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Phil 7570 Case Studies in Research Ethics

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Title: Phil 7570 Case Studies in Research Ethics


1
Phil 7570Case Studies in Research Ethics
  • Fall 2006
  • Bryan Benham
  • Department of Philosophy

2
Outline
  • Course Objectives Overview
  • Why be concerned?
  • Ethical Framework
  • Research Misconduct vs. RCR
  • hum.utah.edu/bbenham
  • www.research.utah.edu/integrity/index.html

3
Course Objectives
  • Increase ethical sensitivity to issues regarding
    RCR
  • Based on ORIs 9 core areas, plus
  • Aid in developing moral reasoning skills
  • Case Studies
  • Acquaint with relevant policies, procedures, and
    professional standards of ethical research.
  • Lectures and Discussions

4
Central Dogma
  • The focus of the course is not merely
    understanding legal or explicit regulations, but
    identifying and employing the underlying ethical
    principles and values that guide responsible
    research, so that one can (ideally) navigate the
    rocky shoals and murky waters of daily research
    practice.

5
Faculty
  • Course Director
  • Bryan Benham (Philosophy)
  • Faculty Fellows (Fall/Spring)
  • Kathi Mooney (Nursing)
  • Kim Korinek (Sociology)
  • Rachel Hayes-Harb (Linguistics)
  • Frank Whitby (Biochem)
  • Tom Richmond (Chemistry)
  • Leslie Francis (Phil Law)
  • Additional Faculty (Fall)
  • David Grunwald (Genetics)
  • Dana Carroll (Biochem)
  • Michael Kay (Biochem)
  • Jim Metherall (Genetics)
  • Marty Rechsteiner (Biochem)
  • Alice Schmid (Genetics)
  • Matt Williams (Pathology)
  • Jody Rosenblatt (OncSci)

6
Course Requirements
  • Course Structure
  • Ten Week Course (Thursdays, 400-530)
  • Lecture and Small Group Discussion of Case
    Studies
  • Requirements
  • Attendance no less than 8 of 10
  • Readings Case Studies (Available Online)
  • Final Paper Case Study Analysis and Evaluation
  • hum.utah.edu/bbenham
  • www.research.utah.edu/integrity/index.html

7
Fall 2007 Schedule
Aug. 30 RCR and Misconduct Sept. 6 Data
Management and Ownership Sept. 13 Authorship and
Peer Review Sept. 20 Mentoring Issues   Sept.
27 Human Participants Oct. 4 Animal
Subjects Oct. 11 Fall Break - No Meeting Oct.
18 Conflicts of Interest Oct. 25 Commerce
Research Nov. 1 Issues in Biomedical
Research Nov. 8 Social Responsibility
8
Outline
  • Course Objectives Overview
  • Why be Concerned?
  • Ethical Framework
  • Research Misconduct vs. RCR
  • hum.utah.edu/bbenham
  • www.research.utah.edu/integrity/index.html

9
Central Dogma
  • The focus of the course is not merely
    understanding legal or explicit regulations, but
    identifying and employing the underlying ethical
    principles and values that guide responsible
    research, so that one can (ideally) navigate the
    rocky shoals and murky waters of daily research
    practice.

10
Why Research Ethics? (RCR)
11
Success
  • Seoul National University
  • 1999 announced cow cloning(s)
  • But, not confirmed.
  • Science, March 12, 2004
  • somatic cloning
  • Science, June 17, 2005
  • 11 hESC lines
  • August, 2005
  • Cloned dog, Snuppy
  • Leader of World Stem Cell Hub

12
Not so successful
  • Accused of paying for donated eggs,
  • some from lab techs.
  • Gerald Schatten (U Pitt.) ceased collaborations,
    and withdrew name from 2005 Science paper.
  • Both Science papers found to have fabricated
    data subsequently retracted.
  • Also, charges of embezzlement and government
    collusion.
  • Removed from SNU and WSCH.

