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Conflicts, Ethics, and the Academy

(Same as ETHICSOC 301)This experimental 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 in the hope that they will offer 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; the ethics of the classroom and conflicts of interest implicating professor-student relationships. Representative readings will likely 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; the movie "Inside Job"; and conflict of interest policies adopted by various universities and professional organizations.


Instructors for this course

Pamela S. Karlan