José State University
"Ethics in Science"
Janet D. Stemwedel
Department of Philosophy, FOB 203
Office phone: 408-924-4470
Hours: Tuesdays 9:00 am-10:00 am, Wednesdays 11:00 am-12:00 pm
or by appointment.
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.
“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:
Prerequisites: Completion of core GE requirements, upper division standing, completion of WST.
Course ground rules agreement: Read and sign, indicating that you understand and agree to the rules. If you do not understand them, you must schedule a conference with me to go over them. This is required before other assignments will be accepted. Due no later than Thursday, September 14, and worth 2% of your course grade.
Quiz: Understanding (and avoiding) plagiarism: Delivered online (via Canvas), this quiz is due no later than Friday, September 15, and is worth 4% of your course grade.
Quiz: Basic concepts and background information for case studies: Delivered online (via Canvas), this quiz is due no later than Friday, September 15, and is worth 5% of your course grade.
Reading response essays: For 3 of the reading assignments, you will be asked to write a short essay (500 words, approximately 2 typed, double-spaced page) engaging with some issue or issues in the reading. (Specific instructions for each reading response essay will be distributed in class.) The goal of these assignments is to help you read in an active, engaged way, and to encourage you to develop your own views about these issues. Reading response essays will be assessed for correctness, clarity, and conciseness and returned to you promptly. You are encouraged to make use of the tutors in the Logic and Philosophy Lab (FOB 231) for additional help with writing for this course. Reading response essays are due at the beginning of class on the dates listed in the program. No late reading response essays will be accepted, but I will drop your lowest reading response essay grade before calculating your final grade. Taken together, the reading response essays will count for 15% of your course grade.
Case study responses: Over the course of the term, you will explore 4 case studies. After reading the case, you will write an initial response (of approximately 300 words) defending a course of action for the protagonist, participate in a discussion about the case, and then answer some focused questions about the case (the case quiz). Three of the case study responses will be done in class. One of the case studies will be done as an assignment outside of class, making use of online discussion of the case with your classmates. No late case study responses will be accepted, but I will drop your lowest case study initial response grade and your lowest case study quiz grade before calculating your final grade. Taken together, the case study initial responses will count for 12% of your course grade and the case study quizzes will count for 12% 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 board) 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. The two research reports will count for 15% of your course grade.
Review of an ethics training module: Each student will complete an ethics training activity or module (such as ORI’s interactive movie “The Lab” or a CITI training module accessed through SJSU’s institutional subscription) and write a reflective essay (of approximately 600 words) about this experience. The review of an ethics training module will count for 10% of your course grade. Submitting this review before the last class meeting will earn extra credit points towards your final grade, as indicated in the course schedule.
Final exam: The final exam is intended to evaluate your grasp of the material from assigned readings, lectures, and class discussions. It will include shorter objective items (e.g., definitions of key terms) and longer essays that will require that you reflect critically on the course material. More details on the format and content of the exam will be distributed later in the term. The final exam will count for 15% of the course grade.
Class participation: Because dialogue and discussion are central to philosophy, one generally cannot excel in a philosophy class without a passing grade in class participation. Class participation presupposes attendance. Generally, students who miss more than three weeks of class are unlikely to be able to earn sufficient class participation credit to receive a passing participation grade.
I expect that you will come to class having done the readings and thought about the issues they raise before our class meetings, and ready to participate in general discussion, in-class writing exercises, and periodic small group exercises. Your class participation will count for 10% of your course grade.
Credit hours: Success in this course is based on the expectation that students will spend, for each unit of credit, a minimum of forty-five hours per 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, and clinical practica. Other course structures will have equivalent workload expectations as described in the syllabus.
|Course ground rules agreement :||2%|
|Quiz: Understanding (and avoiding) plagiarism:||4%|
|Quiz: Basic concepts and background information for case studies:||5%|
|Case study initial responses:||12%|
|Case study quizzes:||12%|
|Review of an ethics training module:||10%|
Your marks on assignments will be converted to percentages (e.g., 15/20 = 75%) and used to compute letter grades as follows:
Passage of the Writing Skills Test (WST) or ENGL/LLD 100A with a C or better (C- not accepted), and completion of Core General Education are prerequisite to all SJSU Studies courses. Completion of, or co-registration in, 100W is strongly recommended. A minimum aggregate GPA of 2.0 in GE Areas R, S, & V shall be required of all students
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:
Per University Policy S16-9, university-wide policy information relevant to all courses, such as academic integrity, accommodations, etc. will be available on Office of Graduate and Undergraduate Programs’ Syllabus Information web page at http://www.sjsu.edu/gup/syllabusinfo/
Available at Spartan Book Store (as well as Roberts Book Store, and from online booksellers):
Carl Djerassi, Cantor's Dilemma
Deni Elliott and Judy E. Stern (eds.), Research Ethics: A Reader (E&S)
Available online (via Canvas) or for purchase (print-on-demand) at Maple Press:
Philosophy 133 Course Reader (CR)
*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.
Th-Aug. 24 INTRODUCTORY REMARKS
Distributed in class:
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"
Case Study: "The Jessica Banks Case"
Tu-Aug. 29 HOW DOES SCIENCE WORK? WHAT DOES SCIENCE DO?
