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Workshop on Responsible Professional Practices in a Changing Research Environment: 2013

Professional Development and Responsible Science

On February 14, 2013, in conjunction with its Annual Meeting in Boston, MA, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) convened a one-day workshop on Responsible Professional Practices in a Changing Research Environment. The workshop was funded, in part, by the National Institutes of Health and the 3M Corporation. The 2013 AAAS Annual Meeting Workshop had as its theme, Professional Development and Responsible Science.

This workshop on professional development and responsible practice was directed toward trainees (e.g., graduate students and post-docs) and early career scientists, and covered such topics as responsible communication of research results, developing a successful research program, international collaborations, and giving and receiving good mentoring. More senior faculty interested in establishing or enhancing programs on career development and/or responsible conduct at their home institutions also attended. There were special sessions for this group, focusing on implementing training and instructional strategies.

Agenda

Orientation for Trainers

  • Beth A. Fischer, Director, Assist

Key Habits for a Successful Career in Research

  • Michael J. Zigmond, Associate Director, Survival Skills & Ethics Program, Professor, Neurology, Psychiatry and Neurobiology, University of Pittsburgh View Presentation

Organizing Collaborative International Research Relationships – Planning to Avoid Pitfalls

  • F. Gray Handley, Associate Director for International Research Affairs, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases View Presentation

Establishing a Research Program: Selecting Questions, Managing a Team

  • Gonzalo Torres, Associate Professor, Neurobiology, University of Pittsburgh View Presentation

Constructing and Leading Ethics Cases; Evaluating Responses (for trainers)

  • Beth A. Fischer, Director, Assist

Responsible Conduct in Communicating Research Results; Authorship, Conflict of Interest, and Sharing Reagents

  • Michael J. Zigmond, Associate Director, Survival Skills & Ethics Program, Professor, Neurology, Psychiatry and Neurobiology, University of Pittsburgh View Presentation

Mentoring and Being Mentored

  • Jo Handelsman, Professor, Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, Yale University View Presentation

Scientists’ Social Responsibilities in an Evolving Global Research Environment

  • Mark S. Frankel, Director, Scientific Responsibility, Human Rights and Law Program, AAAS View Presentation

Post-Workshop Discussion of Instructional Strategies with Instructors

  • Beth A. Fischer, Director, Assist
  • Mark S. Frankel, Director, Scientific Responsibility, Human Rights and Law Program, AAAS
  • Michael J. Zigmond, Associate Director, Survival Skills & Ethics Program, Professor, Neurology, Psychiatry and Neurobiology, University of Pittsburgh View Presentation

Speaker Biographies

Beth A. Fischer is the Director of Assist, a consulting company that specializes in designing and offering programs that provide training in professional development and ethics for researchers nationally and internationally. She previously served on the faculty at the University of Pittsburgh (1996-2012) directing the “Survival Skills and Ethics Program.” Dr. Fischer lectures regularly on topics including writing research articles, obtaining funding and employment, giving seminars, and the responsible conduct of research (RCR), and she has over 18 years of experience training faculty and senior administrators to implement such instruction at their institutions. She is particularly interested in promoting scientific capacity in low-resource environments. She has provided training to researchers in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas and she is a Visiting Professor at Fudan University in Shanghai, China where she co-teaches a 3-week for-credit course Communication Skills for Scientists. Dr. Fischer served as a consultant to the Institute of Medicine’s Committee that produced Integrity in Science (2002), and has served on a number of NIH special emphasis panels charged with evaluating R01 applications on “Research on Research Integrity.” She served on the Society for Neuroscience’s Working Group on Professional Development, and also assisted that Society in developing a code of responsible conduct in publishing. She is a Fellow of the AAAS.

Mark S. Frankel is the Director of the Scientific Responsibility, Human Rights and Law Program at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), where he develops and manages AAAS’s activities related to professional ethics, science and society, human rights and law.  At AAAS he has directed projects on research integrity and scientific misconduct; human enhancement; the ethical and policy implications of human stem cell research; the implications of advances in neuroscience research for the legal system, the use of science in the courtroom; advocacy in science; and personalized medicine, among others.  Dr. Frankel is a former member of the Board of Directors of the National Patient Safety Foundation and the Food and Drug Law Institute; he currently serves on the Boards of the Center for Law, Science & Innovation at Arizona State University and the International Neuroethics Society.  He also is a member of the Science and Ethics Advisory Group at Genentech-Hoffmann La-Roche.  Dr. Frankel is on the editorial boards of Science and Engineering Ethics and the Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics, editor of AAAS’s quarterly publication, Professional Ethics Report, and a Fellow of AAAS.

