San José State University
Philosophy 133
"Ethics in Science"
online section

Fall 2012

Prof. Janet D. Stemwedel
Department of Philosophy, FOB 232
Office phone: 408-924-4521

janet.stemwedel@sjsu.edu
http://www.stemwedel.org

 

Office Hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays 9:00 am - 10:00 am
or by appointment.

Course description:

The purpose of this course is to explore the ways in which values play a role in the practice of science.  This course will consider the values and practices of scientific countries (including the U.S., Japan, and India), and the historical development of particular scientific values and practices (e.g., objectivity, proper methods for communicating results, proper treatment of human or animal experimental subjects), and the interactions between cultures that influence the development of scientific values and practices (e.g., the particular departures from the western model of science seen in Japan and India).

Another purpose of this course is to recognize that within a country like the U.S. science is a culture, with its own values and practices distinct from those of the lay culture in which it is embedded.  Such mundane matters as choice of research question, experimental design, and relationships within research labs are reflections of the values of a scientific community.  This course will examine the interactions between the embedded culture of science and the larger embedding culture, exploring how the interplay between these cultures affects the values and practices of each.

Readings will draw heavily on case studies, both to illuminate conflicts over values and over the practices that best embody a value, and to illuminate the advantages of taking a pro-active approach to incorporating ethical considerations in real-life research and learning environments.  Since scientific practices embody values, a central goal of this course is to emphasize that ethical considerations are a crucial element of the conduct of science and of good research design.

Prerequisites: Completion of core GE requirements, upper division standing, completion of WST.

Course requirements:

Discussion participation:  Dialogue and discussion will play an important role in our project of analyzing and assessing the central issues of the course raised in reading assignments and lectures.  Discussions give you an opportunity to work with your classmatesto understand, integrate, and challenge the claims made in the reading assignments and lectures. There are 15 weeks in the semester, each of which will have a reading assignment discussion associated with it; you are required to make quality contributions in 10 of these, including at least one of the first three weeks. Of course, participation in additional discussion threads may well benefit you and your classmates, so you are encouraged to take part in all of them. Your participation in these discussions will count for 30% of your course grade.

Case study responses:  Over the course of the term, you will write detailed responses (of approximately 300-500 words) to 5 case studies.  After reading the case, you will defend a course of action for the protagonist. Then, you will participate in a discussion about the case. Finally, you will write a strengthening or reformulation of your original position. I will drop your lowest case study response grade before calculating your final grade.  Taken together, the case study responses will count for 30% of your course grade.

Research reports:  Over the course of the term, each student will locate two articles on a topic relevant to the class and report to the class (via our online discussion area) on each of these articles.  One article must be from the popular press and the other must be from the scholarly scientific press.  The research report should highlight the assumptions the article makes about science and the norms these assumptions reflect.  (A detailed list of possible topics is posted.)  The two research reports will count for 20% of your course grade.

Quizzes:  There will be 3 quizzes over the 15-week term.

Taken together, the quizzes will count for 20% of your course grade.

 


Grading:

Case study responses: 30%
Research reports: 20%
Quizzes: 20%
Discussion participation: 30%
Total: 100%

Your marks on assignments will be converted to percentages (e.g., 15/20 = 75%) and used to compute letter grades as follows:

A+ 98-100% B+ 87-89% C+ 77-79% D+ 67-69%
A 93-97% B 83-86% C 73-76% D 60-66%
A- 90-92% B- 80-82% C- 70-72% F 0-59%

 

                   

Academic Honesty:  I expect you to be familiar with university policies on plagiarism, cheating, and other forms of academic dishonesty.  As well, I expect you to understand the difference between proper attribution of the words and ideas of others and plagiarism.  If you do not understand the difference, please make an appointment with me to discuss proper attribution as soon as possible.  Plagiarism or cheating will result in a failing grade for this course, and offenders may be subject to further administrative sanctions.

