COM875 Study Guide


Bilic-Zulle, L., Azman, J., Frkovic, V., & Petrovecki, M. (2008). Is there an effective approach to deterring students from plagiarizing? Science and Engineering Ethics, l4(1), 139- 147.

1. What rationale does Bilic-Zulle give for selecting the medical profession as a context for studying plagiarism?

2. What is Bilic-Zulle's criterion for identifying plagiarism?

3. What sorts of plagiarism might Bilic-Zulle's study have missed?

4. What correlation did Bilic-Zulle find between "the development of information technology and the internet" and the prevalence of plagiarism?

5. What result did Bilic-Zulle find in students "who were warned that their essays would be checked by plagiarism detection software?"


Bouville, M. (2008). Plagiarism: Words and ideas. Science and Engineering Ethics, 14(3), 311-322.

1. What five ways does Bouville list in which the term plagiarism is vague?

2. What does Bouville make of the difference between copying words and copying ideas?

3. How does Bouville rebut the arguments that plagiarism (1) "Hurts the Plagiarized Author," (2) yields "Undeserved Benefits for the Plagiarist," (3) has "Negative Consequences for the Reader," (4) "Breaks Trust" with the community, and (5) deceives the reader?

4. What criterion does Bouville propose for assessing the severity of an act of plagiarism?

5. What does Bouville think of "String-Based Criteria for Plagiarism?"

6. What does Bouville think are the effects of anti-plagiarism tools?

7. According to Bouville how do the current views about plagiarism impact the training of the next generation of scientists?

Brown, J., (2002). Funding, objectivity and the socialization of medical research; Science and Engineering Ethics, 8{3), 295-308.


1. What general assumption about the relationship between knowledge and power does Brown start with?

2. What does Brown imply about the correlation between the Bayh-Dole Act of 1980 and the tendency of published reports on new drugs that were sponsored by the developing company to give favourable assessments?

3. Why does Brown lament the relationship between the large agricultural company, Novartis, and the University of California at Berkeley?

4. What are the dangers to universities that accompany private funding and for-profit research?

5. How have editors of several leading biomedical journals responded to the threats of privately funded research?

6. What recommendations does Brown make for offsetting the threats of privately funded medical research?

7. How does Brown rebut the objections that (1) "this proposal kills the entrepreneurial spirit," (2) "development needs high profits to get done," and (3) "this problem [will) cure itself"?


Davis, M. (1999 ). Rhetoric, technical writing, and ethics. Science and Engineering Ethics, 5(4), 463-478.

1. What six features of Aristotle's account of rhetoric does Davis articulate?

2. What according to Davis do power and equality have to do with the decision to use rhetoric?

3. How does Davis separate technical writing from rhetoric?

4. Why does Davis think the use of rhetoric in engineering is unethical?

5. What does Davis offer as a replacement for the current rhetorical foundation in the teaching of technical writing?

6. Can rhetoric imply more than persuasion? Does rhetoric have to be limited, as Aristotle felt, to politics?


diNorcia, V. (2005). Intellectual property and the commercialization of research and development. Science and Engineering Ethics, 11(2), 203-219.

1. What two assumptions about the commercialization of research and development does Norcia challenge?

2. How does Norcia propose to reframe the notion of "research and development?"

3. Why, according to Norcia, should science's search for knowledge trump commercial interests?

4. How does Norcia rebut the view that knowledge is "a free good?"

5. How does Norcia defend the view that knowledge is "a common good?"

6. According to Norcia, at what point do "IP rights shift from common to private IP rights?"

7. How, according to Norcia, do private IP rights jeopardize the practice of science?

8. What does Norcia propose for reconciling the conflicting interests among scientific knowledge, technological innovation, and commercialization?


Drenth, J. (1996). Proliferation of authors on research reports in medicine. Science and Engineering Ethics, 2(4), 469-4 80.

1. What worrisome conclusions does Drenth draw from his citation analysis despite the enormous growth in the number of research journals?

