Roberto Andorno published “The Right to Science and the Evolution of Scientific Integrity” as a chapter in the volume The Right to Science: Then and Now (Cambridge University Press, 2021), edited by Helle Porsdam and Sebastian Porsdam Mann.
Chapter Five presents the history of the development, in the United States as well as in Europe, of ethical concerns in science. Science is one of the highest expressions of human thought and makes a crucial contribution to the wellbeing and progress of society. This is why the right to freely conduct science is expressly protected by international human rights law (Art. 15, para 3, ICESCR). As the object of this right is ‘science’, activities conducted by scientists are protected by this right insofar as they satisfy the requirements set up by ethical guidelines and professional standards. Practices that involve fabrication or falsification of data and plagiarism contradict the very essence of science, as they encompass acts of deception of the scientific community and society. Over the past few decades, awareness has grown about the importance of adhering to ethical standards in the conduct of science. Scientific misconduct became the subject of significant public attention beginning in the 1980s, which led to public statements and guidelines by academic and funding agencies, as well as to procedures for dealing with allegations of misconduct in science.