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Professional Ethics Report: Spring 2014

Cover Story

In the News



Award - Nominations are now being accepted for the AAAS Scientific Freedom and Responsibility Award. This award has been given by the American Association for the Advancement of Science since 1980. The successful candidate receives a plaque and $5000 and will be honored at a ceremony at the AAAS Annual Meeting (next February in San Jose). The award is given to scientists or engineers or their associations whose exemplary actions have served to foster scientific freedom and responsibility. Such achievements can include acting to protect the public's health, safety or welfare; focusing public attention on important potential impacts of science and technology on society by their responsible participation in public policy debates; or establishing important new precedents in carrying out the social responsibilities or in defending the professional freedom of scientists and engineers. All nominations should be submitted to Deborah Runkle. The deadline for nominations is September 1, 2014.

Call for Papers - It has been more than 20 years since the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals about the admissibility of scientific expert witness testimony. Within the context of ongoing debates about how to evaluate expert testimony, the Journal of Philosophy, Science & Law invites authors to submit new manuscripts that address epistemological, ethical, or other philosophical issues pertaining to Daubert and related legal cases. Suitable topics include but are not limited to: whether Daubert offers a philosophically sound approach to evaluating the legitimacy of expert witness testimony, philosophical issues emerging from post-Daubert cases, whether theUS court system has appropriate procedures in place to evaluate expert testimony relating to emerging technologies, including neurotechnology, genetics, and surveillance devices, ethical issues relating to the development and use of scientific evidence in the courts, and comparative analyses between the standards of expert witness testimony in US and non-US court systems. Authors should submit their manuscripts and abstracts via email attachments no later than August 29, 2014 to Dr. Jason Borenstein:  Accepted manuscripts will be published online in December 2014 / January 2015.

Essay Competition - At the recent 13th International Public Communication of Science and Technology (PCST) Conference in Brazil, the issue of the deficit model was raised in the session on science communication and its audiences. To stimulate the debate and to contribute to the community, the journal Public Understanding of Science announces an essay competition on: "In Science Communication, why does the idea of a public deficit always return?" In line with the new constitution of PCST, submissions from both younger and older scholars are encouraged. The essay will be fast tracked to print publication in 2015 and made freely available online. The deadline for submission is January 15, 2015. Send submissions to Sue Howard at

Ethics Bowl - The Association for Practical and Professional Ethics will host the 2014 Ethics Bowl summer workshop at St. Petersburg College in St. Petersburg, Florida. The dates of the workshop are July 12-13. The workshop will hold sessions pertaining to the Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl, the Two-Year College Ethics Bowl, and the National High School Ethics Bowl, in addition to sessions on coaching, judging, student voices, the future of the bowl, and organizing regional competitions. Further details can be found at