Responsible Conduct of Research course
Wednesday the 26th of September 2012 at 19:41, permalink: 2012., edit

These last two days, I've spent my mornings at the old faculty of life sciences, following the new mandatory PhD course Responsible Conduct of Research. The course was started because of the problems with the neuro-science (or what was it?) researcher Milena Penkowa, who did a lot of bad things (read; science misconduct). I don't know exactly what the logic was, but I think the people at the top of the university thought it would make them look good if they demanded all PhD students to follow a course on the matters of misconduct and politics.

First, I was appaled by the sheer weight of the papers they wanted us to read: Not only news-paper clips and guides, but huge pieces of law texts. I haven't had that much trouble getting through a curriculum since following the (also mandatory, but on the bachelor education in physics) course in science ethics and history/theory. I guess I learned a bit though - I now know what the different committees are called, and what they do, and I learned about a couple of cases where people have done wrong. But all in all, most of what they made me read what logics, and I felt a bit stupid for actually following their demands of reading it - I might as well just have thought it up myself.

The lectures on the two mornings were fine, though, but maybe (who am I kidding, not maybe, definetely!) boring. At least we got free coffee...

To pass the course, you have to write a two-page essay on a case from your own scientific environment or work, related to the curriculum of the course. I haven't written an essay since high school, and I've always hated it. For now, I have no idea what I want to write about, and I really don't know how I'll be able to write something I'll be happy about handing in. Let's see what I end up with...

Post tags: course, PhD

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