more on stigma?

S L Forsburg forsburg at
Tue Oct 14 11:09:16 EST 1997

From: JFRUGOLI at BIO.TAMU.EDU ("Julia Frugoli")
> If it's any comfort, one of the comments at the national meeting of
> the
> Society for Practical and Professional Ethics was that unlike law and
> business, where belonging to an ethics society was often a plus,in
> science there was some kind of stigma involved in being involved in
> ethics. 

Now that's scary, especially given the number of retractions
in the journals of late....But no scarier than discovering that
a number of my first year PhD students last year decided to
cheat on their homework.  They fail to understand that science
is about telling the truth and learning is not accomplished by
cheating and if any of them are reading this I hope they
think over just why it is they came to graduate school.  But 
I digress.

> Someone pointed out that it was like belonging to AWIS 10
> years
> ago-you are looked on with suspicion as not dedicated. I make it a
> point to put both these memberships on my CV, along with my science
> society memberships-I think they are part of what makes me a good
> scientist. I care about more than just the data at my bench.

Good for you! 
> But, my PI thinks I should never mention the ethics work, as he sees
> it
> as irrelevant and occasionally harmful depending on the attitude of
> the
> person reading the CV. I think this is sad, but I also don't want to
> work for someone who thinks a good scientist is not interested in
> equal
> opportunity or ethical standards. 

I agree.  I belong to AWIS (although I'm not particularly
active in the group, I like what they do), and I put that
on my CV too.

> Is there anyone out there who's sat
> on a search committee or been part of a tenure decision where this
> came
> up, who can shed some insight? Or is this, like some of the other
> obstacles we're talked about, so subtle it's hard to point to?

Like everything else, I think this will depend on who reads your CV. 
Speaking for myself, I'd be favorably disposed to see it!

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S L Forsburg, PhD  forsburg at
Molecular Biology and Virology Lab          
The Salk Institute, La Jolla CA
"These are my opinions.  I don't have  
time to speak for anyone else."

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