The Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions (CSEP)
at Illinois Institute of Technology has been awarded a three-year, $335,000
grant from the National Science Foundation for a project focused on developing
ethical cultures in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) research.
Under the guidance of the project’s principal investigator Elisabeth Hildt, director
of CSEP and Professor of Philosophy in the Department of Humanities, and the
Co-PIs Kelly Laas, CSEP’s librarian, Eric Brey, Duchossois Leadership Professor
and Professor of Biomedical Engineering, and Christine Miller, Clinical
Associate Professor of Innovation at Stuart School of Business, Illinois Tech graduate
students in STEM fields will develop discipline and laboratory-specific ethical
guidelines aimed at providing support in handling ethical issues important to
the lab environments in which they work. The goal of this project is to
positively influence researchers’ understanding of ethical research and
practice issues, enhance their handling of these issues, and promote an ethical
culture in their respective labs and across campus.
“With this project
we plan to develop a broadly applicable module that helps cultivate an ethical
culture in experimental labs at IIT and elsewhere,” says Elisabeth Hildt.
The project entitled, “A
Bottom-Up Approach to Building a Culture of Responsible Research and Practice
,” focuses on the creation of ethics codes-based guidelines for STEM
researchers. Starting from discipline-specific codes of ethics, available
through CSEP’s Ethics Codes Collection
(graduate students in four different STEM departments at Illinois Tech will
develop guidelines on responsible conduct of research (RCR)-related issues they
consider of relevance to their laboratory practice. The process of developing
these guiding principles will cultivate a high level of ownership in
participating students, and help make the guidelines an integral part of the
orientation of new lab members.
This is a highly collaborative project with involvement from
Armour College’s Departments of Biomedical Engineering (Eric Brey) and Chemical
and Biological Engineering (Sohail Murad), and the College of Science’s
Departments of Physics (Grant Bunker) and Biology (Andrew Howard) on this