In the last ten years, we have seen the rise of a moralizing discourse on what should be the "proper behavior" of scientists. We have also observed over the past few years retractations of papers following social media critique.
Many times based on the supposed moral consequences of the conclusions as opposed to any clear demonstration of the invalidity of the conclusions for methodological or technical reasons.
In light of the usual view that scientific results should be evaluated on the basis of their validity and that science is a relatively autonomous sub-set of society (often referred to as the "republic of science") we will recall Robert K. Merton's social norms of scientific conduct and use ancient and recent cases of moralization of scientific conduct to analyze the reactions they have generated among scientists.
In conclusion, we will ask if this recent trend in "moralizing science and scientists can produce better science.
Yves Gingras has been a professor at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) since 1986. He was initially appointed to the Department of Sociology, then to the Department of History, where he has been teaching since 1989. In 1997, Gingras co-founded the Observatoire des sciences et des technologies, where he currently holds the position of scientific director.