Ethics in Science
reading schedule

Th 1/26
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. 
Tu 1/31
On Being a Scientist
  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 2/2 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  
Tu 2/7 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 Read pp. 163-170, 174-176, 179-181, 186-189, 191-196; skim or skip the rest.
  Mark B. Adams, “Science, Ideology, and Structure: The Kol’tsov Institute, 1900-1970” (excerpt). CR Read pp. 183-197; skim or skip the rest.
Th 2/9 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.  
Tu 2/14 Jean-Baptiste Meyer, “Science and Technology in South Africa: A New Society in the Making.” CR Read pp. 191-200; skim or skip the rest.
  V. V. Krishna, “A Portrait of the Scientific Community in India: Historical Growth and Contemporary Problems.” CR Read pp. 236-245, 263-273; skim or skip the rest.
  Third World Network, “Modern Science in Crisis: A Third World Response.” CR Read pp. 484-487, 489-502, 516-518; skim or skip the rest.
Th 2/16 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, “Ought Research to be Unrestricted?” CR Read pp. 291-298; skim or skip the rest.
Tu 2/21 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 Think about how these standard instructions might head off data management problems ...  
  Daniel J. Kevles, The Baltimore Case (excerpts) CR  
  Recommended: Kevles, "A Beautiful Paper" CR This is some background about the paper in Cell that was in the center of the Baltimore case. 
W 2/22- F 2/24 Case Study 1  

Click here for the case. You should also read this supplementary information about the case.
Upload initial response on Canvas Wed. Feb. 22 by 11:59 pm.

Discuss case with your classmates on Canvas.

Take Case 1 Quiz on Canvas by 11:59 pm Fri. Feb. 24. 

Tu 2/28 Bruce Bower, “Objective Visions: Historians track the rise and times of scientific objectivity” CR  
  Marie Boas Hall, “The Frame of Man and Its Ills.” CR Read pp. 130-142; skim or skip the rest. The key issue to think about is what counted as "good" sources of information about anatomy, and why.
  Peter Machamer, “ The Concept of the Individual and the Idea(l) of Method in Seventeenth-Century Natural Philosophy” CR Think about the connection between individual experience and "method" in establishing good knowledge. 
  Recommended: Vandana Shiva, “Modern science as patriarchy’s project” CR  
  Recommended: Helen Longino, “Gender and Racial Biases in Scientific Research” CR  
Th 3/2

National Academy of Sciences, “Methods and Values in Science”


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? 
Tu 3/7 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: Deni Elliott and Marilyn 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  
Th 3/9 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. 
  Charles C. Mann, “Radiation: Balancing the Record” E&S (307-316)  
  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 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. 
Tu 3/14 The Hippocratic Oath CR  
  David C. Lindberg, “Hippocratic Medicine” CR Insight into the purpose of the oath from the point of view of ancient physicians. 
  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: 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 3/16 Case Study 2   Click here for the case. You should also read this supplementary information about the case. 
Th 3/23 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  
Tu 4/4 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)  
  Jaime A. Teixeira da Silva, “Negative results: negative perceptions llimit their potential for increasing reproducibility” CR  
  Janet D. Stemwedel, “#overlyhonestmethods: Ethical implications when scientists joke with each other on public social media.” CR  
Th 4/6 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)  
  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 4/11 Case Study 3   Click here for the case. You should also read this supplementary information about the case.  
Th 4/13 Vandana Shiva, “The Role of Patents in History” CR  
  Vandana Shiva, “The Myth of Patents” CR  
  Vandana Shiva, “Biopiracy” CR  
Tu 4/18 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 4/20 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. 
Tu 4/25 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 (69-90)  

Th 4/27

Case Study 4   Click here for the case. You should also read this supplementary information about the case.
Tu 5/2 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! 
Tu 5/9 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  
Tu 5/11 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


course home course information handouts assignments instructor information research links research ethics resources