METEO 591 Professionalism and Ethics as a Researcher in the Atmospheric Sciences

Professionalism and Ethics as a Researcher in the Atmospheric Sciences Instructor: Johannes Verlinde Class: Tuesday (1:00 – 2:15 PM) in 107 EEWest

Professionalism and Ethics as a Researcher in the Atmospheric Sciences
(METEO 591, Fall 2015)
Tuesday (1:00 – 2:15 PM) in 107 EEWest
Instructor: Johannes Verlinde (jxv7@psu.edu)
605 Walker Building, University Park, PA
Satisfies Scholarship and Research Integrity (SARI) Program Implementation To implement the Graduate School SARI Program requirements, the Department of Meteorology created this new course titled Development and Ethics as a Graduate Student in the

Atmospheric Sciences (Meteo 591).

The objectives of this one credit course are severalfold:

  1. document student participation in and completion of the Physical Science Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) Course provided by the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) via the Office of Research Protections (ORP) SARI Research Portal accessed at http://www.research.psu.edu/training/sari/.
  2. provide for a minimum of five hours of discussion on RCR topics relevant to the atmospheric sciences, including, but not limited to, i)acquisition, management, sharing, and ownership of data, ii) publication practices and responsible authorship, iii) conflict of interest and commitment, iv) research misconduct, v) peer review, vi) mentor/trainee responsibilities, and vii) collaborative science;
  3. review the Pennsylvania State University conduits for improving writing and speaking skills as they relate to professional activities such as abstract writing, paper writing, proposal writing thesis writing, conference speaking and thesis defending; 

Disclaimer: The organization of METEO 591 is based heavily on IBIOS 591 and considerable input from the current instructor of IBIOS 591, Dr. John Hanold. We are grateful to Dr. Hanold for allowing us to use significant portions of the content and organizational structure of IBIOS 591 for our own purposes. We have approval from the Graduate School to arrange METEO 591 along the lines of IBIOS 591 as long as Dr. Hanold supports our actions, which he does. The class was originally adapted for METEO 591 by Dr. Eugene Clothiaux. Much
of the original material remain even in the class this semester.

Week / Speaker / Topic

  1. Introduction — What is this course all about?
  2. Dr. Stensrud Task Group 1 – Responsible Conduct of Research (Research Misconduct)
  3. Dr. Forest Task Group 2 – The Interfaces with Society (Data Acquisition, Management, Sharing and  Comments)
  4. Dr. Fuentes Task Group 3 – Authorship and Peer Review (Publication Practices and Responsible Authorship; Peer Review)
  5. Dr. Clothiaux Task Group 4 – Working within the Hierarchy (Mentor and Trainee Responsibilities)
  6. Dr. Titley Task Group 5 – Conflicts of Interest and Commitment: Lure of Money/Fame
  7. Dr. Young Task Group 6 – Collaborative Research
  8. Dr. Redwing Task Group 7 – Diversity in the Sciences
  9. ? Task Group 8 – Skills all Researchers Need / Resume / Developing a Web Presence
  10. Wrapping it up

Task groups are organized around clusters of related topics. I have invited a guest speaker for each task group. This speaker will introduce the topic in the first 30 – 40 minutes. Task groups members should prepared to lead a discussion related to their assigned topic areas that incorporates material looked at prior to the meeting and the guest speaker talk. The objective is to develop mature, interesting, and occasionally provocative discussions. Here are some guidelines:

  1. PowerPoint presentations are strongly discouraged.
  2. Keep canned comments to a minimum.
  3. Prepare a number of activities to keep discussion going after the initial round of questions. Short case studies are useful to encourage the class to think through an abstract issue in a practical context. Staged debates are good at stimulating discussion. Another good technique is to ask the class a question, poll the results, and then discuss the differences in people’s answers.
  4. Avoid spending too much time discussing facts, laws, and regulations. The primary purpose of this class is not to consider cutting edge technological developments, nor to learn how to plot a safe course through intellectual property laws and institutional review boards. Scientists are uniquely positioned to influence the development of our culture; this class is designed to encourage junior scientists to consider this role carefully. Scientists often appear more comfortable talking about technical issues than about the social implications of their work, but it is imperative that scientists train themselves to engage their fellow citizens in serious public policy debates. 

A Passing Grade of Satisfactory (R) is Earned by the Following:

  • Participate as a discussion leader in a Task Group
  • Present and participate in the Task Group discussions led by others
  • No unexcused absences; there will be a roll call for each class period in order to document completion of the SARI program discussion hour requirements 
  • Completion of each CITI Physical Science Responsible Conduct of Research course module by the beginning of the relevant class, having earned a grade of 100% on the quiz associated with this module; come to each class with at least one question and one comment on the completed module

Failing to Earn a Satisfactory Grade of (R) a Student is Assigned an Unsatisfactory Grade (C) and Must Retake the Course the Following Year

Plagiarism involves any attempt to pass off someone else’s words or ideas as your own, either verbally or in writing. Plagiarists are subject to both academic sanctions (e.g., failing the course) and disciplinary sanctions (e.g., suspension, expulsion, etc.).

(Week 1)  Introduction – What is this course all about?