Official academic integrity statement from the Office of Judicial Affairs:
Your own commitment to learning, as evidenced by your enrollment at San Jose State University, and the University's Integrity Policy, require you to be honest in all your academic course work. Faculty members are required to report all infractions to the Office of Judicial Affairs. The policy on academic integrity can be found at:

http://sa.sjsu.edu/judicial_affairs/index.html

 

If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, or if you have emergency medical information to share with me, or if you need to make special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please make an appointment with me as soon as possible, or see me during office hours.

Presidential Directive 97-03 requires that students with disabilities requesting accommodations must register with the DRC to establish a record of their disability.

“Ethics in Science” is designed to meet the G.E. learning objectives for Area V (culture, civilization, and global understanding). At the end of the course, students should be able to:


1. “Compare systematically the ideas, values, images, cultural artifacts, economic structures, technological developments, or attitudes of people from different societies.” In particular, you should be able to compare the values of the culture of science, and the way those values are reflected in scientific practices and methodologies, with the values of the larger societies in which scientists are embedded (including the U.S., but also considering Japan and the developing world).


2. “Identify the historical context of ideas and cultural practices and their dynamic relation to other historical contexts.” For example, you should be able to identify the influence the Nazi Doctors’ Trial at Nuremberg and the exposure of the Tuskegee syphilis experiment in the U.S. had on local and international standards for experiments on human subjects; to assess the ways in which the Nuremberg and Helsinki codes embody the interests of the research subject against the interests of scientific research; and to discuss the pressure placed on these codes by current AIDS research.


3. “Explain how a culture changes in response to internal and external pressures.” For example, you should be able to explain how prominent allegations of scientific fraud recently have influenced definitions of scientific misconduct proposed by governmental and funding agencies; how financial and professional pressures can act as a counterforce to the scientific value of free exchange of information; and how attitudes toward gender and race in the larger society can influence the objectivity of scientific work.

Note: For students who begin continuous enrollment Fall 2005 or later, courses used to satisfy Areas R, S, and V must be taken from three separate SJSU departments or other distinct academic units.

“Success in this course is based on the expectation that students will spend, for each unit of credit, a minimum of forty-five hours over the length of the course (normally 3 hours per unit per week with 1 of the hours used for lecture) for instruction or preparation/studying or course related activities including but not limited to internships, labs, clinical practica. Other course structures will have equivalent workload expectations as described in the syllabus.”

Required texts:

Available at Spartan Book Store:

Carl Djerassi,  Cantor's Dilemma

Deni Elliott and Judy E. Stern (eds.), Research Ethics: A Reader (E&S)

Available online (via Desire2Learn) or for purchase (print-on-demand) at Maple Press:

Philosophy 133 Course Reader (CR)

 


PROGRAM:

*Reading assignments are due on the dates for which they are listed.

**Be sure to consult the "Reading Schedule" page for detailed advice (e.g., which pages you can skim or skip) and questions to consider while reading the selections.

 

UNIT 1: THE BIG PICTURE

Week 1 (Wed. Aug. 22 - Fri. Aug. 31)

INTRODUCTORY REMARKS

Reading:

Kenneth D. Pimple, "The ten most important things to know about research ethics"

Muriel J. Bebeau, "Developing a Well-Reasoned Response to a Moral Problem in Scientific Research"

Quiz 1: "The Rules"

Quiz 2: "The Jessica Banks Case"


HOW DOES SCIENCE WORK?  WHAT DOES SCIENCE DO?

Reading:

On Being a Scientist (WWW only; not in printed Course Reader)

Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy, Panel on Scientific Responsibility and the Conduct of Research, "The Nature of Science" (CR)

Fred Grinnell, "Doing Science" (CR)

Peter Godfrey-Smith, Merton's norms of science (CR)

Lecture 1


ETHICAL FRAMEWORKS

Reading:

Aristotle, "Happiness, Function, and Virtue" (CR)

Immanuel Kant, "Good Will, Duty, and the Categorical Imperative" (CR)

John Stuart Mill, "Utilitarianism" (CR)

Entry on "relativism" (CR)

Lecture 2


Tu-Sep. 4 Last day to drop without a "W".

