Forum 04/19/2007

“Science, Ethics, and the Integrity of Research”

Mary Devereaux, Ph.D. – Director, Biomedical Ethics Seminar Series Research Ethics Program, University of California San Diego

Science and ethics are generally thought to be two quite distinct enterprises. Yet, increasingly ethics training is mandated by granting agencies as a condition of funding. Graduate programs in science face growing pressures to include formal courses in responsible conduct of research (RCR). In part these developments reflect a commitment to the integrity of scientific research. In part, they seek to rectify problems of professional misconduct, e.g.  S.Korean stem cell researcher Hwang Woo Suk’s fraudulent claims, conflicts of interest in the testing of Vioxx and other high-profile drugs, and perceived break-downs in the peer-review process.

The aim of this talk will be to engage the audience in questions about what is meant by the “integrity” of science, how best to ensure it, and what formal ethics training can and cannot accomplish.

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