Savvy leadership promotes ethical science

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, USA.

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Mariam Aly’s laboratory manual and wiki collate multiple layers of information and guidance for her team members (see Nature 561, 7; 2018). Translating research processes from scholarly concepts into good laboratory practice in this way aligns with established principles in effective leadership. In my view, investigators prepared to go that extra mile to help their teams are more likely to run ethical labs and produce better science.

Aly’s advice on promoting the reproducibility of results and participation in open science — both topics frequently overlooked in education — safeguards against ethical lapses. By setting baseline expectations, openly sharing information and stimulating collaboration, she creates a more productive research environment.

Lab leaders need strong interpersonal skills to foster a culture of integrity — for example, by effectively handling difficult conversations, negotiating around shared interests and encouraging members to declare mistakes before they escalate.

Nature 563, 35 (2018)

doi: 10.1038/d41586-018-07241-z
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