Ethical engagement is a vital part of the ongoing development of knowledge and practices in the life sciences. Biology and Society researchers foster engagement through developing and assessing life science ethics education materials.
In the next few years, the National Academy of Engineering’s (NAE) Online Ethics Center for Engineering and Science (OEC) will grow and transform into the go-to online source of resources and support to address questions in ethics and ethics education in science and engineering with National Science Foundation support.
The project will strengthen the computer and social infrastructures undergirding the resource collection. As a member of the project leadership team, Karin Ellison is leading the Life and Environmental Sciences Editorial Board, which curates the life science materials on the site, and with Joe Herkert directs a team of ASU graduate students developing of new life science ethics education materials for the site.
This recently completed project developed a module focusing on social responsibility in science for Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) Program courses in Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR). The module, written by Karin Ellison and Karen Wellner, explains: 1) researchers' social responsibilities as obligations to act in the public's interests, 2) sources of obligations, and 3) ways researchers can act on social responsibilities. Eight supplementary cases and four short essays further explore issues. The cases are also available through onlineethics.org. Quantitative assessment showed individuals completing a CITI RCR course both with and without the new module had higher ethical sensitivity scores than students who had no ethics training. The prohect was inspired by the National Institutes of Health's addition of social responsibility in science to recommended topics be included in ethics education of trainees and the wide use of online ethics education through the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) as part of the ethics education program for trainees.
Contact: Karin Ellison