 


UNIT 2: SCIENCE AND THE REST OF SOCIETY (Part I)

Week 2 (Sat. Sep. 1- Fri. Sep. 7)

SCIENCE AND IDEOLOGY

Reading:

Michael Ruse, "Creation Science: The Ultimate Fraud" (CR)

The Biology and Gender Study Group, "The Importance of Feminist Critique for Contemporary Cell Biology"  (CR)

Richard Levins and Richard Lewontin, "The Problem of Lysenkoism" (CR)

Mark B. Adams, "Science, Ideology, and Structure: The Kol'tsov Institute, 1900-1970" (excerpt) (CR)

Lecture 3

WHAT SCIENCE OWES TO SOCIETY (AND WHY)

Reading:

Kristin Shrader-Frechette, Ethics of Scientific Research:
Chapter 2, "Professional Codes and the Duty to Do Scientific Research" (CR)

Chapter 4, "Basic Principles: Promoting the Public Good"  (CR)

 

Lecture 4


Tu-Sep. 11 Last day for late adds.


UNIT 2: SCIENCE AND THE REST OF SOCIETY (Part II)

Week 3 (Sat. Sep. 8- Fri. Sep. 14)

SPECIAL CONDITIONS, SPECIAL DUTIES

Reading:

Jean-Baptiste Meyer, "Science and Technology in South Africa: A New Society in the Making"  (CR)

V. V. Krishna, "A Portrait of the Scientific Community in India: Historical Growth and Contemporary Problems"  (CR)

Third World Network, "Modern Science in Crisis: A Third World Response"  (CR)

Lecture 5


THE QUEST FOR KNOWLEDGE

Reading:

Philip Kitcher, "Subversive Truth and Ideals of Progress"  (CR)

Khor Kok Peng, "Science and Development: Underdeveloping the Third World"  (CR)

Michael Dummett, "Ought Research to be Unrestricted?" (CR)

Lecture 6


Case Study: "The Bob Bailey Case" (Due Friday, Sep. 14 by 11:59 PM)



UNIT 3: PRACTICAL MATTERS: DATA

Week 4 (Sat. Sep. 15 - Fri. Sep. 21)

DATA MANAGEMENT

Reading:

Barbara Mishkin, "Urgently Needed: Policies on Access to Data by Erstwhile Collaborators"  (CR)

"Data Management Guidelines Issued by British Medical Research Council" (CR)

"Instructions for Authors," Journal of Bacteriology (CR)

"NRC Reports on Sharing Publication-Related Data and Materials" (CR)

Donald L. Pavia, Gary M. Lampman, and George S. Kriz, Jr., "Advance Preparation and Laboratory Records"  (CR)

Daniel J. Kevles, The Baltimore Case (excerpts)  (CR)

Recommended: Kevles, "A Beautiful Paper" (CR)

 


 

UNIT 4: OBJECTIVITY

Week 5 (Sat. Sep. 22- Fri. Sep. 28)

THE PROBLEM OF OBJECTIVITY: SOME HISTORY

Reading:

Bruce Bower, "Objective Visions: Historians track the rise and times of scientific objectivity" (CR)

Marie Boas Hall, "The Frame of Man and Its Ills" (excerpts) (CR)

Peter Machamer, " The Concept of the Individual and the Idea(l) of Method in Seventeenth-Century Natural Philosophy"  (CR)

Recommended: Vandana Shiva, "Modern science as patriarchy's project" (CR)

Recommended:  Helen Longino, "Gender and Racial Biases in Scientific Research" (CR)

Lecture 7


THE PROBLEM OF OBJECTIVITY: CULTURAL PERSPECTIVES

Reading:

National Academy of Sciences, "Methods and Values in Science"  (CR)

Pamela J. Asquith, "Japanese Science and Western Hegemonies: Primatology and the Limits Set to Questions"  (CR)

Donna Haraway, "The Bio-politics of a Multicultural Field"  (CR)

