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Ethics in Science CHEM 6691 – Science & Technology in Service to the Community George M. Strain June 27, 2003.

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Presentation on theme: "Ethics in Science CHEM 6691 – Science & Technology in Service to the Community George M. Strain June 27, 2003."— Presentation transcript:

1 Ethics in Science CHEM 6691 – Science & Technology in Service to the Community George M. Strain June 27, 2003

2 Why worry about ethics in research? As a graduate student, you will be engaging in some form of scholarship or scientific research This means you will be adding to the body of knowledge in your discipline Your work will build on the shoulders of those who went before you – and in turn others will build on your work

3 Why worry about ethics in research? “Science is validated by duplication of research studies in other labs.” Right? In reality, this is often not done for a host of reasons, including cost and the required effort. This places an incredible responsibility on your shoulders.

4 Why worry about ethics in research? It means you cannot take short cuts. It means you can’t fudge it. It means you have to do it right, whether someone is looking over your shoulder or not. Others will be relying on the intellectual products of your scholarship as the basis for theirs. This is the fundamental basis for the ethics of research

5 The ethics of research has three canons: Do not invent or distort (“fudge”) your data Do not steal data or take credit for the work of others Do not hurt your research subjects If we abide by these three rules, we take a personal stake in the integrity of science

6 Misconduct in Research The University and the greater academic community do not have an Ethics Police out looking for violators However, by federal law, we must have policies and procedures for acting on allegations of misconduct in research Violators are posted in the Federal Register and on the PHS web:

7 Federal definition: Misconduct in research is fabrication, falsification, plagiarism, or other practices that seriously deviate from those that are commonly accepted within the research community for proposing, conducting, or reporting research. Misconduct is significant action that improperly appropriates the intellectual property or contributions of others, that intentionally impedes the progress of research, or that risks corrupting the research record or compromising the integrity of research practices. (LSU PS-69)

8 Responsible Conduct of Research On December 1, 2000, the US Public Health Service announced final policy for instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) for extramural institutions receiving PHS funds for research or research training This policy required covered institutions (LSU) to have in place a program of instruction that complies with the policy as well as a written description documenting the program Implementation was blocked for extramural institutions, but is still required for PHS-funded training programs and PHS intramural research

9 Responsible Conduct of Research Instruction in core areas is required to the extent that the core areas are applicable to the institution's research programs and the particular research projects and staff involved Training programs in RCR enhance graduate education and research programs overall Nine core instructional areas are included in the curriculum mandated by the PHS policy

10 Responsible Conduct of Research – Core Areas 1.Data acquisition, management, sharing, and ownership 2.Mentor/trainee responsibilities 3.Publication practices and responsible authorship 4.Peer review 5.Collaborative science 6.Research involving human subjects 7.Research involving animal subjects 8.Research misconduct 9.Conflict of interest and commitment

11 Responsible Conduct of Research Links related to core instructional areas: PHS resources for RCR training: instructresource.asp

12 Responsible Conduct of Research Examples, under Use of Human Subjects in Research: –Declaration of Helsinki (1964) –The Belmont Report (1979) –45 CFR46 - Protection of Human Subjects –On-line PHS training program on the protection of human subjects

13 Responsible Conduct of Research Examples, under Research Involving Animal Subjects: –Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals –NIH Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare –Online Tutorial for the PHS Policy on Humane Care and Use of Lab Animals

14 Responsible Conduct of Research Ethics resources: –Scientific Integrity: An Introductory Text with Cases, 2nd ed., F.L. Macrina (2000), ASM Press –NIH - Bioethics Resources on the Web –Moral Reasoning in Scientific Research –National Academy of Science Press - Responsible Science Volume I: Ensuring the Integrity of the Research Process (1992)

15 Case study discussion: The Jessica Banks Case: Jessica Banks has just earned her PhD and wants to take her lab notebooks when she leaves for her new job. Her lab director, Brian Hayward, objects. She wonders what to do. (from Moral Reasoning in Scientific Research)

16 Case study discussion: Should Banks photocopy the notebooks? What are the relevant legal issues? What (if any) are the relevant moral issues? (from Moral Reasoning in Scientific Research)

17 Issues and Points of Conflict: Bank’s (perceived) right to the notebooks vs. Hayward’s (asserted) right to keep the notebooks in his lab Bank’s (perceived) right to pursue the research she worked on earlier vs. Hayward’s (implicitly asserted) right to control those lines of research Bank’s interest in establishing her independence (by continuing projects she began in Hayward’s lab) vs. her interest in maintaining collegiality and personal integrity (from Moral Reasoning in Scientific Research)

18 Issues and Points of Conflict: Bank’s obligation to treat her mentor and the institution with respect vs. her obligation to warn other students about conditions of employment and mentoring that she perceives as an infringement on students’ rights to their data, their ideas, and their ability to establish independence. (from Moral Reasoning in Scientific Research)


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