Ethics in Science
reading schedule

M 1/27
Kenneth D. Pimple, “The ten most important things to know about research ethics”
distributed Click here for the PDF 
Muriel J. Bebeau, “Developing a Well-Reasoned Response to a Moral Problem in Scientific Research”
distributed Click here for the PDF  
Case Study: “The Jessica Banks Case”
distributed Click here for the case. 
W 1/29
On Being a Scientist
  Peter Godfrey-Smith, Merton’s norms of science CR  
  The Story Collider podcast, "Cather Simpson: The Bright Light of Fame" CR  
  Recommended: Fred Grinnell, "Doing Science" CR  
M 2/3 Aristotle, “Happiness, Function, and Virtue” CR Focus especially on pp. 41-43.
  Immanuel Kant, “Good Will, Duty, and the Categorical Imperative” CR Focus on pp. 46-51; the key concept is the categorical imperative, which Kant sees as the underpinning of all morality. 
  John Stuart Mill, “Utilitarianism” CR Focus on pp. 52-55 ("What Utilitarianism Is"). 
  Entry on “relativism” CR  
W 3/5 Yudhijit Bhattacharjee, “The Mind of a Con Man” CR  
  Mieke Verfaellie and Jenna McGwin, “The Case of Diederik Stapel” CR  
M 2/10 Chapter 2, “Professional Codes and the Duty to Do Scientific Research” ** CR The most controversial claims are pp.23-25 ("Research-Related Duties and the Public Good"). 
  Chapter 4, “Basic Principles: Promoting the Public Good” CR Be sure to notice the third principle of research ethics.  
W 2/12 Philip Kitcher, “Subversive Truth and Ideals of Progress” CR Kitcher's argument is worked out pp. 152-166. It's pretty detailed; you may find it helpful to make a diagram or flowchart of the options he considers. 
  Khor Kok Peng, “Science and Development: Underdeveloping the Third World” CR  
  Michael Dummett, excerpt from “Ought Research to be Unrestricted?” CR  
  Trisha Kehaulani Watson-Sproat, “Why Native Hawaiians are fighting to protect Maunakea from a telescope” CR  
  Janet D. Stemwedel, “The Thirty Meter Telescope Reveals Ethical Challenges for the Astronomy Community.” CR  
M 2/17 Donald L. Pavia, Gary M. Lampman, and George S. Kriz, Jr., “Advance Preparation and Laboratory Records” CR Think about how these standard instructions might head off data management problems ...  
  Barbara Mishkin, “Urgently Needed: Policies on Access to Data by Erstwhile Collaborators” CR  
  Daniel J. Kevles, "The Assault on David Baltimore" CR  
  John Dingell, "The Elusive Truths of the Baltimore Case" CR  
  Open Notebook Science Network, "What is Open Notebook Science?" CR  
  Open Notebook Science Network, "Why Should You Keep an Open Notebook?" CR  
W 2/19 Bruce Bower, “Objective Visions: Historians track the rise and times of scientific objectivity” CR  
  Helen Longino, "Values and Objectivity" ** CR  
  Alison Coil, "Why Men Don't Believe the Data on Gender Bias in Science" CR  
  Recommended: Helen Longino, "Gender and Racial Biases in Scientific Research" CR  
M 2/24 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 Think about the differences between the Western and Japanese primatologists' ideas of the proper methodology, and the advantages and disadvantages of each approach. 
  Recommended: Donna Haraway, “The Bio-politics of a Multicultural Field” CR What cultural assumptions does Haraway think are at play in the kinds of knowledge Japanese and Western primatologists are looking for?
  Recommended: Vandana Shiva, “Modern science as patriarchy’s project” CR  
  Recommended: Chanda Prescod-Weinstein, “Making black women scientists under white empiricism: The racialization of epistemology in physics.” CR 


Tu 2/24- F 2/28 Case Study 1 CR

Click here for the case. You should also read this supplementary information about the case.
Upload initial response on Canvas Tue. Feb. 25 by 11:59 pm.

Discuss case with your classmates on Canvas.

Take Case 1 Quiz on Canvas by 11:59 pm Fri. Feb. 28. 

M 3/2

Susan Dominus, “When the Revolution Came for Amy Cuddy”


Recommended: Daniel Engber, “The Trials of Amy Cuddy”