Lecture 8

 


Case Study: "The Marty Brown Case" (Due Friday, Sep. 28 by 11:59 PM)


UNIT 5: RESEARCH WITH ANIMALS AND HUMAN BEINGS

Week 6 (Sat. Sep. 29 - Fri. Oct. 5)

ANIMAL RESEARCH

Reading:

Andrew Rowan, "The Benefits and Ethics of Animal Research"  (CR)

Neal D. Barnard and Stephen R. Kaufman, "Animal Research is Wasteful and Misleading"  (CR)

Jack H. Botting and Adrian R. Morrison, "Animal Research is Vital to Medicine"  (CR)

Madhusree Mukerjee, "Trends in Animal Research" (CR)

Recommended: D. Elliott and M. Brown, "Animal Experimentation and Ethics"  (E&S)

Recommended:  Richard P. Vance, "An Introduction to the Philosophical Presuppositions of the Animal Liberation/Rights Movement"  (E&S)

Lecture 9

 


Case Study: "The Jenny Ito Case" (Due Friday, Oct. 5 by 11:59 PM)


Week 7 (Sat. Oct. 6 - Fri. Oct. 12)

HUMAN SUBJECT RESEARCH: HISTORY

Reading:

Telford Taylor, "Opening Statement of the Prosecution, December 9, 1946," "Judgment and Aftermath" (CR)

Charles C. Mann, "Radiation: Balancing the Record"  (E&S)

James H. Jones, "A Moral Astigmatism"  (CR)

James H. Jones, " Nothing Learned will Prevent, Find, or Cure a Single Case"  (CR)

Recommended:  John C. Fletcher, "A Case Study in Historical Relativism: The Tuskegee (Public Health Service) Syphilis Study"  (CR)

Lecture 10


HUMAN SUBJECT RESEARCH: REGULATIONS AND THE SHIFTING INTERPRETATION OF "JUSTICE"

Reading:

The Hippocratic Oath  (CR)

David C. Lindberg, "Hippocratic Medicine"  (CR)

The Nuremberg Code  (E&S)

World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki, 1989 Version  (E&S)

The Belmont Report (WWW only; not in printed Course Reader)

Robert M. Veatch, "Abandoning Informed Consent"  (CR)

Anna Mastroianni and Jeffrey Kahn, "Swinging on the Pendulum: Shifting Views of Justice in Human Subjects Research"  (CR)

Recommended:  Jonathan D. Moreno, "Goodbye to All That: The End of Moderate Protectionism in Human Subjects Research"  (CR)

Recommended:  Wendy K. Mariner, "AIDS Research and the Nuremberg Code"  (CR)

Lecture 11

 


Week 8 (Sat. Oct. 13 - Fri. Oct. 19)

HUMAN SUBJECT RESEARCH: GLOBAL ISSUES

Reading:

Marcia Angell, "The Ethics of Clinical Research in the Third World"  (CR)

Harold Varmus and David Satcher, "Ethical Complexities of Conducting Research in Developing Countries"  (CR)

NBAC, "Ethical Issues in International Research — Setting the Stage"  (CR)

Recommended:  S. R. Benatar and P. A. Singer, "A new look at international research ethics"  (CR)

Recommended:  E. Emanuel, "Fair Benefits for Research in Developing Countries"  (CR)

Lecture 12

 


Friday, Oct. 19: Last day to post research report #1.


