In physics, extensive collaborations, access to colleagues’ data and rigorous peer review make it extremely difficult for individual researchers to bend the rules. Furthermore, physics does not harbor the types of ethical minefields characteristic of the biosciences. No thorny questions arise pertaining to human or animal life, nor do physicists commonly grapple with the ethical haze of intellectual property when patents and money are at stake. Things seem to be black and white in physics. But are they?
By Elaine Howard Ecklund, David R. Johnson and Kirstin R. W. Matthews