If complete objectivity in research is impossible to achieve, does this mean that fair and unbiased research cannot be done? Is all research necessarily biased?
The responsibility to maintain objectivity in research and to avoid deception is not a unique thing to researchers but it should actually be looked at as a general responsibility (Shrader-Frechette 51). Ethics of scientific research stated that “bias in research escapes assessment because there is no value frees research, even in pure science” (53). For example Shrader-Frechette says that sexist and racist biases often compromise the objectivity of research (53). Although fair and unbiased research can be achieved, Shrader-Frechette says that researchers can avoid allowing bias and cultural values to affect their work. This is because all scientists must use value judgments to deal with research situations involving incomplete data or methods.
All research is usually not necessary biased. This is because according to Shrader-Frechette methodological value judgments often interpret research methods, inferences, data, premises or theories (53). These interpretations often rely on commitments to particular goals of research. Shrader-Frechette continues to say that all scientific research contains some degree of incompleteness and therefore they are subject to some interpretation (61). As a result therefore there are no un-interpreted fact of research that exist hence all research is value laden (Shrader-Frechette 61).
Another reason why all research is not necessary biased is because of the varying plausibility and objectivity, researchers must determine whether logic and evidence tend to substantiate certain assumptions or to call them into question (Shrader-Frechette 54). Shrader-Frechette thus concluded that by using more reliable assumptions and methodological value judgments and by becoming more aware of the value judgments they researchers can provide more reliable and unbiased research conclusions (54).