21 episodes

Ethics Education in Science and Engineering is one of Rock Ethics Institute's major initiatives. The research conducted at the institute has made visible the need for a broader understanding of Research integrity, which would include both traditional Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) and two additional domains, the broader impacts of science and embedded ethics. The broader impacts of science examines the effects of the choice of research questions in science and engineering, the impacts of knowledge on society, issues related to communication of science to the public, as well as issues related to expanding diversity within the science and engineering fields. Embedded ethics targets ethical and value issues that arise in the course of the practice of science or engineering.

The Research Ethics Lecture Series creates a new opportunity for students, educators, researchers, and the members of the community to explore the impacts of science as being integrated in a broader social context and to be exposed to new ways of spotting how value claims, whether epistemic or moral, shape the scientific enterprise.

Research Ethics Lecture Series Pennsylvania State University

    • Philosophy

Ethics Education in Science and Engineering is one of Rock Ethics Institute's major initiatives. The research conducted at the institute has made visible the need for a broader understanding of Research integrity, which would include both traditional Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) and two additional domains, the broader impacts of science and embedded ethics. The broader impacts of science examines the effects of the choice of research questions in science and engineering, the impacts of knowledge on society, issues related to communication of science to the public, as well as issues related to expanding diversity within the science and engineering fields. Embedded ethics targets ethical and value issues that arise in the course of the practice of science or engineering.

The Research Ethics Lecture Series creates a new opportunity for students, educators, researchers, and the members of the community to explore the impacts of science as being integrated in a broader social context and to be exposed to new ways of spotting how value claims, whether epistemic or moral, shape the scientific enterprise.

    • video
    An Interview with Dr. Sheldon Krimsky

    An Interview with Dr. Sheldon Krimsky

    In this interview Tufts University Professor Sheldon Krimsky shares his views on ethical issues present in the relationships between industry and academia. While such relationships have been around as long as there have been universities, policy changes in the 1980’s including the Baye-Dole Act have increased the frequency and nature of industry partnerships. Managing conflicts of interests and understanding the funding effect in these relationships demands retaining the autonomy of the faculty and academic researcher while developing productive industry/academic collaborations. Krimsky reminds us to “always keep in mind the integrity of the work that you do” – which might be easier said than done in the face of complex and evolving relationships.


    Who is Sheldon Krimsky?

    Sheldon Krimsky is the Lenore Stern Professor of Humanities & Social Sciences at Tufts University and the Carol Zicklin Professor of Philosophy at Brooklyn College. Professor Krimsky received his bachelors and masters degrees in physics from Brooklyn College, CUNY and Purdue University respectively, and a masters and doctorate in philosophy at Boston University.

    His research has focused on the linkages between science/technology, ethics/values and public policy. He is the author of ten books, the latest of which is the 2013 Biotechnology in Our Lives: What Modern Genetics Can Tell You about Assisted Reproduction, Human Behavior, and Personalized Medicine, and Much More, co-authored with Jeremy Gruber. Dr. Krimsky has also published over 180 essays and reviews that have appeared in numerous books and journals.

    Professor Krimsky has served on several advisory committees and study panels, holds numerous editorial and advisory board positions, and been awarded many accolades including election as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

    • 25 min
    • video
    The Ethical Foundation of Addressing Scientific Conflict of Interest

    The Ethical Foundation of Addressing Scientific Conflict of Interest

    Conflict of interest’ is embedded in many areas of public ethics. Certain enactments named for their ethical content, such as the U.S. Ethics in Government Act, have sections devoted to ‘conflict of interest,’ and the legal community, government officials, financial organizations, and many news organizations have strict guidelines on such conflicts. Yet, the term is rather new to the scientific and medical research communities.

    My talk explores the ethical foundations of conflict of interest (COI) in the sciences by investigating the concepts of stewardship, transparency, consequentialism, and scientific integrity. This framework is used to inform the current guidelines on conflicts of interest issued by the National Institutes of Health.

    Sheldon Krimsky is the Lenore Stern Professor of Humanities & Social Sciences at Tufts University and the Carol Zicklin Professor of Philosophy at Brooklyn College. Professor Krimsky received his bachelors and masters degrees in physics from Brooklyn College, CUNY and Purdue University respectively, and a masters and doctorate in philosophy at Boston University.


    His research has focused on the linkages between science/technology, ethics/values and public policy. He is the author of ten books, the latest of which is the 2013 Biotechnology in Our Lives: What Modern Genetics Can Tell You about Assisted Reproduction, Human Behavior, and Personalized Medicine, and Much More, co-authored with Jeremy Gruber. Dr. Krimsky has also published over 180 essays and reviews that have appeared in numerous books and journals.

    Professor Krimsky has served on several advisory committees and study panels, holds numerous editorial and advisory board positions, and been awarded many accolades including election as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

    • 1 hr 18 min
    • video
    An Interview with Allen Hornblum and Gordon Shattuck

    An Interview with Allen Hornblum and Gordon Shattuck

    In this interview with Philadelphia native author and advocate Allen Hornblum and Massachusetts native Gordon Shattuck, we explore a dark undercurrent of research on children in the United States. Hornblum’s journalistic uncovering of the stories of orphans like Gordon Shattuck describe the abuses suffered by children in the name of research progress. Shattuck, a former resident of the Fernald School in Massachusetts, shared details of his childhood of abuse and involuntary participation in harmful research programs. Yet he agrees with Hornblum that research must strike a careful balance between the costs of research and the goods that can come from it. Both discuss how they hope that researchers learn thoughtfully from past misconduct and protect vulnerable and dispossessed populations through ethical future research practices.

