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K-State Today

September 14, 2018

Philosophy and physics awarded NSF grant to improve responsible conduct of research training

By College of Arts and Sciences.

K-State philosophers Scott Tanona and Jon Herington and physicist James "J.T." Laverty have been awarded a three-year, $354,264 grant from the National Science Foundation to investigate attitudes about the responsible conduct of research and their relationship to scientists' understanding of the aims of science.

The project will gather K-State science faculty to discuss their views about the goals and value of science and their relationship to good scientific practices in a series of meetings over the 2019-2020 academic year. Scientists in these meetings will discuss questions such as what role science should be playing in public policy, who is responsible for controlling unintended consequences of science, and what possible trade-offs there are between searching for truth, predictive accuracy, and social benefit.

The project will enhance efforts to promote the responsible conduct of research in science by identifying ways in which responsible conduct of research principles serve or possibly hinder the goals of science. The hope is that responsible conduct of research training can be made less burdensome and more productive by having it better incorporate scientists' values and language.

By deepening engagement with the broader social context of science, this project also will improve understanding of a range of ethical challenges, including dual-use research problems, responsibility for the social impact of research, and duties to engage with the public.

The team aims to help scientists translate their own goals and values into good practices of teaching, mentoring, research, and will help them shape future science training by jointly clarifying how ethical STEM practice fits in to general goals of science.

If you're interested in being part of these discussions, please contact Tanona at stanona@k-state.edu.

The departments and philosophy and physics are both housed in the College of Arts and Sciences. Learn more about research in the college.

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