Ethics education has become an essential component of scientific training programs. Many of our students are involved in experimental work with animals or human subjects, and need to learn about the regulations governing these activities and the moral obligations of scientists toward their subjects. In addition, all scientists must deal with professional issues such as authorship disputes, questions of scientific integrity, and ownership of intellectual property.
Students in the CNBC program are required to get some type of ethics training as part of their scientific education. There are several ways to satisfy this requirement:
- Participation in Survival Skills & Ethics Program run by the University of Pittsburgh. This program is open to Carnegie Mellon students as well.
- Participation in another ethics training program that is accepted by the student's doctoral program or home department.
- Participation in the CNBC's Ethics Roundtable program, described below.
Students are expected to meet their ethics training obligation early in their graduate career, normally in the first or second year. Although there is no formal obligation for recurrent training, the CNBC encourages both students and faculty to continue to participate in Ethics Roundtable activities in order to hear new perspectives and keep abreast of recent developments.
CNBC Ethics Roundtable
The CNBC Ethics Roundtable is a series of three special "brain bags" (dinner seminars) held over the course of each academic year. The focus of the seminars is:
- The use of animals in research.
- Research on human subjects including protocol approval, informed consent, and privacy obligations.
- Selected professional issues, such as authorship, ownership of intellectual property, scientific integrity, and so forth. The topic varies each year.
Each roundtable begins with a presentation by a faculty member with expertise in that area and proceeds to a spirited discussion among the participants. All members of the CNBC community are encouraged to attend these events.