Science and Integrity in Frankenstein and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
The main characters in Frankenstein and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde share a common theme: due to their lack of integrity and unethical scientific practices they become victims of their obsessions. In Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Dr. Jekyll wishes to control the good and evil in human behavior. In Frankenstein, Victor wants to find the secret to life. In both novels they use scientific research and techniques that would have been considered advanced for that time, yet cross the ethical boundaries of science.
Research integrity is part of the code of ethics that guides scientific research. In 2015 Dr. David B. Resnik stated that there are many reason it is important to follow ethical codes in research. The codes promote the aims of research, such as knowledge, truth, and avoidance of error. They promote the values that are essential to collaborative work, such as trust, accountability, mutual respect, and fairness. They also help to ensure that researchers can be held accountable to the public by helping to build public support for the research. Finally, many of the norms of research promote a variety of important moral and social values, such as social responsibility, human rights, animal welfare, compliance with the law, and public health and safety (Resnik).
In the case of these novels the first cross of ethical boundaries and a lack of integrity was when the characters attempted to fulfill their own personal desires for themselves instead of for all humankind. Frankenstein created a creature from human cadavers and gave it life. Dr. Jekyll explored and separated the dark side of human nature through self-experimentation. These were, and could have been, pioneering research for their times, but both were motivated by their personal obsessions and crossed the ethical boundaries.
Victor was determined to create life from death, “a new species would bless me as its creator and source; many happy and...