(Responsible Conduct of Research; Integrity in Practice; Integrity in Training; Integrity in Learning; Whistle-blowing)

Select: Physical Science Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) Course

Complete: CITI RCR Course with a grade of 100% (The Penn State requirement is 80% but there is no reason why one cannot work a bit harder to a grade of 100%.)

Print: Course Completion Report (Turn in to Karen Corl when finished) 

*The Bottom Line: The primacy of honesty, objectivity and the common good

 *Be Part of the Solution and Not Part of the Problem: 

  • Stand on your own two feet
  • Do not be overly reactive
  • Have the ability to calm yourself down
  • Tolerate discomfort in order to come clean
  • Treat others with respect, including consideration of their points of view 

*Importance of research advisors, mentors and student committees 

*Prioritizing time: classes, assistantship, and research obligations 

*Too many scientists, too poorly trained and with too few prospects? http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=does-the-us-produce-too-m 

Be sure to read the following

http://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2015/06/09/college-is-not-a-commodity-stop-treating-it-like-one/ 

(Week 2)  Task Group 1 – Responsible Conduct of Research: Doing Business the Right Way 

Invited Speaker: Dr. Dave Stensrud 

(Fabrication, Falsification and Plagiarism; Integrity in Practice; Integrity in Training; Integrity in Learning; Whistle-blowing)

  • Complete the following CITI course modules by this class:  The CITI Course in the Responsible Conduct of Research Introduction to the Responsible Conduct of Research Research Misconduct

Be sure to read the following

* NRC Report: "On Being a Scientist:  Responsible Conduct in Research"

On from Angel 

* Goodstein: An overview from a senior administrator http://www.its.caltech.edu/%7Edg/conduct_art.html 

Optional readings and additional resources: 

(Week 3)  Task Group 2 – The Interfaces with Society

(Managing/Sharing Data with Society; National Security; Governmental “Meddling”; Truth not Wanted Here) 

  • Complete the following CITI course module by this class: Data Management

Invited Speaker: Dr. Chris Forest  

(Week 4)  Task Group 3 – Authorship and Peer Review  

*Complete the following CITI course modules by this class: 
Authorship
Peer Review 

Invited Speaker: Dr. Jose Fuentes 

Be sure to read some of the following case studies:

Optional readings and additional resources: 

ORI–Authorship: http://ori.hhs.gov/education/products/RCRintro/c09/0c9.html

ORI–Peer Review: http://ori.hhs.gov/education/products/RCRintro/c10/0c10.html

(Week 5)  Task Group 4 – Working within the Hierarchy

(Mentor-Student Relationships)  

*Complete the following CITI course modules by this class:
Mentoring 

Invited Speaker: Dr. Eugene Clothiaux 

Be sure to read the following:  

*Care and Maintenance of Your Advisor

http://www.nature.com/naturejobs/2011/110127/full/nj7331-570a.html 

Optional readings and additional resources: 

(Week 6)  Task Group 5 – Conflicts of Interest and Commitment: The Lure of Money and/or Fame 
(Knowledge/Expertise for Good or for Money/Fame)

*Complete the following CITI course module by this class:
Conflicts of Interest 

Invited Speaker: Dr. Dave Titley 
Be sure to read the following

Optional readings and additional resources: 

(Week 7)  Task Group 6 – Collaborative Research

(Working within a Team) 

*Complete the following CITI course module by this class:
Collaborative Research

Invited Speaker: Dr. George Young, aka Snape 

Be sure to contemplate the following

  • Don’t steal
  • Don’t lie or exaggerate
  • Don’t cook data
  • Don’t plagiarize
  • Don’t take credit for the work of others
  • Don’t use others’ ideas without giving credit
  • Don’t obfuscate method descriptions by using more advanced mathematics than is required or by leaving out steps
  • Don’t dissuade others from tackling a task by describing problems you could yourself solve as “hard”
  • Don’t let your judgment in a review be swayed by the degree to which your own work was referenced or your own datasets and methods used
  • Don’t allow situations to occur in which others must do your work for the greater good
  • Don’t allow your schedule to drift so that you habitually hand off urgent projects to your collaborators at the start of the weekend
  • Don’t claim as publicly available any data or program for which documentation is insufficient to allow others easy use without your help.
  • Don’t abuse watchdog rights (FOIA) to obtain confidential information (e.g. from proposals or reviews) 

Optional readings:

(Week 8)  Task Group 7 – Diversity in the Sciences: Challenges Facing Women,

Minorities, and International Students; Challenges Facing Postdoctoral Scholars 

Invited Speaker: Dr. Ron Redwing 

Be sure to contemplate the following

Optional readings and additional resources:

(Week 9)  Skills and Experiences that all Researchers Need 

  • Critical skills to effectively move beyond graduate school:
    • Know your stuff and as wide a context for it as possible
    • Become an expert computer programmer
    • Become an expert writer (articles and proposals)
    • Become an expert speaker (instruction and presenting research results)
    • Become an expert on engaging other scientists (via email, seminars and conferences)
  •  What does the future hold?
    • Career tracks for M.S./Ph.D. students
    • Changing responsibilities as successes take you to management
  •  Facing a job search:

Writing

Speaking 

Developing an E-Portfolio and Web Presence 

  • In-class development of a student’s own web presence on the Department of Meteorology graduate program web site 
  • E-Portfolios 

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