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President's Comments - December 24, 2004

For the report on Scientific Misconduct and its Prevention

December 24, 2004

 I deeply regret learning that scientists of RIKEN (The Institute of Physical and Chemical Research) falsified data in some of their papers.

 The Science Council of Japan recognizes the seriousness of scientific misconducts and the need for building effective preventives and countermeasures against such malpractice. On June 24, 2003, our Standing Committee on Science and Society issued in its report an appeal and recommendations to prevent scientific misbehaviors.

 The appeal described that the unfair practices such as tampering or fabrication of research results and papers may inhibit successful development of scientific research; furthermore scientific misconducts will hamper the social trust and credibility of scientists and science community. Moreover those misconducts may seriously influence on people’s lives, living conditions and welfare, and further may violate fundamental human rights or human dignity. The report also emphasized that the prevention of unjust practice in sciences is our responsibility and that scientists and science community should find proper answers and mechanisms by themselves in order to ensure their accountability to the society. Thus the scientists may be duly evaluated and win the public trust.

 After the appeal in 2003, the Science Council of Japan, as representatives of Japanese scientists and science community, has been working further on this issue. We have inquired various science organizations for their awareness and any policy for the misconducts and been in the process of building measures to prevent any scientific misconduct and to maintain the faith in research activities.

 The Science Council of Japan considers the case of RIKEN should never happen. Therefore, we plan to issue another appeal on scientific misconducts shortly.

by Kiyoshi Kurokawa, President of the Science Council of Japan

Pamphlet: Scientific Misconduct and its Prevention

SCIENCE COUNCIL OF JAPAN  7-22-34, Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-8555, Japan