Doing science for the government

Adventures in Ethics and Science

Category archives for Doing science for the government

One of the most interesting sessions at the NSF IGERT 2010 Project Meeting was a panel of men and women who participated in the IGERT program as students and are now working in a variety of different careers. The point of the panel was to hear about the ways that they felt their experiences as…

About three weeks ago, I was in Washington, D.C. for the NSF IGERT 2010 Project Meeting. I was invited to speak on a panel on Digital Science (with co-panelists Chris Impey, Moshe Pritzker, and Jean-Claude Bradley, who blogged about it), and later in the meeting I helped to facilitate some discussions of ethics case studies.…

Recently in my inbox, I found a request for advice unlike any I’d received before. Given the detail in the request, I don’t trust myself to paraphrase it. As you’ll see, I’ve redacted the names of the people, university, and government agency involved. I have, however, kept the rest of the query (including the original…

Recently, I wrote a post about two researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) who were caught falsifying data in animal studies of immune suppressing drugs. In the post, I conveyed that this falsification was very bad indeed, and examined some of the harm it caused. I also noted that the Office of…

There are days when I imagine that I’ll run out of news reports of scientists caught behaving badly to blog about. Then, I check my inbox. Today, my inbox featured a news item in The Scientist about two medical researchers caught fabricating data:

In the current issue of The Scientist, there’s a pair of interesting pieces about how professional life goes on (or doesn’t) for scientists found guilty of misconduct by the U.S. Office of Research Integrity (ORI). Alison McCook’s article, Life After Fraud, includes interviews with three scientists against whom the ORI has made formal rulings of…

You may have heard that the Obama administration has proposed new rules for federal funding of embryonic stem cell (ESC) research. (The proposed rules are available in draft form through the end of the public comment period; the NIH expects to finalize the rules in July). While researchers are enthusiastic at the prospect under this…

It seems that some people respond to public concern about swine flu and its spread by trying to sell you stuff. This stuff is not limited to face masks and duct tape, but includes products advertised to prevent, diagnose, or treat swine flu, but whose claims of safety and efficacy do not have a basis…

In an earlier post, I pointed you toward the preliminary report (PDF here) issued by the Minnesota Pandemic Ethics Project this January. This report sets out a plan for the state of Minnesota to ration vital resources in the event of a severe influenza pandemic. Now, a rationing plan devised by an ethics project is…

In my last post, I looked at some of the ethical considerations an individual might make during a flu epidemic. My focus was squarely on the individual’s decisions: whether to stay in bed or seek medical care, whether to seek aid from others, etc. This is the kind of everyday ethics that crops up for…