13
Misconduct
  • Breach of international legal and
  • ethical codes re egg donation.
  • Finding of misconduct, re Science papers.
  • Authorship issues, re Gerald Schatten.
  • Set back international cooperation on stem cell
    research, plus raised public concern about stem
    cell research.
  • Financial Conflict of Interest and Govt
    involvement.

14
But, Snuppy is real
15
Also, Parthenogenesis
  • Review of Hwang Woo Suks research shows his
    embryonic stem cells were the product of
    parthenogenesis.
  • It could have been a seminal finding if they
    hadnt had their blinders on. (Kent Vrana, Penn
    State University)
  • New York Times, Aug. 3, 2007
  • Scientific American, Aug. 2, 2007
  • Cell Stem Cell, Aug. 2, 2007

16
Not-So-Big-Science, too
  • A professor publishes ideas and experiments
    developed by her graduate student, without giving
    credit to the student.
  • A researcher presents a paper that shows 33 data
    points that are consistent with his hypothesis,
    but doesnt report the other 12 data points that
    are significantly inconsistent with his
    hypothesis.
  • An experimenter recruits subjects for his study
    on cognitive effects of stress on children, but
    advertises it as a study on the role of social
    interactions in child learning.

17
Not so Big science, too
  • While waiting to hear from a journal about her
    latest paper submission, a new assistant
    professor hears from the editor that the paper is
    held up by a reviewer who has been extremely
    busy, but professor suspects the reviewer may be
    delaying her paper in order to publish first with
    similar findings.
  • A researcher published favorable results for a
    new memory enhancing drug, without disclosing
    that she serves as a consultant and holds stocks
    in the company that is developing this new drug.

18
Bad Grad
  • A FORMER GRADUATE STUDENT at Michigan State
    University was sentenced on Monday to 10 months
    in prison for faking the theft of his own
    research materials. The student, Scott M. Doree,
    was supposed to be working on a vaccine to
    prevent a pneumonialike disease in pigs, but he
    apparently had not done any research for several
    years, authorities say.
  • http//chronicle.com/daily/2003/08/2003082102n.htm
    .

19
Scientists Behaving BadlyBC Martinson, MS
Anderson, R de Vries. (2005). Nature, 435
737-38
  • NIH funded survey
  • 3,247 early/mid career
  • (47 rr)
  • Engaged in
  • Top 10 Behaviors
  • Early 28
  • Mid 38
  • Overall 33
  • plus expect an underreporting bias.

20
Why be concerned?
  • What results from a culture of irresponsible
    research or unreflective research practice?
  • History of Research Ethics
  • Human Participation Nazis, Willowbrook,
    Tuskegee, etc.
  • Misconduct Baltimore Affair, S. Korean
    Debacle, etc.
  • COI Commercial Interests Political Influence

21
Why be concerned?
  • Research is a Social Activity
  • No researcher is an island collaboration on
    rise
  • Research is funded by public funds for public
    good
  • Research has serious consequences for society
  • Research is a Profession
  • Accepted Standards of Behavior (Codes of Ethics)
  • Professional Integrity Reputation
  • Interest in Self-regulation
  • Public Trust
  • Wuchty, Jones, Uzzi. 2007. The Increasing
    Dominance of Teams in Production of Knowledge.
    Science 316, May 18 1036-39.

22
So far
  • Both big and not-so-big-science exhibit unethical
    (and/or unreflective) research practices.
  • Both big and not so big science are professional
    and social activities that have profound
    consequences for future research, individuals,
    and society.
  • (and it is required for grant support)
  • Hence, we should be concerned with responsible
    conduct of research.

23
Outline
  • Course Objectives Overview
  • Why be concerned?
  • Ethical Framework
  • Research Misconduct vs. RCR
  • hum.utah.edu/bbenham
  • www.research.utah.edu/integrity/index.html

24
Central Dogma
  • The focus of the course is not merely the legal
    or explicit regulations, but identifying and
    employing the underlying ethical principles and
    values that guide responsible research, so that
    one can (ideally) navigate the rocky shoals and
    murky waters of daily research practice.

