Survival Skills for Researchers: The Responsible Conduct of Research

Course Info

Course Number/Code: HST.502 (Spring 2003)
Course Title: Survival Skills for Researchers: The Responsible Conduct of Research
Course Level: Graduate
Offered By: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
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Department: Health Sciences and Technology
Course Instructor(s): Prof. Stephanie J. Bird
Prof. Elizabeth R. Myers
Course Introduction:
Syllabus Format The case(s) relating to the class session topic will be distributed the week before class. The first half of the class time will be a lecture presentation of relevant materials and the last half will be a discussion of the case(s) with emphasis on student-driven analysis. Class members are expected to be prepared to discuss the case(s). (see "Instructions for Case Discussions") Assignments and Assessment Pass/Fail grades will be determined by the instructors based on attendance, preparation of three written assignments, preparation for case discussions, and participation in case discussions. Recommended Text Macrina, Francis L. Scientific Integrity: An Introductory Text with Cases. Instructions for Case Discussions The goal of case discussions is not to decide on right and wrong. Rather, the purpose is to: Develop strategies for addressing the issues and the problems raised, and explore the implications of each course of action and its pros and cons.Identify and clarify professional standards and ethical values of scientific research as well as conventions.Clarify accepted differences in values, understand the underlying assumptions, and identify unacceptable practices.

Most cases are complex, and the resolution may not be clear. 

To prepare for each case study, read the case before class and prepare a one-page summary identifying:

Issues or points of conflict.Affected parties.Possible actions to be taken by each character.

Also think about:

Possible consequences for each action considered.Obligations of each character, whether you believe these are moral duties and why.

Note that each case may contain more than one issue. You should try to evaluate all issues in a case.

The one-page summary will be collected at the end of class.

Reference Bebeau, M. J. "Developing a Well-reasoned Response to a Moral Problem in Scientific Research Ethics." In Teaching Research Ethics: A Workshop at Indiana University. May, 1995.