Jo Handelsman is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor in the Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology at Yale University. She served on the faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison from 1985 until moving to Yale in 2010. Her research focuses on the genetic and functional diversity of microorganisms in soil and insect gut communities. She is one of the pioneers of functional metagenomics, an approach to accessing the genetic potential of unculturable bacteria in environmental samples for discovery of novel microbial products. In addition to her research program, Handelsman is also known internationally for her efforts to improve science education and increase the participation of women and minorities in science at the university level. Her leadership in education led to her appointment as the first President of the Rosalind Franklin Society; her service on the National Academies’ panel that wrote the 2006 report, “Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering”; her position as co-chair of a working group that produced the report to the President, “Engage to Excel: Producing One Million Additional College Graduates with Degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics,” about improving STEM education in postsecondary education; and her selection by President Barack Obama to receive the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring. At the end of 2012, Nature listed her as one of the “ten people who mattered this year” for her research on gender bias in science. She will serve as President of the American Society for Microbiology in 2013-14.

F. Gray Handley is Associate Director for International Research Affairs at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In this position, Mr. Handley coordinates and facilitates international research activities for NIAID. He has previously served as Health Attaché and HHS Regional Representative in Southern Africa, at U.S. Embassy Pretoria, South Africa; and as U.S. Science Attaché and HHS Representative in South Asia at the U.S. Embassy New Delhi, India. Previously, he also served as Associate Director for Prevention Research and International Programs at the NIH Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; Associate Director for International Relations at the NIH Fogarty International Center; and Global Public Health Advisor for the U.S. Department of State, Bureau for International Organizations. He received his master of science in public health degree at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Gonzalo Torres is an Associate Professor in the Department of Neurobiology at the University of Pittsburgh. He received his PhD in Pharmacology and Physiology from St. Louis University in 1999 and performed postdoctoral work in the laboratory of Marc Caron at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute/Duke University from 2000-2004.  Dr. Torres’ laboratory examines the molecular mechanisms by which neurons regulate dopamine homeostasis and how those mechanisms might be perturbed in neurological and psychiatric conditions. Dr. Torres has been awarded several honors during his time at the University of Pittsburgh, including the International Society for Neurochemistry Young Scientist Lecture Award (2004), the NARSAD Young Investigator Award (2006-2008), and most recently the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers – PECASE award (2009). He received the 2010 ASPET- ASTELLAS Award for Translational Pharmacology, and in 2010, he was named as one of the “Emerging Scholars” by the Diverse Issues in Higher Education Magazine. Dr. Torres has served on several NIH study sections and has been a member and Chair of Diversity Committees for both the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET) and the Society for Neuroscience. Dr. Torres research lab over the past 8 years has included 5 postdoctoral researchers, 3 PhD students, 8 master students, 15 undergraduate students, 2 high school students, and 3 technicians.

Michael J. Zigmond is a member of the Pittsburgh Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases, and Professor of Neurology, Neurobiology, and Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh. He is also a Distinguished Professor at Fudan University, in Shanghai, China. Dr. Zigmond received his BS in Chemical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, his PhD in Biopsychology at the University of Chicago, and his postdoctoral training in neuropharmacology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His research focuses on neuronal cell death, survival, and adaptation in the brain with particular attention to neurodegenerative diseases. This is part of a broader interest in the influence of life style on brain health and non-communicable disease. He is also actively involved in providing training in professional development and responsible conduct based at the University of Pittsburgh that provides workshops at many national and international venues, including countries in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. He is a former Secretary of the Society for Neuroscience and a current member of its International Advisory Committee. He is also a Fellow of the AAAS, and the secretary of its Neuroscience Section.

The workshop is supported in part by funding from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) at NIH and the 3M Corporation.