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)
Th- Aug. 31 ETHICAL FRAMEWORKS
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)
Tu-Sep. 5 SCIENCE AND IDEOLOGY
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)
W-Sep. 6 Last day to drop without a "W".
Th-Sep. 7 WHAT SCIENCE OWES TO SOCIETY (AND WHY)
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)
Tu-Sep. 12 SPECIAL CONDITIONS, SPECIAL DUTIES
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)
W-Sep. 13 Last day for late adds.
Th-Sep. 14 THE QUEST FOR KNOWLEDGE
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)
Course ground rules agreement due.
Review of Ethics Training Module due-date #1 (worth 28 extra credit points)
F-Sep. 15 Quizzes ("Understanding & avoiding plagiarism" and "Basic concepts & background for case studies") due on Canvas by 11:59 PM.
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)
Upload initial response to Case Study 1 on Canvas by 11:59 pm, Wed. Sep. 20.
Th-Sep. 21 CASE STUDY 1 (part 2)
Class will meet online.
Participate in required discussion of Case Study 1on Canvas.
Case Study 1 Quiz due on Canvas by 11:59 pm, Fri. Sep. 22.
Tu-Sep. 26 THE PROBLEM OF OBJECTIVITY: SOME HISTORY
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)
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)
Reading response essay #1 due.
Tu-Oct. 3 ANIMAL RESEARCH
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)
Janet D. Stemwedel, "Impediments to Dialogue about 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)
Review of Ethics Training Module due-date #2 (worth 21 extra credit points)
Th-Oct. 5 HUMAN SUBJECT RESEARCH: HISTORY
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)
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)
Carl Elliott, "Guniea-Pigging" (CR)
Recommended: Robert M. Veatch, "Abandoning Informed Consent" (CR)
Recommended: 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)
Th-Oct. 12 Case Study 2
Tu-Oct. 17 HUMAN SUBJECT RESEARCH: GLOBAL ISSUES
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)
Janet D. Stemwedel, "Research with Vulnerable Populations: Considering the Bucharest Early Intervention Project" (CR)
Jon Cohen and Kai Kupferschmidt, "Ebola vaccine trials raise ethical issues" (CR)
Clement Adebamowo et al., "Randomised controlled trials for Ebola: practical and ethical issues" (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)
Th-Oct. 19 RESEARCH DAY (Class will not meet)
F-Oct. 20 Last day to post research report #1on Canvas.
Tu-Oct. 24 SCIENTIFIC PAPERS AND COMMUNICATIONS
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)
Jaime A. Teixeira da Silva, "Negative results: negative perceptions limit their potential for increasing reproducibility" (CR)
Janet D. Stemwedel, "#overlyhonestmethods: Ethical implications when scientists joke with each other on public social media" (CR)Review of Ethics Training Module due-date #3 (worth 14 extra credit points)
Th-Oct. 26 AUTHORSHIP ISSUES
International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, "Guidelines on Authorship" (E&S)
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)
Recommended: Paul J. Friedman, "A new standard for authorship" (CR)
Recommended: Carlos Galindo-Leal, "Explicit Authorship" (CR)
Recommended: Roderick Hunt, "Trying an Authorship Index" (CR)
Tu-Oct. 31 Case Study 3
Th-Nov. 2 PATENTS AND INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ISSUES
Vandana Shiva, "The Role of Patents in History" (CR)
Vandana Shiva, "The Myth of Patents" (CR)
Vandana Shiva, "Biopiracy" (CR)
Tu-Nov. 7 TELLING THE PUBLIC: PITFALLS OF THE POPULAR PRESS
Edward S. Herman, "Corporate Junk Science in the Media" (CR)
Mark Dowie, "What's Wrong with the New York Times's Science Reporting?" (CR)
Th-Nov. 9 INTERNATIONAL STRATEGIES FOR SCIENTIFIC DIALOGUE
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)
Reading response essay #2 due.
Tu-Nov. 14 Case Study 4
Th-Nov. 16 RESEARCH DAY (Class will not meet)
F-Nov. 17 Last day to post research report #2 on Canvas.
Tu-Nov. 21 COMMUNITY STRUCTURES IN THE U.S. AND ABROAD
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)
Review of Ethics Training Module due-date #4 (worth 7 extra credit points)
Vivian Weil, "Mentoring: Some Ethical Considerations" (CR)
Carl Djerassi, Cantor's Dilemma
Th-Nov. 30 COLLABORATIONS AND CONFLICTS OF INTEREST
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)
Reading response essay #3 due.
Tu-Dec. 5 MISTAKES AND MISCONDUCT
D. E. Buzzelli, "The Definition of Misconduct in Science: A View from NSF" (E&S)
W. Leibel, "When Scientists are Wrong: Admitting Inadvertent Error in Research" (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)
Recommended: C.K. Gunsalus, "How to Blow the Whistle and Still Have a Career Afterwards" (CR)
Recommended: Howard K. Schachman, "What is Misconduct in Science?" (E&S)
Recommended: David Goodstein, "Scientific Fraud" (CR)
Recommended: Janet D. Stemwedel, "Life After Misconduct: Promoting Rehabilitation while Minimizing Damage" (CR)
Th-Dec. 7 TAKING STOCKLast chance to submit Review of Ethics Training Module.
Wednesday, December 13, 2017, 9:45 AM - 12 noon.
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