Truth is the beginning of every good thing... and he who would be blessed and happy should be from the first a partaker of the truth, for then he can be trusted. – Plato

It seems paradoxical that scientific research, in many ways one of the most questioning and skeptical of human activities, should be dependent on personal trust. But the fact is that without trust the research enterprise could not function. – Arnold Relman
 
     
 
Chapter 4: The Devil is in the Details
 
     
 

     Ramona decided that this new assignment was one she would respectfully refuse. Her mentor Nick had asked her to teach his research methods class again. She had done this job before and found it very time consuming. She worked hard with her undergraduate students; they had grown in their professional knowledge and skills and appreciated Ramona’s high expectations. But she had taught for the past three semesters. This was her last post-doc semester, one in which she’d hoped for multiple interviews and offers for tenure track faculty employment, and her mentor promised her a semester with no teaching responsibilities. Ramona was adamant about this one thing. She would not be teaching undergraduate students this semester.

     On the first day of class teaching the undergraduate students, Ramona implemented a new approach for teaching research methods. She had long wanted to involve undergraduates in the substantive issues involved in research. This semester she would try a new plan and assign students various roles for participation in the research process, such as policymakers who would introduce the Public Access to Science Act for legislative action, Institutional Review Board (IRB) members who would vet the proposal for the lab’s biological agent research, and U.S. Department of Defense contractors who would fund the research. Other students had roles as administrators whose hospitals would serve as clinical trial sites and some students were citizens who would question the need and outcomes associated with research that used biological warfare agents. Topics and issues in research design, approval, experimentation, analysis, and dissemination would be considered from the perspective of these roles. This will be interesting, Ramona thought.

 
 
 
Research Ethics
 
 
Chapter 4: The Devil is in the Details
Discussion and Reflection Questions
Integration Questions
References and Resources
 


This chapter addresses research with human subjects, including risks, protections, and policies governing responsible research conduct. Research with animals is also discussed. Upon completion of this chapter we hope that you can identify the ethical issues and complexities in research with humans and animals. We want you to learn about the rules, guidelines, and behaviors associated with responsible research.

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