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Value Practices in the Life Sciences and Medicine$
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Isabelle Dussauge, Claes-Fredrik Helgesson, and Francis Lee

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199689583

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199689583.001.0001

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The third manuscript

The third manuscript

Rules of conduct and the fact–value distinction in mid-twentieth-century biochemistry

(p.71) 4 The third manuscript
Value Practices in the Life Sciences and Medicine

Sven Widmalm

Oxford University Press

This chapter investigates a case of purported scientific misconduct in twentieth-century biochemistry involving researchers and laboratory directors at Uppsala, Cambridge UK, and Berkeley CA. In the mid-1950s a junior researcher at Cambridge accused the director of Berkeley’s Hormone Research Laboratory, Choh Hao Li, of having inappropriately used data from a collaboration between Uppsala and Cambridge in a paper on the purification and structure of the pituitary gland hormone MSH. Frank Young and Frederick Sanger at Cambridge put their scientific weight behind the accusations, as did Arne Tiselius at Uppsala. A prolonged semi-judicial process among scientific peers followed, which seems to have resulted neither in the acquittal nor the conviction of Li. The chapter analyses the conflict from the perspective of scientific norms and values, here interpreted as ‘rules of conduct’ (using the perspective of Elinor Ostrom’s conceptualization of ‘collective action’).

Keywords:   scientific values, scientific norms, scientific priority, intellectual property, rules of conduct, collective action, history of biochemistry, Choh Hao Li

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