Research integrity is a prevalent topic of current scientific and public discourse. Prominent cases of scientific misconduct capture the limelight, but recently a multitude of issues beyond the classical triad of plagiarism, falsification, and fabrication have taken center stage, many of which concern the quality and rigor of research and further challenge the trustworthiness of science. These include selective publication and file-drawer problems, various biases, as well as the general reproducibility or robustness of research results. At the same time, open, inclusive, and creative cultures of research in teams and organizations have been threatened by practices that prioritize outputs, as demonstrated by numerous examples of insufficient mentoring, unfair authorship practices, or intransparency about career progress for younger researchers. All these issues have long histories of discussions about improving scientific methods, however, views differ on how important these issues are, and whether all disciplines are affected equally. While some argue that there is only one scientific method, requiring universal standards for robust evidence, others emphasize the diversity of research cultures and the mutual criticism and learning that can result from this diversity.
As a contested issue, research integrity encompasses a large number of actors, measures, platforms, policies, and organizations. This symposium will gather researchers, practitioners, and policy makers to chart this heterogeneous field, to provide evidence of its effectiveness, and assess its (future) development. The event will bring together international and national expert speakers with keynotes from Professor Lorraine Daston (Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin / University of Chicago) and Professor Dava J. Newman (Massachusetts Institute of Technology / MIT Media Lab). Speakers and guests will have ample opportunity to discuss, reflect on, and assess the current state of research integrity in an interactive and inclusive environment, combining the on-site and the digital experience of a hybrid event, and thus share insights on a global scale.
The symposium is organized in concurrence with the Einstein Foundation Berlin’s “Einstein Award for Promoting Quality in Research” that will take place later the same evening.