25
What is Ethics?
  • Determining what one should do
  • Right/wrong, good/bad, better/worse
  • Principled and Practical
  • Promotion and Prevention
  • Not mysterious, subjective, arcane practice of
    analysis or deliberation,
  • but a balancing act

26
A Simple Case?
  • Imagine you are waiting at a bus stop. A bus
    pulls over an opens the door, but since it is not
    your bus, you dont get on. Suddenly, from out of
    the blue, a stranger runs by you and leaps on the
    bus. As the bus pulls away you notice that the
    stranger must have dropped his wallet. You
    examine the wallet finding 100, but no
    identification.

27
What should you do?
  1. Return the wallet, with the money.
  2. Return the wallet, but keep the money.
  3. Dont return the wallet, keep the money.
  4. Dont return the wallet, but donate the money to
    a charity.

28
Why?
  • Its the right thing to do.
  • The wallet/money is not yours.
  • It would make stranger happy (or unhappy)
  • More people would benefit.
  • Too much trouble.
  • I (or the charity) could use the money.
  • Finders Keepers

29
What is the difference between an ethical and
unethical action?
  • Ethical
  • In accord with an ethical principle.
  • Leads to good consequences.
  • Weighs everyones interests.
  • Unethical
  • Violates an ethical principle.
  • Leads to bad consequences.
  • Doesnt weigh everyones interests.

30
Balancing Three Questions
  • What rules or principles apply?
  • What are the consequences?
  • Whose interests are involved?

31
Ethical Framework
Principles
Consequences
Interests
32
1. What rules or principles apply?
  • General dont kill, steal, etc.
  • Specific accuracy, openness, etc.
  • Source Law, Religion, Social/Prof., etc.

33
2. What are the consequences?
  • Short-term
  • Long-term
  • To whom?

34
3. Whose interests are involved?
  • Individuals
  • Groups or Institutions
  • Society at large
  • Past, Present or Future

35
Ethical Framework
Principles
Consequences
Interests
36
So far
  • We should be concerned with responsible conduct
    of research because research is a social and
    professional practice with consequences.
  • Ethical Framework includes balancing answers to
    three questions in the analysis and deliberation
    of ethical cases.

37
Outline
  • Course Objectives Overview
  • Why be concerned?
  • Ethical Framework
  • Research Misconduct vs. RCR
  • hum.utah.edu/bbenham
  • www.research.utah.edu/integrity/index.html

38
Research Misconduct
  • Generally, research that is done in an unethical
    or unprofessional manner.
  • Technically

39
Defining Research Misconduct
  • Office of Science and Technology Policy (Dec.
    2000)
  • "fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in
    proposing, performing, or reviewing research, or
    in reporting research results."
  • This is not meant to include honest mistake or
    error in research. But a finding of misconduct
    does require "that there be a significant
    departure from accepted practices of the relevant
    research community" proven by the preponderance
    of evidence.

40
Other recommendations
  • "questionable research practices, such as
    unethical or sloppy scientific conduct that is
    not fabrication, falsification or plagiarism.
  • QRP

41
Defining Research Misconduct
  • University of Utah
  • "fabrication, falsification, plagiarism, or
    other practices that seriously deviate from those
    practices that are commonly accepted within the
    research community for proposing, conducting, or
    reporting research. It does not include honest
    error or honest difference in interpretations or
    judgments of data."

42
FFP?
  • Fabrication is making up results and recording or
    reporting the fabricated results.
  • Falsification is manipulating research materials,
    equipment, or processes, or changing or omitting
    data or results such that the research is not
    accurately represented in the research record.
  • Plagiarism is the appropriation of another
    person's ideas, processes, results, or words
    without giving appropriate credit and without
    specific approval, including those obtained
    through confidential review of others' research
    proposals and manuscripts.

