Presentation on theme: "Project ethics Science fair projects are about more than the science!"— Presentation transcript:
Project ethics Science fair projects are about more than the science!
Project ethics Ethics: a branch of philosophy that addresses questions about morality, ie. good and evil, right and wrong, virtue and vice, justice
Project ethics All projects involving living things (other than plants) require special planning to minimize potential harm! There are national ethics guidelines for pre-university science projects: http://ethics.youthscience.ca Find an adult supervisor and consult the mentorship program or your regional science fair committee before starting!
Non-human subjects Bacteria, fungi, protozoa, insects, plants and invertebrate animals (except cephalopods) can be used to study basic biological processes. All projects must have scientific and educational merit and avoid gratuitous harm. Vertebrate animals and cephalopods may not be used except for: –Observation in their usual habitats without disturbance –Behavioural projects involving positive rewards –Projects supervised by research personnel with approval from an institutional review board. –The same rules apply to the embryo as the adult animal
Human subjects Low-risk projects are permitted with adult supervision. These are restricted to surveys of attitudes and beliefs, skill tests, or observations of behaviour with the participants' consent. Informed consent still required Drugs (including most compounds intended to modify organic function) and invasive procedures may be used only under supervision of research personnel at a hospital, university, or medical laboratory with approval from an institutional review board. All human subjects must give documented informed consent.
Would this be allowed? Relationship between a person’s attitude toward recycling and his/her age Effect of energy drink consumption on arithmetic skills in grade 11 students Toward which chemical in rotting fruit are fruit flies most attracted? Effect of temperature on gold fish survival
Questions to ask yourself Is the project high or low risk? Is there supervision by an appropriate scientific advisor? Am I familiar with the ethics guidelines for humans and animals at http://ethics.youthscience.ca? In survey projects: does the informed consent form have all the required elements? Is a drug involved? What is the definition of a drug?