Scientific Ethics

Registration for the Spring 2015 Scientific Ethics course is now closed. The course will be offered again in Fall 2015. Please see below for course schedule information. If you have any questions, please contact the Research Ethics Program at

Syllabus: Spring 2015


Fred Bonkovsky, Ph.D.
Lecturer, Research Ethics Program

Mary Devereaux, Ph.D.
Director, Biomedical Ethics Seminars; Assistant Director, Research Ethics Program

Lisa Eyler, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Psychiatry

Mike Kalichman, Ph.D.
Director, Research Ethics Program

Camille Nebeker, MS, EdD
Assistant Professor, Department of Family Medicine and Public Health

Dena Plemmons, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Anthropology

Time and Location

This course consists of 7 meetings. Each section will meet 7 times, but some sections may need to adjust which weeks they meet. Therefore, assume that you may meet on the given days through to the end of the quarter.

Section Instructor Meeting Days Meeting Dates Time Location
1 Camille Nebeker Mondays 4/6, 4/13, 4/20, 4/27, 5/4, 5/11, 5/18 3:00-5:00 PM BRF 4103
2 Lisa Eyler Thursdays
4/9*, 4/16, 4/23, 4/30, 5/7, 5/14, 5/21, 5/28
9:00-11:00 AM MTF 175
3 Mary Devereaux Wednesdays
4/22, 4/29, 5/6, 5/13, 5/20, 5/27, 6/3
1:00-3:00 PM BRF 4103
4 Mary Devereaux Thursdays
4/23, 4/30, 5/7, 5/14, 5/21, 5/28, 6/4
1:00-3:00 PM BRF 2A03
5 Fred Bonkovsky Tuesdays
4/7*, 4/14, 4/21, 4/28, 5/5, 5/12, 5/19, 5/26
4:00-6:00 PM MedEd 204
6 Fred Bonkovsky Thursdays
4/9*, 4/16, 4/23, 4/30, 5/7, 5/14, 5/21, 5/28
4:00-6:00 PM MedEd 315
7 Dena Plemmons Wednesdays
4/1, 4/15, 4/29, 5/6, 5/13, 5/20, 5/27
1:30-3:30 PM NSB 1205
8 Mike Kalichman Fridays
4/3, 4/10, 4/17, 5/1, 5/8, 5/15, 5/22
1:00-3:00 PM NSB 1205, NOTE: May 1 (Meeting #4) and May 8 (Meeting #5) will be held in Pac Hall 4500

*Note: one of these dates will be dropped after the first course meeting on 4/7 or 4/9.

Course Objectives

The purpose of this course is to engage researchers in reading about, considering, and discussing the responsible conduct of science. The course is designed as an option for meeting current NIH and NSF requirements for training in the responsible conduct of research. Specific learning objectives with respect to research ethics include:

  1. To know rules, issues, options, and resources for research ethics
  2. To understand the purpose and value of ethical decision-making
  3. To have a positive disposition toward continued learning about research ethics

Course Format

Course topics will be covered by a combination of lectures, readings accessible on the Web, and discussion in class. In addition to those readings linked below, additional required readings may be sent out in advance of some class meetings. Attendance, participation in presentation groups and completion of assignments will be the basis for credit. NOTE: The course schedule or organization may be changed if necessary to better achieve the course objectives.


This course is available for credit (i.e., pass/fail or satisfactory/unsatisfactory or a certificate of completion), not for a letter grade. To receive credit for the course or for the purpose of NIH or NSF training requirements, you must complete all assignments. This includes attending all 7 class meetings, completing assigned readings, participating in class discussions, and contributing to group assignments. If you need credit for this course, but find that you cannot meet these requirements, then you should contact one of the instructors as soon as possible.

Tentative Schedule

Lecture Topics (Required Readings)
1 Introduction, Overview, and Research Misconduct
2-6 Selected topics, including: Data Management, Bias, Conflict of Interest, Animal Subjects, Human Subjects, Stem Cells, Authorship, Publication, Peer Review, Collaboration, Mentoring, Social Responsiblity, and Whistleblowing. (also, Gunsalus, 2010)
7 Faculty Panel (to be announced)