Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving Hours

The Ethics Center will be closed Thursday, November 24th and Friday, November 25th for the Thanksgiving Holiday. We will resume normal hours on Monday, November 28th. 

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving break and safe travels!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Congratulations to IIT's Ethics Bowl Team!

On Saturday, November 12, IIT’s Ethics Bowl Team competed in the Central States Regional Ethics Bowl at Marion University in Indianapolis. The team competed against 22 teams from 19 schools around the Midwest, answering questions from a panel of judges about a collection of cases the students have been discussing since the beginning of the semester. The IIT team members are: Raghuveer Cumar (senior, business), Kari Finseth (junior, architecture), Kim Nealy (senior, technical communications), Ben Silver (senior, computer science), and Tom Waller (junior, biomedical engineering). The coach is Krisanna Scheiter, Sawyier Predoctoral Fellow in Philosophy, and assistant coach Kelly Laas, Librarian of the Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions.

The Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl is an academic competition with rules and procedures designed to model the best approaches to reasoning about practical and professional ethics. Created and developed by IIT Philosophy Professor Robert Ladenson, the IEB has spread to include well over 120 teams from all over the Unites States and Canada. 

Congratulations to IIT’s Ethics Bowl Team for all of their dedication and teamwork this semester! The team has made tentative plans to informally meet a few times next semester to discuss the cases for the National Ethics Bowl when they come out in January of next year. If you are interested in attending any of these meetings, or potentially being part of the Ethics Bowl team next year, please send an email to laas@ iit.edu.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Ethics News: Dutch Psychologist Manipulated Data in Dozens of Papers

A recent Science News article reports on the findings of a committee at Tilburg University in the Netherlands that found psychologist Diedrik Stapel had forged data used in a large number of papers, including an article published this past April in Science Magazine. The accusation of scientific misconduct came from three junior researchers working at Tilburg University who suspected misconduct in his work.

Stapel's work encompassed a broad range of attention-catching topics, such has how a position of power influences moral thinking, and is likely to cause damage to to his co-authors and the field. The report from the committee recommends that the university look into pressing criminal charges based on the misuse of research funds and possible harm resulting from the fraud. 

What kinds of organizational pressures do you think lead to scientific misconduct?

What do you think that universities and professional associations can do to help reduce the instances of scientific misconduct, other than just focusing on detection and punishment?