W 3/4 Flash Forward podcast, “Bodies: This is not a test” CR   
  Speaking of Research, “The Animal Model” ** CR   
  Speaking of Research, “Animal Welfare and the 3 Rs” ** CR   
  David Grimm, “Opening the Lab Door” CR   
  Janet D. Stemwedel , “Impediments to Dialogue about Animal Research” CR   
  Recommended: Janet D. Stemwedel, “Impediments to Dialogue about Animal Research” CR  
M 3/9 The Holocaust Encyclopedia, “Nazi Medical Experiments” CR  
  Eva Mozes-Kor, “The Mengele Twins and Human Experimentation: A Personal Account” CR  
  John C. Fletcher, “A Case Study in Historical Relativism: The Tuskegee (Public Health Service) Syphilis Experiment” CR The discussion of (changing) core values of society in evaluation the syphilis study (pp. 287-292) is quite good, as is the discussion of how the institutional structure of NIH and PHS contributed to the ethical problems. 
  Evelynn M. Hammonds, “Your Silence Will Not Protect You: Nurse Rivers and the Tuskegee Syphilis Study” CR  
  Charles C. Mann, “Radiation: Balancing the Record” E&S (307-316)  
  Recommended: Telford Taylor, "Opening Statement of the Prosecution, December 9, 1946," "Judgment and Aftermath" CR Especially interesting is the argument (pp. 91-92) that the Nazi experiments were not just ethically bad, but also scientifically bad.
W 3/11 The Nuremberg Code E&S (300-301)  
  World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki, 1989 Version E&S (302-306)  
  The Belmont Report WWW  
  Carl Elliott, "Guinea-Pigging" ** CR  
  Recommended: Wendy K. Mariner, "AIDS Research and the Nuremberg Code" CR  
M 3/16 Case Study 2 CR Click here for the case. You should also read this supplementary information about the case.
W 3/18 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  
  Kelly Hills and Nicholas Evans, “Paternalism, Procedure, Precedent: The Ethics of Using Unproven Therapies in an Ebola Outbreak” CR  
  Recommended: E. Emanuel, “Fair Benefits for Research in Developing Countries”    
M 3/23 John Carreyrou, “A New Look Inside Theranos' Dysfunctional Corporate Culture” CR  
  The Dropout podcast, “The Whistleblower” CR  
  John P.A. Ioannidis, “Stealth Research and Theranos: Reflections and Update 1 Year Later” CR  
W 3/25 Stephanie J. Bird and David E. Housman, “Reporting and Funding Research” E&S (120-140)  
  Patricia K. Woolf, “Pressure to Publish and Fraud in Research” E&S (141-145)  
  International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, “Guidelines on Authorship” E&S (146-147)  
  Ivan Amato, “Rustum Roy: PR Is a Better System Than Peer Review” E&S (148-150)  
  Charles W. McCutchen, “Peer Review: Treacherous Servant, Disastrous Master” E&S (151-164)  
  Recommended: Christine Wennerås and Agnes Wold, “Nepotism and sexism in peer-review” CR  
  Recommended: Carlos Galindo-Leal, “Explicit Authorship” CR  
M 4/6 Vandana Shiva, “The Role of Patents in History” CR  
  Vandana Shiva, “The Myth of Patents” CR  
  Vandana Shiva, “Biopiracy” CR  
  Open Notebook Science Network, "Intellectual Property and Open Notebook Science" CR  
W 4/8 Sharon Traweek, “Kokusaika, Gaiatsu, and Bachigai: Japanese Physicists’ Strategies for Moving into the International Political Economy of Science” CR Within the Japanese physics community, what are the advantages and disadvantages of being bachigai
  Sharon Traweek, “Border Crossings: Narrative Strategies in Science Studies and among Physicists in Tsukuba Science City, Japan” ** CR Read pp. 446-458; skim or skip the rest. Pay special attention to the discussion of the choice of what language to present a finding in, and if what language. 
M 4/13 Case Study 3   Click here for the case. You should also read this supplementary information about the case.  
W 4/15 Dana Goodyear, “The Stress Test” CR  
  David Cyranoski, “Stem-cell pioneer blamed media 'bashing' in suicide note” CR  
M 4/20 Edward S. Herman, “Corporate Junk Science in the Media” CR  
  Mark Dowie, “What’s Wrong with the New York Times’s Science Reporting?” CR  
  Matt Shipman, “Why Reporters Don't Let Scientists Review Their Stories” CR  
  Recommended: Janet D. Stemwedel, “#overlyhonestmethods: Ethical implications when scientists joke with each other on public social media.” CR  
W 4/22 Vivian Weil and Robert Arzebaecher, “Relationships in Laboratories and Research Communities” E&S (69-90)   
  Recommended: Steven Fuller, “How Japan Taught the West the Secret of Its Own Success” CR  
M 4/27 Vivian Weil, “Mentoring: Some Ethical Considerations” CR Is mentoring a duty? Does a trainee have a right to be mentored? 
  Carl Djerassi, Cantor’s Dilemma **   This is 227 pages long, but it's a novel. It's a reasonably quick read, but you shouldn't leave it till the night before! 
W 4/29 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  
M 5/4 Jennifer Couzin, “Truth and Consequences” CR  
W 5/6 Donald E. Buzzelli, “The Definition of Misconduct in Science: A View from NSF” ** E&S  
  Wayne Leibel, “When Scientists are Wrong: Admitting Inadvertent Error in Research” CR  
  Charles J. List, “Scientific Fraud: Social Deviance or Failure of Virtue? CR Pay special attention to List's recommendations for combatting fraud (pp. 33-34); these connect in an interesting way to Aristotle's approach to ethics.
  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  


Course texts


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