43
Why FFP?
  • Principles
  • Honesty and accuracy
  • Preservation of Research Record
  • Give Credit where Credit is Due
  • Consequences
  • Undermines other research and collaborations
  • Undermines public trust
  • Interests
  • Researchers
  • Individuals affected by the research
  • Social Implications

44
How to determine FFP?
  • A researcher presents a paper that shows 33 data
    points that are consistent with his hypothesis,
    but doesnt report the other 12 data points that
    are significantly inconsistent with his
    hypothesis.
  • Is this falsification of data? Why or why not?
  • Does it make a difference if his results are
    reproducible? Or fail to be exactly reproduced?
  • Why is this important for research?

45
How to determine FFP?
  • In order to help his promising post-doc, Prof.
    Nice lets the post-doc look at some older,
    already funded grant proposals on a similar
    topic. Pressed for time the post-doc incorporates
    large segments of the methods section into her
    own grant proposal.
  • Is this plagiarism? Why or why not?
  • Why is this important for research?

46
How to determine FFP?
  • Dr. Brown's research group recently published an
    important paper in a leading journal.  Several
    months after the publication of the manuscript,
    Dr. Brown is contacted by two colleagues who are
    not able to reproduce the findings reported. Dr.
    Brown meets with Adam Green, the postdoctoral
    fellow who did the experiments in question to
    review the results from the lab notebook. Once in
    Dr. Brown's office, Adam confesses that he has
    been remiss in keeping his data book. All of his
    experiments were recorded on computer and other
    electronic media. Adam transcribed many of these
    experiments into his lab book. However, there was
    a period of several days when his computer was
    infected by a virus was not working properly.
     Although Adam fixed the problem much of his data
    was gone. He relied on his memory to transcribe
    the results of those particular experiments into
    his lab book.  After completing the figures for
    the manuscript, Adam was pleased to find that his
    data supported Dr. Brown's hypothesis.
  • Is this fabrication of data? Why or why not?
  • Why is this important for research?

47
Misconduct
  • FFP and other practices that seriously deviate
    from those practices that are commonly accepted
    within the research community for proposing,
    conducting, or reporting research.

48
Frederick Grinnell
  • Science is ambiguous
  • Discovery - at the edge of knowledge
  • Credibility - publication of findings

49
F. Grinnell, 2000
  • Discovery takes place at the edge of knowledge,
    an ambiguous place where no one has been before.
    At the edge, one must make risky choices and
    address hard questions What should be done
    first? How does one recognize data, especially
    when one is searching for something never seen
    before? And when experimental results do not meet
    ones expectation, is it because ones original
    idea was wrong, or because the methods used to
    test the idea were wrong? Scientists have a
    saying Dont give up a good idea just because
    the data dont fit.

50
F. Grinnell, 2002.
  • when it comes to distinguishing data from
    experimental noise, heuristic principles can be
    helpful, but an investigators experience and
    intuition -- in short, his or her creative
    insight -- will determine the final
    interpretation. To some, the selection of results
    might appear arbitrary and self serving, or even
    an example of misconduct. The case of Nobel
    laureate Robert A. Millikan, who selected 58 out
    of 140 oil drops from which he calculated the
    value of the charge of the electron, provokes
    precisely that kind of debate.

51
Robert A. Millikan
  • Studied the nature of electronic charge.
  • Following years of inconclusive research,
    Millikan publishes major paper on the results of
    a series of experiments on liquid droplets.
  • In the paper he stated that the results based on
    all droplets observed over 60 days.
  • But in his laboratory notebooks the observations
    were in fact only 58 out of 140 observations the
    82 discarded observations did not fit his
    predictions or were instrumentation errors.

52
Robert A. Millikan
  • Is this misconduct? (Falsification or dishonesty)
  • Does it matter that in fact he was right, or that
    the totality of his research would still have
    great scientific importance, even if he had
    reported the discarded 82 observations? (Cf.
    Ptolemy, Galileo, Newton, etc.)
  • Was it just good scientific intuition or
    dogmatic insistence on his hypothesis?

53
Central Dogma, again
  • The focus of the course is not merely the legal
    or explicit regulations, but identifying and
    employing the underlying ethical principles and
    values that guide responsible research, so that
    one can (ideally) navigate the rocky shoals and
    murky waters of daily research practice.

54
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