Ethics/Science

Evans Kelly L 4klt5 at qlink.queensu.ca
Fri Nov 14 16:29:56 EST 1997


I have experience with that in Biology.  During my Undergraduate degree, 
in Chordate Anatomy class, we dissected various animals.  To guide us
through this process, we had an anatomy "atlas".  We were told very
pointedly at the beginning of term that if we copied from the book we'd
get zero.  Over the course of the lab sessions, I found that this indeed
was not true but instead if you copied out to the book you got 100% but if
you tried your darndest to draw from the actual animal you got about 70%
or 80% (which is not bad but...) mostly because we hadn't seen things
"right" or seen the correct things.    
I found out I did the right thing by not copying when most of the class
failed the final lab exam but I did fine!

Dr. Paula J. Schlax (pjschlax at JHUVMS.HCF.JHU.EDU) wrote:
: I'll try to start a new thread- 
: I am very interested in thinking about scientific ethics in the
: classroom.  
: Some typical unethical behaviors I am aware of are:
: 
: Doing a quick and dirty titration to determine where an end point is
: (and calculate the concentration of an unknown) but not including
: it in the report.
: 
: After observing a glass jar full of creepy crawlies for a semester
: making up, de novo, the observations for a semester.
: 
: Fudging a calibration curve so that the intercept is zero.
: 
: The obvious copying lab reports/ prelabs and other homework.....
: 
: I think students generally have the feeling "its just a class" so they
: don't feel like they are cheating.  I think making lab grades more
: dependent upon true observations (rather than say 100% yield)
: is a way to eliminate some of the need for fudging/ cheating etc.
: 
: Ideas, experiences, solutions, funny anecdotes?
: 
: -Paula
: 
: (PS- I wa pretty naive in general chemistry- a friend was retaking the
: ourse, and after we got lab reports back, he always asked me if he could
: look at mine to correct his (and vice versa- but I was really into the
: class....) It wasn't until a year later that I was talking to our TA and
: found out that he was turning his reports in months late. I still
: thought he was a nice guy, but I didn't take any more classes with him-
: after all- it was just a lab)

-- 



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