2. What are the general trends for publication of multi- and single-author articles?

3. What does Drenth regard as the causes of increased rates of multi-author publication?

4. What is "gift authorship?"

5. What are the three criteria for authorship credit?

6. What are some of the schemes used for ordering the names of multi-author articles?

7. What does Drenth think is problematic about the proliferation of the number of authors on medical research papers?

8. What suggestions does Drenth have for preventing unjustifiable co-authorship?


Einsiedel, E., & Ross, H. (2002). Animal spare parts? A Canadian public consultation on xenotransplantation. Science and Engineering Ethics, 8(4), 579-591.

1. What does Einsiedel mean by "the decoupling of technology from its social effects?"

2. How does constructive technology assessment (CTA) differ from traditional technology assessment?

3. What access does the public have to constructive technology assessment?

4. What are "citizens' juries?"

5. What response did a citizens' jury in Canada have over the issue of xenotransplantation?

6. What does Einsiedel think are the advantages of following Canada's lead in the use of citizens' juries?

Al-delaimy, Wael K., (2012). Ethical Concepts and Future Challenges of Neuroimaging: An Islamic Perspective, Science and Engineering Ethics, Volume 18, Issue 3, pp 509-518.


1. According to Al-delaimy, on what basis do Muslims judge their fellow humans or Muslims?

2. According to Al-delaimy, what is Muslims' relationship to science?


3. According to Al-delaimy, what Islamic principles can Muslims use to justify the use of fMRI?


4. According to Al-delaimy, why do advances in neuroscience concern Muslims?


5. According to Al-delaimy, how should Muslims develop ethical frameworks for applications of technology?

Gefenas, E. (2007). Balancing ethical principles in emergency medicine research. Science and Engineering Ethics, 13(3), 281-288.


1. Why is emergency medical research an especially difficult context in which to exercise informed consent?


2. What is Gefenas's "balancing approach?"


3. What is the history of the liberalization of medical research?


4. How does Gefenas define "minimal risk?"


5. What is Gefenas's conclusion about using minimal risk when deciding whether to obtain consent?



Hauser-Kastenberg, G., Kastenberg, W., & Norris, D. (2003). Towards emergent ethical action and the culture of engineering. Science and Engineering Ethics, 9(3), 377-387.

1. What two aspects of the current culture of engineering is HauserKastenberg trying to integrate?

2. What two lines of thought in the history of Western ethical theory does Hauser-Kastenberg recount?

3. Which line of thought does she think is more "apposite to the underlying science of the newest technologies?"

4. What does Hauser-Kastenberg mean when she characterizes the current Newtonian/Cartesian-based culture of engineering as atomistic, deterministic, and dualistic?

5. Why does she deny that "the practice of engineering is value-free?"

6. What does she mean when she says that natural systems are complex and nonlinear because their properties are emergent, chaotic, and subjective?

7. According to Hauser- Kastenberg how can an awareness of holism, transparency, and responsiveness effect cultural change in the profession of engineering from "applying ethics" to "being ethical?"

Jones, A. (2003). Can authorship policies help prevent scientific misconduct? what role for scientific societies? Science and Engineering Ethics, 9(2), 243-256.

1. Why does Jones feel a need for authorhip guidelines in scientific publishing?

2. What are the differences between the traditional authorship model and the contributor-guarantor system?

3. What four mandates does Jones propose for scientific societies in regard to authorship?


Kiang, N. (1995). How are scientific corrections made? Science and Engineering Ethics, 1(4), 347-356.

1. What is the role of replication in the idealized view of the self-correcting process in science?

2. What pragmatic factors provoke scientists to attempt to correct the record?

3. What two types of error does the scientific record contain?

4. Why are reports that correct the scientific record not widely circulated?

5. Why do scientists not pursue verification studies more vigorously?

6. Should scientists be more concerned over adding to than correcting the scientific record?


Kline, A. (2006). On complicity theory. Science and Engineering Ethics, 12(2), 257-264.

1. What is the standard theory that prescribes when whistleblowing is morally required?

2. What are three critiques of the standard theory?

3. What is the complicity theory of whistleblowing?

4. What are the two chief differences between the standard theory and the complicity theory?

5. What is Kline's argument for preferring the standard theory over the complicity theory?


Loui, M. (2002). Seven ways to plagiarize : Handling real allegations of research misconduct. Science and Engineering Ethics, 8(4), 529-539.

