Editorials

Britain prefers talk to action

BMJ 2003; 327 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.327.7421.940 (Published 23 October 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:940
  1. Stephen Lock, former editor
  1. BMJ Aldeburgh, Suffolk IP15 5EE

    Which is why it has failed to tackle research misconduct

    The first article in Britain on the subject of research misconduct was published about 23 years ago.1 Unfortunately, after 23 years we in Britain have got nowhere near tackling research misconduct. The clear signs are that we are not about to get the national body which other countries have had for years, and which our medical mandarins have continually promised us.

    We have had a report from the Royal College of Physicians2–which wasn't implemented; we had fine words in a report from the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh,3 about which nothing has been done; and we have had undertakings from the Academy of Medical Sciences, which again haven't been addressed. And this is rather strange if you look at the mission statements of these bodies. The Royal College of Physicians of London states that for over 450 years it has had a pivotal role in maintaining standards of medical practice in hospitals in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. The Edinburgh college speaks of “promoting the highest standards of internal medicine around the world,” while the Academy of Medicine states that it “campaigns for better structures in support of …

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