RePAIR aims to help those who have engaged in misconduct or unprofessional behavior
When a scientist hits rock bottom — making up data or cutting corners in clinical trials — it’s time for an intervention. That’s where James DuBois steps in.
DuBois and his colleagues have started a project called RePAIR. It’s a bit like a 12-step program for wayward researchers, those who have engaged in misconduct or unprofessional behavior. Some scientists think DuBois is on the wrong track. “We’re getting a lot of pushback from people saying, ‘Why would you give anyone a second chance?’” With research funding and jobs tight, many think scientists with questionable ethics should be tossed out to make way for honest researchers.
The worst offenders — those who repeatedly falsify data or rip off others’ work — might not be worth reforming, says DuBois, an ethicist at St. Louis University and Washington University in St. Louis.