1. Why is due process so important in handling cases of alleged scientific misconduct?

2. What are the two stages that most institutions follow for handling allegations of scientific misconduct?

3. What constitutes plagiarism in an academic research context?

4. Why is copyright not effective for adjudicating cases of alleged plagiarism?

5. On what principles did Loui base his decisions in the cases he recounts?

6. What are general ways of resolving a sustained charge of plagiarism?


Lubalin, J., & Matheson, J. (1999). The fallout: What happens to whistleblowers and those accused but exonerated of scientific misconduct? Science and Engineering Ethics, 5(2), 229-250.

1. What, according to the authors, is the nature of whistleblowing?

2. What rationale do they offer for studying whistleblowing?

3. What has past research of whistleblowing revealed?

4. How did the authors study whistleblowing?

5. What three main results did their study yield?

6. What conclusions about whistleblowing did they reach?

7. What recommendations do the authors make about whistleblowing?


Macpherson, J. (2008). Safety, risk acceptability, and morality. Science and Engineering Ethics, 14(3), 377-390.


1. What objection does Macpherson have with the definition, “a thing is safe if its risks are judged to be acceptable?”

2. What according to Macpherson is the difference between risk acceptability and safety?

3. What are the two senses of safety that Macpherson distinguishes?

4. What moral viewpoints does Macpherson associate with safety judgments and risk acceptability judgments?


Murphy, C., & Gardoni, P. (2007). Determining public policy and resource allocation priorities for mitigating natural hazards: A capabilities-based approach. Science and Engineering Ethics, 13(4), 489-504.


1. What strategies does Murphy propose in her framework for risk mitigation?

2. What are the two components of risk assessment that Murphy defines?

3. What, according to Murphy, are two primary strengths of the Cost-benefit Analysis?

4. What, according to Murphy, are the limitations of the Cost-benefit Analysis?

5. What are the main aspects of the Capabilities-based Approach to public policy?

6. What are the steps in the Capabilities-based Approach for identifying a need for mitigation and for comparing and ranking various policy alternatives and resource allocation strategies to address the need?


7. What are the criteria that the Capabilities-based Approach fulfills?


Rensberger, B. (2000). Why scientists should cooperate with journalists. Science and Engineering Ethics, 6(4), 549-552.

1. What is the public's relationship to science?

2. What do science and pseudo-science have in common for the public?

3. Why should scientists explain their work to the public?

4. What are two ways scientists can publicize their work?


Resnik, D. (1997). A proposal for a new system of credit allocation in science. Science and Engineering Ethics, 3(3), 237-243.

1. What is the difference between an author of a research article and "a person mentioned in the acknowledgments section?"

2. What authorship practice does Resnik single out as unethical?

3. What two kinds of dispute arise over authorship of research articles?

4. What proposal does Resnik make for correcting authorship practices?

5. What objections does Resnik anticipate to his proposal and how does he answer them?


Rier, D. (2004). Publication visibility of sensitive public health data: When scientists bury their results. Science and Engineering Ethics, 10(4), 597-613.

1. What issue may confront scientists which, according to Rier, is "broader than maintenance of high standards in knowledge production?"

2. In view of this issue, what is Rier's research question?

3. What reasons does Rier recount for self-censorship among scientists?

4. Why might the field of epidemiology be particularly subject to self-censorship?

5. Who were the participants in Rier's research?

6. What questions did Rier ask of the participants?

7. In what sense are research journals bullhorns?

8. In what sense are research journals burial grounds?

9. What recommendations does Rier make in view of his research on self-censorship among epidemiologists?


Rogers, C. (2000). Making the audience a key participant in the science communication process. Science and Engineering Ethics, 6(4), 553-557.

1. What does Rogers regard as "the weak link in the public communication of science and technology?"

2. How does Rogers describe the "audience for science information?"

3. What two characteristics does Rogers identify that are problematic for public audiences of scientific information?

4. What recommendations does Rogers have for improving the public communication of science?

5. Why is improving the public communication of science important?


Sabloff, J. (1999). Scientific research, museum collections, and the rights of ownership. Science and Engineering Ethics, 5(3), 347-354.

1. What are some of the competing claims of traditional ownership and continuing scientific research that Sabloff refers to?

2. How does Sabloff justify a museum's retention of cultural artifacts?

3. How have some native cultures responded to conventional archeological perspectives on cultural artifacts?

4. What two paths does Sabloff see for reconciling the differences between museums and native peoples over the retention of cultural artifacts?


