Imperatives of the Scientific Ethos of Robert Merton and the Dichotomy of Their Implementation Variants.

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 16:45
Oral Presentation
Nelly ROMANOVICH, The Russian Presidental Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA), Russian Federation
The paper is concerned with the stages of Robert Merton's life which the author connects with the conclusions about the place and role of a scientist and the correct use of the intellectual occupation results to which Merton came during his scientific work. The author presents a detailed study based on comparative historical and ethnographic methods and document analysis. The study deals with the problem of the options dichotomy for choosing alternatives which follow from the imperatives proposed by Merton. For example, it is shown that both opposite requirements are true: the need to be receptive to new ideas and at the same time the call to succumb to intellectual fashion. The dichotomy of these and other alternatives offered by Merton sets a difficult outline for the development of the ethical code for modern scientists. The author presents the most comprehensive analysis of Merton's imperatives, their reflection in the ICC/ESOMAR International Code as well as in the code of the Association of Russian sociological researchers "Group 789". The study examines the problem of a difficult choice between pairs of practically equivalent alternatives. It was found that the very fixation of ethical professional criteria has a positive effect on teams of researchers regardless of the sanctions application for violations of the code. On the one hand the study results promote the need for an ethical code in the work of a research scientist; on the other hand, they make obvious the challenge of the ethical imperatives implementation in connection with a given dichotomy of equivalent alternatives. The professional ethical code of a scientist, which Robert Merton contributed to, has a universal character not only relatively to a particular nation, but also regarding any specific scientific activity. This work is the most sensitive and topical search for sociology published to date.