Event Title

Scientific and Ethical Leadership in Chemistry: March Fellowship Presentation

Presenter Information

Kelly Weigle

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Faculty Advisor

Dr. Lou Ann Tom

Start Date

28-4-2020 12:00 AM

End Date

28-4-2020 12:00 AM

Description

Ethics is integral to all professions, and science is no exception. Chemists, as all scientists, must make numerous decisions every day, some large and many small. Ethics are involved in many of the choices that must be made. Decisions with fairly large impact, such as the best and most productive projects (industrial or research) to pursue, how best to spend a budget, whether or not sufficient data has been collected to submit a paper for publication, and many others all involve decisions that can affect the success, credibility and/or status of the decision-maker. Almost all chemists want to make significant contributions to science. Chemistry can be primarily pure or applied science. Pure science is performed for its own sake and the result is an increase in knowledge or ideas. Applied research is practical and the result is a useful product or procedure. Regardless of the type of chemistry, ethical decisions are made at every step. Students and professionals are faced with these and many other issues, and every decision will affect a final result in some way. Sometimes scientists may make decisions based upon whether the potential threat is sufficiently outweighed by the benefits of the results of the decision. Sometimes the decision is made simply based on the desire to avoid scientific misconduct and fraud. To help guide scientists, there are several codes of ethics in chemistry developed by well-established institutes such as the American Chemical Society, American Institute of Chemists, and others that apply to specific fields. These codes are established for, according to the American Chemical Society “the improvement of the qualifications and usefulness of chemist through high standards of professional ethics, education, and attainments...” While it is expected that professionals follow these codes when making decisions that can affect many others, the hope is that students begin to learn how to make good ethical decisions while in school, how to prepare for those additional decisions they will be required to make almost daily in their professional lives, and how to set good examples and provide leadership for others both younger and older in their fields. To help prepare students for these types of decisions, three workshops were planned. A book on professional ethics for both students and practicing chemists by Jeffrey Kovac at the University of Tennessee entitled The Ethical Chemist, Professionalism and Ethics in Science provided some of the topics for discussion. The first was a workshop designed for science students currently enrolled at SU and addressed some of the ethical issues that science students face currently. Open discussion of the topics was encouraged with guidance provided by Kelly and Dr. Tom, with emphasis not only on the specific ethical issues in classes and research but also on students helping others to make good decisions by example. Another workshop would have addressed science students’ interactions with non-scientists, and could have addressed issues such as how to build understanding and excitement of science by non-scientists. Another workshop would have addressed ethics and leadership issues after graduation, either in graduate school, a health professional school or in industry. Hopefully, students gained a new or enhanced understanding of the ethics they currently face and will face in their future. We hope to escalate personal integrity and leadership of the current SU students through discussion and understanding and hope they will carry this on to the careers they pursue after graduation.

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Apr 28th, 12:00 AM Apr 28th, 12:00 AM

Scientific and Ethical Leadership in Chemistry: March Fellowship Presentation

Ethics is integral to all professions, and science is no exception. Chemists, as all scientists, must make numerous decisions every day, some large and many small. Ethics are involved in many of the choices that must be made. Decisions with fairly large impact, such as the best and most productive projects (industrial or research) to pursue, how best to spend a budget, whether or not sufficient data has been collected to submit a paper for publication, and many others all involve decisions that can affect the success, credibility and/or status of the decision-maker. Almost all chemists want to make significant contributions to science. Chemistry can be primarily pure or applied science. Pure science is performed for its own sake and the result is an increase in knowledge or ideas. Applied research is practical and the result is a useful product or procedure. Regardless of the type of chemistry, ethical decisions are made at every step. Students and professionals are faced with these and many other issues, and every decision will affect a final result in some way. Sometimes scientists may make decisions based upon whether the potential threat is sufficiently outweighed by the benefits of the results of the decision. Sometimes the decision is made simply based on the desire to avoid scientific misconduct and fraud. To help guide scientists, there are several codes of ethics in chemistry developed by well-established institutes such as the American Chemical Society, American Institute of Chemists, and others that apply to specific fields. These codes are established for, according to the American Chemical Society “the improvement of the qualifications and usefulness of chemist through high standards of professional ethics, education, and attainments...” While it is expected that professionals follow these codes when making decisions that can affect many others, the hope is that students begin to learn how to make good ethical decisions while in school, how to prepare for those additional decisions they will be required to make almost daily in their professional lives, and how to set good examples and provide leadership for others both younger and older in their fields. To help prepare students for these types of decisions, three workshops were planned. A book on professional ethics for both students and practicing chemists by Jeffrey Kovac at the University of Tennessee entitled The Ethical Chemist, Professionalism and Ethics in Science provided some of the topics for discussion. The first was a workshop designed for science students currently enrolled at SU and addressed some of the ethical issues that science students face currently. Open discussion of the topics was encouraged with guidance provided by Kelly and Dr. Tom, with emphasis not only on the specific ethical issues in classes and research but also on students helping others to make good decisions by example. Another workshop would have addressed science students’ interactions with non-scientists, and could have addressed issues such as how to build understanding and excitement of science by non-scientists. Another workshop would have addressed ethics and leadership issues after graduation, either in graduate school, a health professional school or in industry. Hopefully, students gained a new or enhanced understanding of the ethics they currently face and will face in their future. We hope to escalate personal integrity and leadership of the current SU students through discussion and understanding and hope they will carry this on to the careers they pursue after graduation.