Sieber, J. (1998). The psychology of whistleblowing. Science and Engineering Ethics, 4{1), 7-23.

1. What examples does Sieber give to suggest "the whistleblower typically operates in a hostile environment?"

2. According to Sieber, what bias does the psychological study of attribution reveal in the perception of wrongdoing?

3. What are the exceptions to the actor-observer bias?

4. What is "the false consensus phenomenon?"

5. How does a "need for a sense of control" play out among parties to whistleblowing?

6. How can a "belief in a just world" make whistleblowing more difficult?

7. In what sense does ethnocentrism play a part in whistleblowing?

8. What are some "ecological factors" in whistleblowing?

9. What characterizes the backgrounds of whistleblowers of the past?

10. What is the general moral dilemma that whistleblowers face?

11. What are ways of surviving the traumas of being a whistleblower?


Souder, L. (2010). A rhetorical analysis of apologies for scientific misconduct: Do they really mean it? Science and Engineering Ethics, Volume 16, Issue 1, 175-186.

1. Besides correcting the scientific record, what other function does Souder claim for a published letter of apology for research misconduct or retraction?

2. What does Souder imply about apologies when he refers to them as "speech acts?"

3. Why does Souder claim to analyze apologies as dialogues?

4. What aspect of the apologies does Souder examine?

5. What general conclusion does Souder reach about the apologies for misconduct he has collected?


Thompson, P. (1999). The ethics of truth-telling and the problem of risk. Science and Engineering Ethics, 5(4) 489-510.

1. What are two broad philosophical positions on truth telling?

2. What are the assumptions in dividing truth telling into two perspectives?

3. How do experts and the public view risk?

4. What are some specific differences between the expert and lay perspectives on risk?

5. What is the dilemma in communicating risk?

6. How should risk communicators act in view of this dilemma?


Thompson, P. (1999). Commentary on 'Rhetoric, technical writing and ethics' (Michael Davis). Science and Engineering Ethics, 5(4), 484-486.

1. In his response to Davis, what does Thompson mean by "the pragmatics of language?"

2. According to Thompson when should writers attend to "the pragmatics of language" and when should they ignore them?

3. How does Thompson distinguish his view of "the pragmatics of language" from Davis's and from postmodernists' like Foucault or Rorty?


Thomsen, M., & Resnik, D. (1995). The effectiveness of the erratum in avoiding error propagation in physics. Science and Engineering Ethics, 1(3), 231-240.

1. How does Thomsen and Resnik's definition of error differ from the conventional definition?

2. What are the costs to society of errors in the scientific record?

3. What are the three main ways of correcting the scientific record?

4. What is the typical effect of an erratum on the subsequent citation of an original flawed research report?

5. What are the three ways that a paper may be used by other citing papers?

6. What do Thomsen and Resnik say about researchers citing their own errata?

7. What do Thomsen and Resnik suggest for correcting errors in the record?

8. Who, if anyone, do you think should shoulder the main responsibility of correcting the errors in the scientific record?


Wilson, J. (2002). Responsible authorship and peer review. Science and Engineering Ethics, 8(2), 155-174.

1. According to Wilson what "standard procedures of peer review" did the cold fusion researchers violate?

2. What two communities in the field of scientific research do peer reviewers serve?

3. What general function does the peer review system perform for science?

4. What are some things that peer review can not do?

5. What five shortcomings of peer review does Wilson identify?

6. What three questions about a piece of research offered for publication should a peer reviewer try to answer?

7. What three questions about a research funding proposal should a peer reviewer try to answer?

8. Why is it important that peer reviewers of research funding proposals tolerate dissent?

9. How should peer reviewers be managed for optimum performance?


McGoldrick, Terence A., (2012). The Spirituality of Human Consciousness: A Catholic Evaluation of Some Current Neuro-Scientific Interpretations, Science and Engineering Ethics, Volume 18, Issue 3, pp 483-501.

1. According to McGoldrick, what principles about moral choices does Catholic theology include?


2. According to McGoldrick, how does Catholic theology explain the human experience of freedom?


3. According to McGoldrick, what is the relationship between morality human free will?