Thursday, October 28, 2010

Senior Fellow Michael Davis appointed to Ethics Committee of the New National Center for Professional and Research Ethics

Dr. Michael Davis, Senior Fellow of the Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions, has been nominated to be on the Ethics Committee of the National Center for Professional and Research Ethics at the University of Illinois. The Center, funded through a five year, $5 million grant from the National Science Foundation, will include an online portal for professional and research ethics in science, mathematics and engineering.

Click here to read more about this exciting new project.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Juan Williams and the NPR Code of Ethics

NPR recently ended their contract with news analyst Juan Williams after comments he made made on the Fox New Channel show the O'Riley Factor, citing that this comment was inconsistent with NPR's ethical standards and practices.

NPR Coverage of the story can be seen here.

Fox News Channel's coverage of the story can be seen here.

The New York Times coverage of the story can be seen here.

The NPR Code of Ethics does appear to cover the behavior and comments NPR journalists can make when they appear in outside speaking engagements, though we can guess that Juan Williams did get permission to appear on the show from NPR, as required by the code. However, should codes of ethics regulate what a journalist can say when he is not "on the job"? How far should an ethics code govern the behavior of the employees of a business or a profession?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Retraction Watch

While reading an article in the New York Times last Thursday reporting on the withdrawal of a paper from the journal Nature focusing on possibility that the aging of stem cells may be reversible, I came across a link to the new blog Retraction Watch. Written by Adam Marcus, the managing editor of Anesthesiology News, and Ivan Oransky, the executive editor of Reuters Health and a professor of medical journalism at New York University, the blog seeks to explore the world of scientific publications by drawing attention to retracted papers, the time it takes for a paper to be retracted, and how journals handle retractions and make this information available to their audience.

The blog is meant to help notify the scientific community about retractions, and also contains a number of interesting posts about the nature of authorship and the peer review process. This is certainly a blog that we will be following on a regular basis.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Research Involving Native Communities, Conflicts and Collaborations

An article in the latest issue of Science Magazine discusses the impact the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act passed by the U.S. Congress twenty years ago has had on relations between Native American communities and scientists, and how new rules passed this year are likely to continue to complicate matters.

To read more, see "Grave Disputes" by John Travis, Science Magazine, Vol. 330, Issue 6001. pp.166-170.

The American Archaeological Association has also addressed a number of these concerns in their Code of Professional Conduct.

Though disputes still frequently occur, many archaeologists have found ways to collaborate with native communities. This same issue of Science Magazine contains a short article about a 12-year long collaboration between a team of archaeologists and paleontologists and the Tlingit tribe in Alaska where when the scientists discovered human remains on tribal land, the local tribe gave the scientists access to the bones and then jointly reburied the remains in a two-day celebration that involved the Tlingit, local bureaucrats and the scientists.

Monday, October 11, 2010

New Web Code Draws Concern Over Privacy Risks

With concern rising over internet privacy, the New York Times reports on how the fifth version of Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) presents more tracking opportunities for advertisers who could, experts say, potentially see weeks or months of personal data, including information on a user's location, time zone, photographs, texts from blogs, emails and a history of web pages visited.

To read the full article, see New Web Code Draws Concern Over Privacy Risks by Tanzina Vega, New York Times, October 10, 2010.

Friday, October 8, 2010

New Look for the NanoEthicsBank

We have spent this past summer working on developing a new interface for the NanoEthicsBank, and we would love to get your feedback!

New searching abilities are coming soon, as we work on getting the Apache Solr search integrated into the existing site, so keep checking back to see what new features are available.