Comment on Moral Kombat by chandani

This is something that really bothers me, if you read comments in the internet, people go “but he did that”. That “but” is so disturbing. 1) not every mistake deserves a lasting “consequence” 2) no every “consequence” is a fair one 3) in the rush of punishing the wrongs are we overlooking why are those mistakes being made?
May be I am over generalizing, may be Matthew totally deserves being pulled back from all the opportunities. Nevertheless does building up that fear blocks the rest of the researchers from doing such unethical act? Even if it does, shouldn’t be there be a better way to lower/eliminate the acts?
For the new GTAs grad school provides mandatory Ethics sessions on Teaching and the ethical dilemmas they might come across, so may be a good start would be to provide such resources to new researchers.

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Comment on Moral Kombat by jessie Elizabeth Mann

I think the consequences are appropriate to the potential harm crimes of this nature can do to society, however I don’t think he should have been put in the situation in the first place. If he were publishing in a more science process oriented culture, where slightly non-significant results could get published, or where researchers were interested to hear about non-significant results he may not have felt he ‘needed’ to fudge the data. Thanks for posting.

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Bridging the Gender Gap in STEM

Introduction. The battle to bridge the gender gap in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) has been a hot topic for several years. Although women fill close to half of all jobs in the U.S. economy, they hold less than 25 per- cent of STEM jobs (see Figure1). This has been the case throughout the past decade, even as college- educated women have increased their share of the overall workforce. This issue is worse in computer-related fields and technology, “By 2020, there will be 1.4 million jobs in computing-related fields—but women are on track to fill only 3 percent of them.”

Reasons. Some people such as Stuart Reges, a principal lecturer at the university’s Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science and Engineering, argue that main reason for this gap are the fundamental differences between men and woman and the consequent choice. “Our community must face the difficult truth that we aren’t likely to make further progress in attracting women to computer science. Women can code, but often they don’t want to. We will never reach gender parity.” wrote Reges. “It’s time for everyone to be honest, and my honest view is that having 20 percent women in tech is probably the best we are likely to achieve. Accepting that idea doesn’t mean that women should feel unwelcome. Recognizing that women will be in the minority makes me even more appreciative of the women who choose to join us.”

On the other hand, there are many evidences showing that women are achieving the same level of excellence in science fields as men. For example, last year for the first time women outnumbered men in medical school enrollments, which were men-dominated before. Furthermore, while Reges interprets the national data correctly that women fall behind men in computer science enrollments, his assertion that sexism in the tech industry is not an obstacle for women who are competent to enter the industry is questionable.

Author’s Opinion. I believe that thriving in computer science is regardless of the gender. If you are interested in this field, go for it! Similar to any other purpose in your life, it is hard to reach to the summit of success especially when the route is full of crumbling rocks and you are not fairly treated. However, summit worth fighting for!

As one of the successful role models in Computer Science, Grace Hopper was a United States Navy rear admiral and also a female pioneer of computer programming who invented one of the first compiler related tools. Nowadays, the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing is the world’s largest gathering of women technologists with around 20,000 attendees this year in Houston, TX. Here is a famous quote from her: A ship in port is safe, but that’s not what ships are built for.

Resources:

 

 

Bridging the Gender Gap in STEM

Introduction. The battle to bridge the gender gap in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) has been a hot topic for several years. Although women fill close to half of all jobs in the U.S. economy, they hold less than 25 per- cent of STEM jobs (see Figure1). This has been the case throughout the past decade, even as college- educated women have increased their share of the overall workforce. This issue is worse in computer-related fields and technology, “By 2020, there will be 1.4 million jobs in computing-related fields—but women are on track to fill only 3 percent of them.”

Reasons. Some people such as Stuart Reges, a principal lecturer at the university’s Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science and Engineering, argue that main reason for this gap are the fundamental differences between men and woman and the consequent choice. “Our community must face the difficult truth that we aren’t likely to make further progress in attracting women to computer science. Women can code, but often they don’t want to. We will never reach gender parity.” wrote Reges. “It’s time for everyone to be honest, and my honest view is that having 20 percent women in tech is probably the best we are likely to achieve. Accepting that idea doesn’t mean that women should feel unwelcome. Recognizing that women will be in the minority makes me even more appreciative of the women who choose to join us.”

