By sharing a recent experience in which I delivered a
lecture and case at a responsible conduct of research (RCR) workshop for
biomedical science trainees, I will comment on why I believe that pedagogy on
the RCR, specifically for biomedical scientists, needs two essential
ingredients: delivering knowledge/information and providing case-based
learning. The art is to determine how much of each element is needed and how to
most effectively deliver information on an RCR topic and ensure trainees get
the most from the ethical analysis of cases.
Ethics Workshop: Responsible Research
Conduct & Misconduct in Stem Cell Research
As part of Canada’s Stem Cell Network at http://www.stemcellnetwork.ca, I had
the unique opportunity to organize and present an Ethics Workshop as part of
the Network’s annual Till & McCulloch Meetings in October 2013. The
workshop was a lecture followed by an interactive ethical case using “The Lab:
Avoiding Research Misconduct” video hosted by the Office of Research Integrity
(ORI) at https://ori.hhs.gov/thelab.
The 50 to 60 workshop attendees were primarily master’s, doctoral, and
post-doctoral trainees, and almost all were biomedical researchers working with
stem cells. Most attendees had never heard of RCR. Thus, the goals of the workshop
were modest and involved introducing attendees to the following: RCR, research
misconduct (fabrication, falsification, and plagiarism), the RCR link to
scientific retractions, issues of authorship and publication ethics, and
Canada’s RCR framework.
The workshop began with a discussion of several high-profile
cases of stem cell fraud, including the 2009 Hwang cloning scandal. The
discussion also included more recent cases involving research misbehaviors
uncovered at The New York Stem Cell Foundation meeting and the case of
misconduct in Amy Wagers’ lab at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute.
The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.