Biology 110: Scientific Integrity and Research Ethics

Fall 2009

Dartmouth College


Gilman 310

Tuesday, 2:00-4:00pm




Michael R. Dietrich

113I Centerra Biolab

Department of Biological Sciences

HB 6044


Office Hours: T, Th 12-1pm in 214 Gilman


This course is designed to introduce scientific researchers to issues in research ethics.  We will emphasize foundational principles underlying scientific integrity and their application to a range of issues including data management, animal and human subjects, collaboration, mentoring, peer review and the ethical implications of different forms of scientific research. The course is designed as an option for meeting federal regulations requiring that all NIH training grants provide instruction in the responsible conduct of research.



- F. Macrina Scientific Integrity: An Introductory Text With Cases, 3rd Edition. American Society for Microbiology Press, 2005.

- Select Articles (On reserve in Biology Department Office)


Evaluation for Graduate Credit:

Participation and Attendance         40%

Participants are expected to attend every class session and participate actively in class discussion.

Case Analysis and Presentation    60%

For each class meeting participants will be required to present an assigned case from the end of the relevant chapter in Macrina’a Scientific Integrity. If you are not able to attend class, you must submit your assigned case analysis in writing in order to get credit.



Course Webpage:


            Book Webpage:


Disability Notice:   Students with disabilities enrolled in this course and who may need disability-related classroom accommodations are encouraged to make an appointment to see me before the end of the second week of the term. All discussions will remain confidential, although the Student Accessibility Services office may be consulted to discuss appropriate implementation of any accommodation requested.

Religious Observances: Some students may wish to take part in religious observances that occur during this academic term.  If you have a religious observance that conflicts with your participation in the course, please meet with me before the end of the second week of the term to discuss appropriate accommodations.

Schedule (Subject to Change):


September 29: Overview and Introduction


Our schedule will be set at this first meeting.


- F. Macrina, Chapter 1, Methods, Manners, and Mandates



- National Academy of Sciences, "Scientific principles and research practices." Chapter 2 of NAS, Responsible Science: Ensuring the Integrity of the Research Process. Washington: National Academy Press, 1992, pp. 36-66. 


October 6: Ethics: Values, Norms, and Decisions


- F. Macrina,  Chapter 2, Ethics and the Scientist

-   Shapin, Steven, "Trust, honesty, and the authority of science." Pages 388-408 of Ruth Bulger, et al., eds., Society's Choices: Social and Ethical Decision Making in Biomedicine. Washington: National Academy Press, 1995.

-   Hardwig, John, "The role of trust in knowledge," Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 88, No. 12, December 1991, pp. 693-708.


October 13: Human Subjects


- F. Macrina, Chapter 5, Use of Humans in Biomedical Research



-   Hellman, Samuel and Deborah S. Hellman, "Of mice but not men: problems of the randomized clinical trial," New England Journal of Medicine, Vol. 324, No. 22, May 30, 1991, pp. 1585-9.

-   Epstein, Steven, "The construction of lay expertise: AIDS activism and the forging of credibility in the reform of clinical trials," Science, Technology, and Human Values, Vol. 20, No. 4, Autumn, 1995, pp. 408-437.

-   Resnik, David B. "The ethics of HIV research in developing nations," Bioethics, Vol. 12, No. 4, 1998, pp. 286-306. (With responses by Lie, Schuklenk, Thomas, and del Rio, and a reply by Resnik, pp. 307-33.)


October 20: Animal Subjects


- F. Macrina, Chapter 6, Use of Animals in Biomedical Research

- Vucetich, J. A. and M. P. Nelson. 2007. What are 60 warbers worth? Killing in the name of conservation. Oikos 116:1267-1278.



- Peter Singer,  "Animal Libertation at 30" The New York Review of Books, May 15, 2003. (online at

- Peter Singer,  "All Animals are Equal," Excerpted from Animal Rights and Human Obligations. 2nd edition, New Jersey, 1989. (online at

- Singer, "Do Animals Feel Pain?" Excerpted from Animal Liberation. 2nd edition, New York, 1990. (online at


October 27: Mentoring


- F. Macrina, Chapters 3, Mentoring



- Making the Right Moves:  A Practical Guide to Scientific Management for Post Docs and New Faculty. 2004.  Chapter 5: Mentoring and Being Mentored, Burroughs Wellcome Fund and the Howard Hughes Medical Institutes.   (on-line at

- Career Resources from the Chronicle of Higher Education (online at


November 3:  Collaboration


- F. Macrina, Chapter 8, Collaborative Research



-   Shapin, Steven, "The invisible technician," American Scientist, Vol. 77, No. 6, November-December 1989, pp. 554-62.


November 10:  Publication, Peer Review, and Credit


- F. Macrina, Chapter 4, Authorship and Peer Review



-   Huth, Edward J., "Editors and the problems of authorship: rulemakers or gatekeepers?" Pages 175-180 of John C. Bailar, et al., Editorial Policy Committee, Council of Biology Editors, Ethics and Policy in Scientific Publication. Bethesda, MD: Council of Biology Editors, 1990.

-   Cole, Stephen, Cole, Jonathan; and Simon, Gary A., "Chance and consensus in peer review," Science, Vol. 214, November 20, 1981, pp. 881-6.

-   Merton, Robert K., "Priorities in scientific discovery," originally published in 1957, reprinted in pages 286-324 of Robert K. Merton, The Sociology of Science. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1973.


November 17: Conflict of Interest


- F. Macrina, Chapter 7, Managing Conflicting Interests



-   Blumenthal, David, "Academic-industry relationships in the life sciences: extent, consequences, and management," Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 268, No. 23, December 16, 1992, pp. 3344-9.

-   Kenney, Martin, "Social relationships within the university." Chapter 6 of Kenney, Biotechnology: The University-Industrial Complex. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1986, pp. 107-31.

-   Korenman, Stanley G., "Conflicts of interest and the commercialization of research," Academic Medicine, Vol. 68, No. 9, September 1993, pp. S18-22.



December 1: Data Management


- F. Macrina, Chapter 11, Scientific recordkeeping



-   Freedland, Kenneth E. and Robert M. Carney, "Data management and accountability in behavioral and biomedical research," American Psychologist, Vol. 47, No. 5, May 1992, pp. 640-5.

-   Shamoo, Adil and Stanley W. Davis, "The need for integration of data audit into research and development operations," Accountability in Research, Vol. 1, 1990, pp. 119-28.