On the other hand, there are many evidences showing that women are achieving the same level of excellence in science fields as men. For example, last year for the first time women outnumbered men in medical school enrollments, which were men-dominated before. Furthermore, while Reges interprets the national data correctly that women fall behind men in computer science enrollments, his assertion that sexism in the tech industry is not an obstacle for women who are competent to enter the industry is questionable.

Author’s Opinion. I believe that thriving in computer science is regardless of the gender. If you are interested in this field, go for it! Similar to any other purpose in your life, it is hard to reach to the summit of success especially when the route is full of crumbling rocks and you are not fairly treated. However, summit worth fighting for!

As one of the successful role models in Computer Science, Grace Hopper was a United States Navy rear admiral and also a female pioneer of computer programming who invented one of the first compiler related tools. Nowadays, the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing is the world’s largest gathering of women technologists with around 20,000 attendees this year in Houston, TX. Here is a famous quote from her: A ship in port is safe, but that’s not what ships are built for.

Resources:

 

 

Comment on Moral Kombat by bpsutliff

After skimming Mathew’s case I think there are some important things to notice. Most of what he did could have fairly easily been corrected if he had just run an extra sample, or done one more run. He lied about triplicate experiments when he did double. He artificially shrank his error bars… statistically speaking, more replicates tend to shrink error bars. He falsified data regarding the purity of his sample, which probably could have been fixed by running it through one or two more purification steps.

I’m really curious why he would falsify instead of doing that one more run. If it was time, avoiding the 3-years of supervision to lifetime of unemployment seems worth at least one more experiment…

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Comment on Blog Post 2 : Refections on Ethics in Engineering and Research by nouf binthabit

I agree with you in that the researchers must be very careful not to make any research mistakes or having false data especially in research related to health but also there must be very strict methods to prevent this from happening. A higher authority must validate each step in the process and approve them before continue in to other step. I agree that many people can be affected by such mistakes either honestly or intentionally.

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Research Misconduct in Higher Education

I would like to start with defining the three “cardinal sins” of research conduct: falsification, fabrication, and plagiarism  (resource: Link):

  • Falsification is the changing or omission of research results (data) to support claims, hypotheses, other data, etc.
  • Fabrication is the construction and/or addition of data, observations, or characterizations that never occurred in the gathering of data or running of experiments.
  • Plagiarism is using or representing the work of others as your own work, even if committed unintentionally.

Following is the case summary of a research misconduct done by Maria Cristina Miron Elqutub, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (resource: Link).  The Office of Research Integrity (ORI) found that Ms. Maria Cristina Miron Elqutub, Research Interviewer at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (MDACC), was engaged in research misconduct in research supported by National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), National Institutes of Health (NIH), grant U01 DE019765-01. ORI found that Respondent engaged in research misconduct by intentionally and knowingly falsifying and/or fabricating data that were included in the following two (2) published papers and two (2) grant progress reports submitted to NIDCR and NIH. As the result, Dr. Elqutub agreed to have her research supervised for a period of three (3) years, and exclude herself voluntarily from serving in any advisory capacity to the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS).

Author’s Opinion: While there are quite few number of research misconduct reports on ORI scholarly integrity website, I believe there should be more of them based on the increasing number of publications around the world. Therefore, I did some research on this topic and found a great paper titled “How Many Scientists Fabricate and Falsify Research? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Survey Data” by Daniele Fanelli. The paper argues how difficult it is to measure the frequency with which scientists fabricate and falsify data, or commit other forms of scientific misconduct. With some assumptions on around 20 surveys, a pooled weighted average of 1.97% (N = 7, 95%CI: 0.86–4.45) of scientists admitted to have fabricated, falsified or modified data or results at least once. The good news is that recently some statistical tools have been introduced to detect potential data fabrication automatically (resource: Link). From my point of view, such tools can have a key role to stop research misconduct in the future.

