Increasing equity in science requires better ethics training: a course by trainees, for trainees

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Increasing equity in science requires better ethics training: a course by trainees, for trainees

Authors

Patel, R. A.; Ungar, R. A.; Pyke, A. L.; Adimoelja, A.; Chakraborty, M.; Cotter, D. J.; Freund, M.; Goddard, P.; Gomez-Stafford, J.; Greenwald, E.; Higgs, E.; Hunter, N.; MacKenzie, T. M. G.; Narain, A.; Martschenko, D. O.

Abstract

Despite the profound impacts of scientific research, few scientists have received the necessary training to productively discuss the ethical and societal implications of their work. To address this critical gap, we - a group of predominantly human genetics trainees - developed a course on genetics, ethics, and society. We intend for this course to serve as a template for other institutions and scientific disciplines. Our curriculum positions human genetics within its historical and societal context and encourages students to evaluate how societal norms and structures impact the conduct of scientific research. We demonstrate the utility of this course via surveys of enrolled students and provide resources and strategies for others hoping to teach a similar course. We conclude by arguing that if we are to work towards rectifying the inequities and injustices produced by our field, we must first learn to view our own research as impacting and being impacted by society.

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