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Addressing polarisation in science
  1. Brian D Earp
  1. Correspondence to Brian D Earp, Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 1PT, UK; brian.earp{at}


Ploug and Holm argue that polarisation in scientific communities can generate conflicts of interest for individual researchers. Their proposed solution to this problem is that authors should self-report whether they are polarised on conflict of interest disclosure forms. I argue that this is unlikely to work. This is because any author with the self-awareness and integrity to identify herself as polarised would be unlikely to conduct polarised research to begin with. Instead, I suggest that it is the role of (associate-level) editors of journals to detect and report on polarisation. One consequence of this view is that they need to be sufficiently familiar with the field of research they are evaluating to know whether polarisation is at stake.

  • Applied and Professional Ethics
  • Ethics
  • Scientific Research
  • Public Health Ethics
  • Publication Ethics

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