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Professional Ethics Report: Spring 2015

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Spring 2015 Professional Ethics Report

Cover Story

"Fostering a Culture of Scientific Integrity: Legalistic vs. Scientific Virtue-Based Approaches" by Robert T. Pennock

In the News

Chinese Paper on Embryo Engineering Sparks International Debate

Director of NIH Issues Statement on Funding for Genomic Editing Technologies

European Commission Responds to European Citizens’ Initiative “Stop Vivisection”

EPA Opens Draft Action Agenda for Environmental Justice for Public Input

In the Societies

AAAS Releases Statement on Scientific Transparency and Responsibility

National Academy of Sciences Issues Statement on Responsible Disclosure


CITI Program’s Responsible Conduct of Research Book Released

The Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) Program at the University of Miami ( has recently published RCR for Engineering: An Introduction to Ethics and Engineering Research, which presents a collection of ten chapters providing insight into responsible conduct of research (RCR).

Edited by Jason Borenstein with Daniel Smith, RCR for Engineering comprises many essential topics in the field of engineering research: authorship, peer review and publication, mentoring, data management, conflicts of interest, research involving human subjects, using laboratory animals, research misconduct, whistleblowing and the obligation to protect the public, and environment and social considerations. The book provides a comprehensive account of the intersection of research, ethics, and legal compliance within the field of engineering and is based on the CITI Program’s RCR for engineering online course, which was initiated in 2008 and recently was retired in 2014. The CITI Program’s publication of the RCR for Engineering: An Introduction to Ethics and Engineering Research affords a portable and comprehensive resource of RCR education.

The book is part of the CITI program’s series of publications explicating core norms, standards, rules, and regulations governing the practice of research. These publications are based on the CITI Program’s online training. In addition to RCR online training, CITI offers courses in Animal Care and Use (ACU), Biosafety and Biosecurity (BSS), Clinical Research Coordinator (CRC), Conflicts of Interest (COI), Disaster Planning for the Research Enterprise (DPRE), Export Control (EC), Good Clinical Practice (GCP), Good Laboratory Practice (GLP), Human Subjects Research (HSR), and Information Privacy and Security (IPS).

To purchase RCR for Engineering: An Introduction to Ethics and Engineering Research, visit:

Carson Martinez

New Education Materials from the Bioethics Commission on Research Design

The Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues has published several educational modules on ethical research design. The modules accompany the Commission’s Gray Matters: Integrative Approaches for Neuroscience, Ethics, and Society report. Find the modules here: 

Josh Ettinger


UNESCO Chair in Bioethics 11th World Conference
Bioethics, Medical Ethics and Health Law

October 20-22, 2015

Naples, Italy

More information:

Call for papers
Cyberethics: Ethical And Legal Issues On The Internet

Questions of appropriate online behavior, surveillance, regulation, and governance have grown in importance.  Indeed, cyberethics has emerged as a distinct area of inquiry. The Journal of Philosophy, Science & Law invites new manuscripts in this rapidly evolving domain.  Topics suitable for this Call for Papers include but are not limited to ethical and legal issues emerging from: censorship on the internet; cyberharassment; cybersecurity; the digital divide; domain name disputes; intellectual property and the internet; online anonymity; online privacy; social networking and human subjects research; and online surveillance/tracking.

Manuscripts submitted for inclusion in this special issue must be original work and not be under consideration with any other journal. Authors should adhere as closely as possible to the Journal’s publication guidelines: Authors should submit their manuscripts and abstracts via email attachments no later than September 1, 2015 to Dr. Jason Borenstein: and the email subject line should read JPSL Cyberethics. Accepted manuscripts will be published online in Spring 2016.

Call for submissions

The National Academy of Engineering Center for Engineering, Ethics, and Society (CEES) invites submissions of ethics activities that prepare students for ethical practices, research, or leadership in engineering. Eligible activities may be at the bachelor’s or master’s level for engineering or engineering technology students; should aim to prepare students for ethical practice, research, or leadership in engineering; and should have at least one clearly articulated attribute that makes them exemplary. The strongest candidates will teach ethics in an engineering context and include methods for assessing whether the educational goals of the activity are being met. Each selected activity will be recognized as an NAE Exemplar in Engineering Ethics Education in a letter from the NAE president to both the educator(s) and the dean of engineering at the host or partner institution.

A specially appointed NAE committee will select the exemplary activities, which together will demonstrate the breadth of effective engineering ethics activities and serve as a resource for those who want to improve ethics education at their own institutions. Submissions are due September 18, 2015, by 12 noon EDT. The Submission Form and further information about the project are available at If you have questions, please consult the Frequently Asked Questions or email Frazier Benya (

Ethics Teacher Training Course
Johannesburg, South Africa (31 August - 4 September 2015)

The Ethics Teacher Training Course (ETTC) is designed to advance pedagogical capacity for ethics teaching and improve the quality of ethics education around the world.

This Ethics Teacher Training Course in Johannesburg, South Africa is a collaborative effort involving UNESCO and the Steve Biko Centre for Bioethics at University of the Witwatersrand. The Course offers a unique opportunity for participants from South Africa and from other countries in the region to enhance their teaching capacities in ethics. Ethics Teacher Training Course is conducted by a team of international experts with extensive experience in ethics education.

A successful candidate for the Course will have a Master’s or higher degree (in areas such as law, medicine, philosophy, ethics, or social sciences), experience or future plans of teaching ethics, and a good command of English language.

To register, submit a registration form to the Secretariat at Bioethics Section of UNESCO ( as early as possible, and before the 15 July 2015 deadline. This form is also available on the UNESCO web site.  Applicants should also include a letter of intent (600 words, in English) explaining why they wish to participate in the course and how they expect to benefit from it. While the participation in the course is free, the participants are expected to cover their travel, meals and accommodation at the designated hotel by the organizer. For more information: please contact Mr. Abdul Rahman Lamin at UNESCO Regional Office for Eastern Africa in Nairobi, Kenya ( or visit the website at Deadline for registration is 15 July 2015.

Research Integrity Conference

Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Office of Research and Center for Biomedical Ethics and Society are convening the Growing Research Integrity Together (GRIT) Conference at Vanderbilt (Nashville, Tennessee) on July 7-9, 2015. The GRIT Conference is open to anyone interested in learning more about forging partnerships to build research integrity, including faculty, administrators, students, postdocs and other research staff. Individuals and teams from other universities are welcome. 

Attendees are also invited to participate in a six-month study that will look at the effectiveness of post-conference interventions.  Teams could benefit from coaching, webinars, conference call discussion groups, case studies, videos and more. The conference will include three days of active, workshop-style learning and presentations from local and national experts, all centered on the topic of building bridges between faculty, administrators, and research staff (both lab and clinic) in supporting research integrity.  Register here by credit card or, for other payment options, please contact Sam Gannon EdD, at sam.gannon@Vanderbilt.Edu or (615)-322-3359. More information and the preliminary schedule are available at