, such as: a) the manipulation of the results of studies or their imitation; b) the disturbance of the rights of intellectual property. Existence of the rigid competition of studies and their dependence on the financing is a usual reason for manipulation of the results of a study, and this encourages scientists to create the appearance of success. Manipulation can also be manifested, for instance ignoring the incorrect interpretation of the knowledge, obtained in the course of study. Jurgen [Koler] considers that ethical problems affect all members of the educational and research associations, including of students [2]. Therefore here it is also necessary to focus attention on copying at the examinations, which is a very important moment from the ethical point of view.
As far as the disturbance of rights of intellectual property is concerned, it is possible nowadays to be awarded for the results of other people’s studies, it is also not so seldom that the contribution of some workers into the joint searches can be ignored. One should say that taking somebody else’s results has become a usual aspect of academic activity, since new discoveries are impossible without the already known experience. The non-recognition of the fact of such “taking” is a problem. The basic reasons for such an incorrect behavior are vanity and rivalry for financing of projects [2].
Conflicts in the sphere of merit and stability appear when “tendency toward the truth and the perfection enters into the conflict with the merit, the stability and the stability, understood in the broad sense” [2]. For example, in the field of humanitarian and social sciences the inviolability of man can prove to be under the threat, if there occurs such an intrusion into the personal life, as slander. In these sciences it is possible to observe the phenomenon “of the transfer of the results of studies into the society”. In such cases disturbance is placed in the very theme of a study, and the equilibrium of interests should be necessarily established innodividually taking into account the nature of object, the duration of disturbance and its intensity.
The ethics of higher educational science it should be noted that affects also a change in the paradigms of a study. The commercialization of studies causes the problems, connected with the rights to the intellectual property: the limitation of the publication of the results of studies, which is the method of the protection of their commercial value, it undermines the system of the guarantee of quality and guarantee of standards, which are been based on the estimation of other researchers and representatives of academic association [7]. But this, in turn, leads to the disturbance of the ethical standard of generality and collectivism, whose essence consists in the transformation of scientific knowledge into the universal property.
One should say that at present predominate the interdisciplinary applied research, which are conducted under varied conditions and establishments. But the new paradigm of studies is threat to traditional academic values and source of the appearance of the ethical problems, connected with the fact that: in the field of research there does not exist the clear boundary between “the producers” and “the users”, as a result of which producers they were deprived of its privileges; studies considerably depend on the external factors, namely economic and political, which determine the priorities of studies; the range of studies became much more widely, from the point of view of disciplinary variety, geographical distribution, the selection of studies and researchers; arose the need for foreseeing the possible consequences of studies, which assumes support for the imagination and intuition, but this will not be coordinated with the standards of scientific culture [7]. Being based at the analysis of the most important ethical problems of scientific activity, the necessary moral qualities of scientist and standards of scientific work the philosophers OF [M].[G]. [Lazar] and [I].[I]. [Leyman] developed the moral code of the scientific worker, who includes the following moral standards and the principles:
“1) the civil and moral responsibility of scientist for the social and ecological consequences of the application of its discoveries, for the scientific progress; 2) the responsibility to inform community about the possibility of applying the scientific discovery into the harm to humanity, for antihuman purposes; 3) the inadmissibility of conducting the scientific experiments, dangerous for the health of man and genetic fund for humanity; 4) personal responsibility for the high quality of information and quality of the knowledge produced; 5) moral responsibility for training of the young generation of scientists and students in the spirit of humanism, scientific honesty and decency; 6) personal [nezainteresovannost], i.e., the independence of scientific truth from the personal motives, the interests and other moral characteristics of researcher; 7) objectivity with the evaluation of strange results, strange opinion, independent of personal relation to the opponent, this scientific school or methodology; 8) the responsibility to publish its transactions, making with their reaching of science; Critical relation for its own achievements (especially in the case of success), failure of the co-authorship without the real participation in this investigation (especially in the case of the occupied high scientific post); 9) the responsibility of the acknowledgement of its errors and difficulties to avoid of the repeated, unnecessary studies, which cause excess public expenditures; 10) scientific honesty, modesty, correctness; 11) the inadmissibility of plagiarism in any form, the responsibility to refer to the authors of ideas, formulas, etc (the more the reference to the strange works the more they are required, the nearer these works to the personal work of scientist); 12) the responsibility to defend its ideas and concepts, disregarding on any authorities and situation; 13) sociability, skill itself news, the culture of feelings” [3, s. 85 - 86].
It should be noted that mastering data of standards and rules of scientific decency and their observance comprises the moral and professional debt of any worker of science, but especially the science of higher educational, since precisely here scientific teacher is the teacher of the young generation of scientists.
1. Davydov [YU].[S]. Bolognian process and the new reforms of Russian formation // pedagogy, 2005. №7. S. 3 ― 11.
2. Color Yu. Teaching, regulating and the smoothing: the ethical framework of control // higher education in Europe. 2004. Tom XXIX. №4, book_/
3. [Mishatkina] [T].[V]. Pedagogical ethics: Studies. The benefit of/[Seriya] “higher education”. – Rostov [n]/[D]: Phoenix; Mn.: [TetraSistems], 2004. (304 s.
4. [Megrat] Peter s. Globalization and its influence on higher education on the planetary scale // higher education in Europe. 2000. Tom book_/
5. Russian sociological encyclopedia. Under the general editorship the academician of RAN [Russian Academy of Science] [G].[V]. [Osipova]. – M.: Publishing group STANDARD- INFRA of ∙[M], 1998. – 672 s.
6. Gardening v. Traditions and the present. Russian union of rectors. VII congress // higher education in Russia. 2003. №1. S. 11-18.
7. Scott p. Academic values and the organization of academic activity in the epoch of globalization. /Higher education in Europe. 2003. Tom XXVIII. № 3. book_/.
8. [Terra]- lexicon: Illustrated encyclopaedic dictionary. – M.: [TERRA], 1998. – 672 s.
9. The Bucharest Declaration on Ethical Values and Principles of Higher Education in the Europe Region.

Comments are closed.