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Ethics DVD

Ethical Issues in Scientific Research

The Research Triangle Park Chapter of Sigma Xi produced a one-hour-long DVD of their November 1991 panel discussion--"Ethical Issues In Scientific Research©" (ISBN 0-9643022-0-9) & (LCCN: 95-501831), which has a format similar to National Public Television's 1989 series, "Ethics In America."

From government, industry and academia, a group of distinguished scientists and professionals dealing with scientific issues respond to various scenarios depicting real-life ethical dilemmas. The goal of these scenarios is not to provide a clear-cut distinction between right or wrong, but rather to present several viewpoints regarding a particular issue. It may also serve as a useful supplement to a program of instruction in laboratory morality and scientific ethics.

The ethical issues that were discussed by the panel follows:

Authorship of research articles. A discussion on whether "lead" authorship should be awarded on the basis of hierarchical position in the organization, conception and/or supervision of the research work, or the amount of experimental work performed. (16 min)

Peer review. Use of information obtained in peer review of research papers for one's own research. (12 min)

Data handling. Reporting and biasing of data. (4 min)

Social responsibility of research. Issue of whether the investigator should have control of the ultimate uses made of his or her research. (8 min)

Scientific fraud. A discussion as to whether cases of scientific fraud could be minimized if researchers in academic laboratories followed the same stringent data recording practices found in industry, which are mandated for Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) and for the patenting of intellectual property. (7 min)

Reporting research to the public. The media's role in informing the public of new developments in scientific research is discussed, and whether science should be allowed to be carried out in secret to avoid scrutiny by the public. (7 min)

Epilogue. Gertrude B. Elion, D.Sc., Nobel Laureate, Burroughs Wellcome Co. & Duke University Medical School.

Total running time. 62 min

The panel members are as follows:

Joe Graedon served as moderator for the program He is a pharmacologist and author of the series of books, "The People's Pharmacy." He is also a nationally syndicated columnist and host of a series on health and pharmaceuticals aired on the National Public Radio affiliate station, WUNC-FM.

Dr. James Fouts Senior Science Advisor to the Director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, and responsible for input to the Medical and Scientific Ethics Section of the NIH Strategic Plan. He is an Episcopal priest.

Dr. David Barry Vice President of Research Development and Medical Affairs at Burroughs Wellcome Co. and Adjunct Professor of Medicine at Duke University School of Medicine. He is a Director of Burroughs Wellcome Co., The Wellcome Foundation and The Burroughs Wellcome Fund. Dr. Barry is an expert in anti viral therapy and clinical research.

Dr. Lynn Barber A patent attorney in the law firm of Olive & Olive, PA in Durham, NC and specializing in biotechnology law. Before entering the practice of law, Dr. Barber was a research microbiologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture at North Carolina State University.

Dr. Philip Carter Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at North Carolina State University. He is also on the Board of Directors of the American Association for the Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care.

Dr. Clement Market Distinguished University Research Professor of Animal Science and Genetics at North Carolina State University. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine.

Mr. Steven Burke Director of Education and Public Affairs at the North Carolina Biotechnology Center.

Dr. Richard Vance Associate Professor of Pathology at the Bowman Gray School of Medicine, Wake Forest University. At his institution, Dr. Vance is coordinator for the Section on Medical Humanities and serves as chairman of the medical center's Ethics Committee.

Dr. Gerald Hajian Head of Pre-Clinical Statistics at Burroughs Wellcome Co. He is past president of the North Carolina Chapter of the American Statistical Association.

To purchase the DVD or for questions, contact Robert S. Wright, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Mail Code E343-03, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27711, USA, phone 919-541-4502, fax 919-541-0496, wright.bob@epa.gov.

Single copies of the DVD are $35 US plus postage. Payment must be made in advance of shipment by check in US Dollars. The check should be made payable to “RTP Chapter of Sigma Xi”.

RTP Chapter of Sigma Xi · PO Box 13068 · Research Triangle Park, NC 27709 · info@rtp-sigmaxi.org