Reilly Center hosts NSF-funded ethics workshop

Author: Jessica Baron

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The John J. Reilly Center for Science, Technology, and Values is hosting a multidisciplinary group of ethics scholars from around the country for a 2-day workshop on "positive research integrity." The field is a new and expanding approach to research ethics and integrity training and the Reilly Center's resulting white paper will be one of the first publications defining it and making recommendations for its implementation in academia, industry, and government.

Thirteen ethics scholars and administrators will gather at Innovation Park on March 3rd and 4th to discuss the teaching of research ethics, the challenges of running interdisciplinary ethics programs, ways to bridge the gap between scientists and humanists involved in ethical research, and how these groups can learn from each other to create a new, positive ethics education curriculum. The workshop is action-oriented, dedicated to developing a draft of the first positive research ethics training agenda and recommending training for both researchers and ethics instructors that creates opportunities for collaboration.

Members of the workshop will also look at the research integrity policies of federal agencies and develop recommendations about ways their ethical training can use positive examples as a base for discussion as well as discuss how this approach might influence the new political administration and prove the importance of research ethics to lawmakers.

The workshop is being led by Drs. Anna Geltzer, Mark Bourgeois, and Jessica Baron of the Reilly Center. Workshop participants include scholars from anthropology, engineering, philosophy, education, sociology, biology, and psychology as well as administrators from research ethics centers at American universities and representatives from the National Academies. The workshop also includes Notre Dame graduate students currently taking an ethics training module through the Center's GLOBES program.

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The Reilly Center was awarded a $50,000 grant from the National Science Foundation’s Cultivating Cultures for Ethical STEM (CCE STEM) division to hold the workshop with the goal of coming up with ways for positive research ethics to improve science policy.