Conflicts, Ethics, and the Academy
This course looks at conflicts of interest and ethical issues as they arise within academic work. The participants will be drawn from schools and departments across the University so that the discussion will prompt different examples of, and perspectives on, the issues we discuss. Topics will include the conflicts that arise from sponsored research, including choices of topics, shaping of conclusions, and nondisclosure agreements; issues of informed consent with respect to human subjects research, and the special issues raised by research conducted outside the United States; peer review, co-authorship, and other policies connected to scholarly publication; and the ethics of the classroom and conflicts of interest implicating professor-student relationships. Representative readings will include Marcia Angell's work, Drug Companies and Doctors: A Story of Corruption, N.Y. Rev. Books, Jan. 15, 2009, and Is Academic Medicine for Sale? 342 N. Engl. J. Med. 1516 (2000) (and responses); William R. Freudenburg, Seeding Science, Courting Conclusions: Reexamining the Intersection of Science, Corporate Cash, and the Law, 20 Sociological Forum 3 (2005); Max Weber, Science as a Vocation; legal cases; and conflict-of-interest policies adopted by various universities and professional organizations. The course will include an informal dinner at the end of each session. The goal of the course is to have students across disciplines think about the ethical issues they will confront in an academic or research career. Non-law students should enroll in ETHICSOC 301.