I know that most [people], including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives. --  Leo Tolstoy
 
     
 
Chapter 2: The Nervous One
 
     
 

     Brad Regas is one of an eight-member research team studying infant cognition and brain development. The teamís research has recently been published in Cognitive Neuroscience. Three grant proposals submitted in the past 18 months have been funded. Their work was receiving international attention, especially since an unanticipated wave of interest in infant cognition prompted by the White House Conference on Childrenís Brain Development.

     Brad especially enjoyed the work and collegial relationship with the teamís senior researcher, Pat. She was a very generous mentor but also a very nervous woman. Brad watched Pat during their weekly staff meetings. Patís behaviors at these meetings, as well as her departure from them, were timed to a peculiar nervous tick. Five minutes into the meetings Pat would tear a six-inch strip of transparent tape from a dispenser on the table and begin to roll the strip between her fingertips. For fifteen minutes she rolled the tape into a ball, passing it from finger to finger with her thumb, and then passing it to the other hand. Twenty minutes into the meeting she slipped the wadded ball of tape into her mouth. She chewed the tape for the next 15 minutes. Then she left without a word of explanation, guidance, or apology. Was it another meeting? Or, having removed every last bit of nicotine from her fingers and sucking it from the tape, might Pat be in desperate need of a cigarette?

 
 
 
Research Ethics
 
 
Chapter 2: The Nervous One
Discussion and Reflection Questions
Integration Questions
References and Resources
 


This chapter addresses collaborative science, including authorship and data ownership. Upon your completion of this chapter, we hope that you can identify essential criteria for determining authorship and credit as well as responsibilities of co-authors to their collaborators and the larger scientific community. We also want you to learn about sound data management and ownership practices.

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