I attended an open lecture/seminar today for employees and students, focusing on what is being done concerning ethics and code of conducts at the university. Dag Helland, from the University of Bergen, held the introductory, talking mostly about the responsibilities of being a co-author of a paper. All this in light of the infamous stem cell stunt in South Korea (Hwang Woo Suk), but also the norwegian researcher Jon Sudbø who also manipulated and produced false research data. None of the co-authors actually seemed to have read the articles being published. One of the audience argued that we have all kinds of control organs in our society; making sure the food is safe to eat and water safe to drink, that animals are treated well, etc, but there is no institution for making sure that what scientists publish is not a pile of crap. Or even better, a pile of crap that others have already published… There seemed to be a concensus in the audience that conserving research data, having a generalised system making them available for later reproduction, was as important. Concerning education: I was told that an ethics course is compulsory for master students at another norwegian university. It’s only a suggested course here.