    Who is Allen Hornblum?

    Allen Hornblum an author and public lecturer. He has servedAllen Hornblum as the Chief-of-Staff in the Philadelphia Sheriff's Office, the Pennsylvania Crime Commission, and the Philadelphia Prison System. In addition to writing several books, such as Acres of Skin, Confessions of a Second Story Man, and the forthcoming Against Their Will, he has presented before a cross-section of organizations such as the National Institutes of Health, Institute of Medicine and a host of medical schools.

    This interview is part of The Rock's Research Ethics Lecture Series.

    • 26 min
    • video
    Institutionalized Children - The Medical Community's Guinea Pigs of Choice during the 20th Century

    Institutionalized Children - The Medical Community's Guinea Pigs of Choice during the 20th Century

    Though often cited as our most precious resource and dearest commodity, children – particularly those institutionalized in orphanages, mental asylums, and warehouses for the “feebleminded” – were often sought out by physicians and medical researchers as test subjects for experimentation. Even a cursory examination of 20th century medical research will illuminate numerous examples of children – some only days old – being incorporated in a wide range of medical research. Many prominent investigators in search of practical treatments and vaccines, exploring the impact of radiation and psychotropic drugs, or new surgical procedures like lobotomy, routinely found their way to poorly funded and under-staffed state institutions housing the nation’s most vulnerable citizens.

    • 1 hr 22 min
    • video
    An interview with Dr Benjamin Levi

    An interview with Dr Benjamin Levi

    The terms “research” and “children,” when used together, tend to arouse suspicion of ethical abuse. That’s the right attitude to have, according to Penn State Hershey bioethicist and pediatrician Benjamin Levi, because of the potential risk of child abuse and harm. In this interview, Levi shares how research involving children can protect and promote children’s interests as long as researchers take the time to understand the special needs and interests of participants. “If you’re willing to listen,” Levi tells us, “children will tell you a great many things about what maters to them.” But Levi also discusses how the potential risk of abuse and harm that comes with involving children in research makes it necessary to understand and act on feelings of suspicion, both an empirical and conceptual task.


    Who is Dr. Benjamin Levi?

    Benjamin H. Levi, MD PhD, is a practicing pediatrician and a philosopher who is a Professor in the Departments of Humanities and Pediatrics at the Penn State College of Medicine and Penn State Children’s Hospital. In addition to his other work in bioethics, Dr. Levi is recognized as an expert on ethical and professional concerns regarding the reporting of suspected child abuse. Dr. Levi has published and lectured widely on this topic, both nationally and abroad. Dr. Levi is Director of Penn State Hershey’s Center for the Protection of Children; along with colleagues has been instrumental in developing Penn State Children’s Hospital initiatives for the treatment and prevention of child abuse; and is co-creator of Look Out for Child Abuse, an extensive online resource that includes the Commonwealth’s only web-based tool for reporting suspected abuse.

    Dr. Levi earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy from Antioch College; his Master’s Degree in Philosophy, PhD in Philosophy of Education, and Doctor of Medicine from the University of Illinois in Urbana; and completed his Pediatrics Residency at Memorial Medical Center in Savannah, Georgia.

    Dr. Levi joined the faculty at Penn State Hershey in 1999, and since that time has been the recipient of numerous awards, including: the Hinkle Award for Translational Research; 4 awards for Outstanding Patient Satisfaction; an Excellence in Teaching award from Penn State medical students; a prestigious four-year Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Faculty Scholarship; a Community Service Award for his work on child abuse; a Founder’s Award for service to foster children; and a 12-month University Research Sabbatical during which he traveled to New Zealand and Australia, examining their systems for responding to suspected child abuse.

    • 26 min
    • video
    Suspecting Child Abuse: Challenges and Guidance

    Suspecting Child Abuse: Challenges and Guidance

    This presentation will (i) describe the problem of child abuse, particularly as it relates to reporting suspected abuse; (ii) share research findings from the Center for the Protection of Children; and (iii) discuss some of the ethical and practical challenges that arise in our efforts to protect children from abuse.

    Benjamin H. Levi, MD PhD, is a practicing pediatrician and a philosopher who is a Professor in the Departments of Humanities and Pediatrics at the Penn State College of Medicine and Penn State Children’s Hospital. In addition to his other work in bioethics, Dr. Levi is recognized as an expert on ethical and professional concerns regarding the reporting of suspected child abuse. Dr. Levi has published and lectured widely on this topic, both nationally and abroad. Dr. Levi is Director of Penn State Hershey’s Center for the Protection of Children; along with colleagues has been instrumental in developing Penn State Children’s Hospital initiatives for the treatment and prevention of child abuse; and is co-creator of Look Out for Child Abuse, an extensive online resource that includes the Commonwealth’s only web-based tool for reporting suspected abuse.

    Dr. Levi earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy from Antioch College; his Master’s Degree in Philosophy, PhD in Philosophy of Education, and Doctor of Medicine from the University of Illinois in Urbana; and completed his Pediatrics Residency at Memorial Medical Center in Savannah, Georgia.

    Dr. Levi joined the faculty at Penn State Hershey in 1999, and since that time has been the recipient of numerous awards, including: the Hinkle Award for Translational Research; 4 awards for Outstanding Patient Satisfaction; an Excellence in Teaching award from Penn State medical students; a prestigious four-year Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Faculty Scholarship; a Community Service Award for his work on child abuse; a Founder’s Award for service to foster children; and a 12-month University Research Sabbatical during which he traveled to New Zealand and Australia, examining their systems for responding to suspected child abuse.

    • 1 hr 3 min

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