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Workshop on Responsible Professional Practices

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For the fourth consecutive year, the Scientific Responsibility, Human Rights and Law Program hosted a special workshop the day before the AAAS Annual Meeting in Chicago. The workshop focused on integrating research ethics education into the research environment. 

The workshop was designed to assist research faculty in creating concrete, discipline-specific strategies to incorporate research ethics education into the context of the research environment, whether it be a lab or field work. The workshop was grounded in a recognition that many research ethics issues are relevant to the practice and application of science, from developing hypotheses and designing a protocol, to data management and analysis, to reporting findings and advising others on the uses of the work, and that integrating ethics instruction in the context of performing those various stages of research can be an effective strategy for educating future researchers. Participants were introduced to rationales, content, approaches, tools, and resources to give them the means to develop and implement research ethics education in their research environment.The workshop was organized into two concurrent sessions of about 20 people per session. 

Partial funding for this workshop was provided by the U.S. National Science Foundation


Dena Plemmons, Ph.D., Director of the Division of Research Affairs at San Diego State University and a research ethicist/anthropologist at the University of California, San Diego.

Dena Plemmons, an anthropologist at UC San Diego, is a research ethicist with both the Research Ethics Program at UC San Diego and the San Diego Research Ethics Consortium.  She is also the Director of the Division of Research Affairs at San Diego State University where, among other things, she monitors responsible conduct of research training/education for the institution. Dr. Plemmons leads seminars and train the trainer workshops on research ethics, and teaches courses to help NIH and NSF grantees meet requirements for training in the responsible conduct of research.  Her work in the field of research ethics has ranged from consulting in Ghana, Taiwan, and Mexico on ethics curricula in research environments to serving as 2009-2011 Scientist in Residence for ethics and science education at the Montgomery Middle School in San Diego.  Dr. Plemmons was part of a small team representing the U.S. as part of a delegation from the AAAS to meet with counterparts from the China Association of Science and Technology in September 2012; the purpose of this ongoing program was to present and discuss cases to promote dialogue between scientists socialized in the two different cultures (U.S. and China) about the ethical dimensions of the practice of science. In early 2013, she played a prominent role as one of the hosts for a delegation of 10 people from South Korea who came to UC San Diego for a weeklong series of programs and meetings so as to inform their own plans for national approaches to research ethics in Korea. Dr. Plemmons was elected a AAAS Fellow in 2012. Dr. Plemmons has been active in the American Anthropological Association, serving as Chair of the Committee on Ethics for four years, and leading the task force which reviewed and revised the Association’s code of ethics. She received the President’s Award in 2011 for her work on behalf of the Association. 

C.K. Gunsalus, JD, Director of the National Center for Professional and Research Ethics (NCPRE), Professor Emerita of Business, and Research Professor at the Coordinated Science Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

C. K. Gunsalus is the Director of the National Center for Professional and Research Ethics (NCPRE), Professor Emerita of Business, and Research Professor at the Coordinated Science Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. With longtime service as Associate Provost at Illinois, she held appointments on the faculties of the colleges of Business, Law, and Medicine and as Special Counsel in the Office of University Counsel. She serves on the Committee on Responsible Science of the National Academy of Sciences. In 2004, she was elected a Fellow of the AAAS in recognition of her “sustained contributions to the national debate over improving the practical handling of ethical, legal, professional and administrative issues as they affect scientific research.” In the teaching of research ethics, she initiated the Teaching Responsible Conduct of Research (TRCR) certificate program offered through the University of Illinois and done research on the efficacy of and developed materials in wide use, including experiential learning materials ranging from two-minute challenges for incorporation into substantive courses to role playing exercises. She is a co-organizer of the annual "Connecting Silos" curriculum conference held at Illinois brings together those teaching research ethics with those teaching ethics in professional and business schools and those in the corporate sector. She served on the Illinois Supreme Court’s Commission on Professionalism from 2005 through 2013, was a member of the United States Commission on Research Integrity and served for four years as chair of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Committee on Scientific Freedom and Responsibility. In 2013, she was selected as one of 15 for the long list (finalists) out of 222 nominations for the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Best Business Professor of the Year Award. She has two books published by the Harvard University Press, The College Administrator's Survival Guide (2006) and The Young Professional's Survival Guide (2012).

Workshop Agenda

8:30: Registration
9:00: Introduction and Overview
9:30: Codes of Conduct
10:30: Break
10:45: Checklists
11:45: Break
12:15: Working Lunch: Cases
1:00: Summary of Lunch Discussions
1:30: Individual Development Plans
2:30: Break
2:4: Group Policies
3:45: Assessment
4:45: Closing Summary, Next Steps, Evaluation
5:00: Adjourn