UNIT 6: SHARING INFORMATION (OR NOT)

Week 9 (Sat. Oct. 20- Fri. Oct. 26)

 

SCIENTIFIC PAPERS AND COMMUNICATIONS

Reading:

Stephanie J. Bird and David E. Housman, "Reporting and Funding Research"  (E&S)

Patricia K. Woolf, "Pressure to Publish and Fraud in Research"  (E&S)

Lecture 13


AUTHORSHIP ISSUES

Reading:

Paul J. Friedman, "A new standard for authorship"  (CR)

Carlos Galindo-Leal, "Explicit Authorship"  (CR)

Roderick Hunt, "Trying an Authorship Index"  (CR)

International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, "Guidelines on Authorship"  (CR)

Ivan Amato, "Rustum Roy: PR Is a Better System Than Peer Review"  (E&S)

Charles W. McCutchen, "Peer Review: Treacherous Servant, Disastrous Master"  (E&S)

Christine Wennerås and Agnes Wold, "Nepotism and sexism in peer-review"  (CR)

Lecture 14

Week 10 (Sat. Oct. 27- Fri. Nov. 2)

PATENTS AND INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ISSUES

Reading:

Vandana Shiva, "The Role of Patents in History"  (CR)

Vandana Shiva, "The Myth of Patents"  (CR)

Vandana Shiva, "Biopiracy"  (CR)

Lecture 15

Case Study: "The Charlie West Case" (Due Friday, Nov. 2 by 11:59 PM)


Week 11 (Sat. Nov. 3- Fri. Nov. 9)

INTERNATIONAL STRATEGIES FOR SCIENTIFIC DIALOGUE

Reading:

Sharon Traweek, "Kokusaika, Gaiatsu, and Bachigai: Japanese Physicists' Strategies for Moving into the International Political Economy of Science"  (CR)

Sharon Traweek, "Border Crossings: Narrative Strategies in Science Studies and among Physicists in Tsukuba Science City, Japan"  (CR)

Lecture 16


 

TELLING THE PUBLIC: PITFALLS OF THE POPULAR PRESS

Reading:

Edward S. Herman, "Corporate Junk Science in the Media"  (CR)

Mark Dowie, "What's Wrong with the New York Times's Science Reporting?"  (CR)


UNIT 7: WHERE DO NEW SCIENTISTS COME FROM?

Week 12 (Sat. Nov. 10 - Fri. Nov. 16)

COMMUNITY STRUCTURES IN THE U.S. AND ABROAD

Reading:

Steven Fuller, "How Japan Taught the West the Secret of Its Own Success"  (CR)

Vivian Weil and Robert Arzebaecher, "Relationships in Laboratories and Research Communities"  (E&S)


Friday, Nov. 16: Last day to post research report #2.


Week 13 (Sat. Nov. 17 - Fri. Nov. 23)

MENTORING ISSUES

Reading:

Vivian Weil, "Mentoring: Some Ethical Considerations"  (CR)

Carl Djerassi, Cantor's Dilemma

Lecture 17

 


Week 14 (Sat. Nov. 24 - Fri. Nov. 30)

COLLABORATIONS AND CONFLICTS OF INTEREST

Reading:

Francis L. Macrina, "Collaborative Research"  (CR)

David Blumenthal, "Academic-Industrial Relationships in the Life Sciences"  (CR)

Annetine C. Gelijns and Samuel O. Thier, "Medical Innovation and Institutional Interdependence: Rethinking University-Industry Connections"  (CR)

 

Case Study: "The Diane Archer Case" (Due Friday, Nov. 30 by 11:59 PM)

 


UNIT 10: MISTAKES AND MISCONDUCT

Week 15 (Sat. Dec. 1 - Fri. Dec. 7)

Reading:

D. E. Buzzelli, "The Definition of Misconduct in Science: A View from NSF"  (E&S)

Howard K. Schachman, "What is Misconduct in Science?"  (E&S)

W. Leibel, "When Scientists are Wrong: Admitting Inadvertent Error in Research"  (CR)

David Goodstein, "Scientific Fraud"  (CR)

Charles J. List, "Scientific Fraud: Social Deviance or Failure of Virtue?"  (CR)

Michael J. Zigmond and Beth A. Fischer, "Beyond fabrication and plagiarism: The little murders of everyday science"  (CR)

C.K. Gunsalus, "How to Blow the Whistle and Still Have a Career Afterwards" (CR)

Lecture 18


Quiz 3: "The Jessica Banks Case" (revisited) due Fri., Dec. 14, by 11:59 PM