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Beliefs and Values of Successful Scientists

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This article discusses a construction of academic work ethic among 16 gifted Finnish scientists. It highlights theoretical assumptions and practical implications of values and beliefs in the context of scientific work. Following the work of Kolhberg (1969, 1984) and Gilligan (1982), we build our theoretical pre-understandings on the ethics of justice and care. However, these orientations are insufficient to explain all the beliefs and values associated with academic work. Various forms and levels of negotiations help us to construct a new structural illustration of scientists' moral orientations, which include an additional, previously less recognized ethical component—the ethic of empowerment. Those negotiations between different data sets, existing theoretical frameworks and researchers' differing epistemological assumptions characterize our research process and guide the creation of an ethic of empowerment, which describes scientists' beliefs and values established and practiced by individual and independent academics.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2002

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