Ethics and Research integrity
Integrity in research at the research institutions PSI, EMPA, Eawag, WSL Truthfulness, openness, self-criticism, reliability and fairness are the basis for credibility and acceptance of science.
As researchers we are committed to these values and follow the corresponding rules.
Why ethics matter in science
It takes 20 years to build a reputation and 5 minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you'll do things differently.
Based on experiences with education on research integrity for PhD students, PSI has build up a training course on ethics in science, which is adapted to the boundary conditions at a research institute and contains both fundamentals and practical examples. It complements the booklet about Guidelines for Research Integrity, which were elaborated together with EMPA, Eawag, and WSL, and which is handed out to each PhD student. After the course the participants know about the basic principles of ethical decision making, take responsibility in a proactive way, recognize the range of their decisions and make the link to their own work. The course is compulsory for PhD students and postdocs and recommended for staff scientists.
For requests concerning different aspects of work, various intermediaries are available at PSI. The consultant for research integrity assures internal and external information exchange, supports and organizes training on ethical conduct in research and consults PSI personnel on all levels. The Ombudsperson addresses complaints of violation of research integrity. At the office for human resources there are other trusted intermediaries for specific issues (gender, sexual harassment etc.) and for personal and work related issues.
AI driven language processing tools
AI driven language processing tools such as ChatGPT have attracted a lot of attention from the general public and the scientific community in a short period of time. Their areas of application are already numerous and will continue to grow. At the same time, these tools confront scientists also with new challenges in terms of research integrity. With this position paper, the Directorate informs PSI employees about the framework conditions for the use of AI driven language processing tools at PSI. This position is explicitly limited to the use of AI in text generation and does not refer to the use of AI and ML technologies for scientific projects.