Research Misconduct in Higher Education

I would like to start with defining the three “cardinal sins” of research conduct: falsification, fabrication, and plagiarism  (resource: Link):

  • Falsification is the changing or omission of research results (data) to support claims, hypotheses, other data, etc.
  • Fabrication is the construction and/or addition of data, observations, or characterizations that never occurred in the gathering of data or running of experiments.
  • Plagiarism is using or representing the work of others as your own work, even if committed unintentionally.

Following is the case summary of a research misconduct done by Maria Cristina Miron Elqutub, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (resource: Link).  The Office of Research Integrity (ORI) found that Ms. Maria Cristina Miron Elqutub, Research Interviewer at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (MDACC), was engaged in research misconduct in research supported by National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), National Institutes of Health (NIH), grant U01 DE019765-01. ORI found that Respondent engaged in research misconduct by intentionally and knowingly falsifying and/or fabricating data that were included in the following two (2) published papers and two (2) grant progress reports submitted to NIDCR and NIH. As the result, Dr. Elqutub agreed to have her research supervised for a period of three (3) years, and exclude herself voluntarily from serving in any advisory capacity to the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS).

Author’s Opinion: While there are quite few number of research misconduct reports on ORI scholarly integrity website, I believe there should be more of them based on the increasing number of publications around the world. Therefore, I did some research on this topic and found a great paper titled “How Many Scientists Fabricate and Falsify Research? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Survey Data” by Daniele Fanelli. The paper argues how difficult it is to measure the frequency with which scientists fabricate and falsify data, or commit other forms of scientific misconduct. With some assumptions on around 20 surveys, a pooled weighted average of 1.97% (N = 7, 95%CI: 0.86–4.45) of scientists admitted to have fabricated, falsified or modified data or results at least once. The good news is that recently some statistical tools have been introduced to detect potential data fabrication automatically (resource: Link). From my point of view, such tools can have a key role to stop research misconduct in the future.

Blog Post 2 – Review of Sudbo, Jon

Ethics can be understood as a branch of philosophy that deals with the systematization, definition and recommendation of concepts of wrong and right that guide the human behavior to a better life in society. In general terms, if a person believes that a specific behavior is morally wrong, then it would be irrational for that person to do it. Ethic principles dictates our perception of moral that dictates how we act and live in society.


Jon Sudbo
Source: https://alchetron.com/Jon-Sudb%C3%B8
This week we have been reflecting upon ethics in research and therefore, I reviewed the Office of Research Integrity (“ORI”) of the US Department of Health and Human Services case against Jon Sudbo, D.D.S., Norwegian Radium Hospital. Jon Sudbo was a Norwegian dentist, physician and former medical researcher that was involved in a scientific fraud in 2006. 



In summary, Sudbo was found guilty of falsifying and fabricating research data in the field of oncology that allowed him to publish in several well known medical journals at the time. Sudbo plead guilty of fabricating and/or falsifying data for only three publications. However, the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) and its Investigation Commission, concluded at least twelve other publications could not be considered valid by the same reasons. 

As this scandal came to light, in 2006 Sudbo was forced to resign his positions as associate professor at University of Oslo and Consultant oncologist at the Radium Hospital in Oslo. Additionally, his licenses to practice dentistry and medicine were revoked in the same year. Lastly, an investigation conducted by the University of Oslo found that Sudbo's doctoral dissertation was also based on fraudulent data and therefore, his doctorate in medicine was revoked by the institution in 2006. According to Wikipedia, Jon Sudbo is currently working as an assistant dentist in Seljord, Telemark.

Jon Sudbo's actions changed his career path forever. He went from a brilliant scientist to a well-known fraud with no credibility in the research world. Google can prove this to you! Just google his name. 



Even though Sudbo had several punishments he was not given any jail time. His research was in the oncology field and I feel that fake outcomes in this field can dangerously harm people's lives and even cause death. Therefore , why was he not considered a criminal? Do you believe he should be treated as a criminal?  Even though he does not conduct any type of research nowadays, he still allowed to work as an assistant in the field. Do you believe he should be allowed to practice within the field? Do you feel his punishments were adequate to his actions? Let me know in the comments! 

If you are interested in reading Jon Sudbo's case or other cases of research misconduct, access the Office of Research Integrity website.


Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethics
https://ori.hhs.gov/case-summary-sudbo-jon
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jon_Sudb%C3%B8