Teaching research ethics better: Focus on excellent science, not bad scientists

Mark A Yarborough, Lawrence Hunter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


A recent report of the United States' Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues highlights how important it is for the research community to enjoy the "earned confidence" of the public and how creating a "culture of responsibility" can contribute to that confidence. It identifies a major role for "creative, flexible, and innovative" ethics education in creating such a culture. Other recent governmental reports from various nations similarly call for a renewed emphasis on ethics education in the sciences. We discuss why some common approaches to ethics education in the graduate sciences fail to meet the goals envisioned in the reports and we describe an approach, animated by primary attention on excellent science as opposed to bad scientists, that we have employed in our ethics teaching that we think is better suited for inspiring and sustaining responsible, trustworthy science.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)201-203
Number of pages3
JournalClinical and Translational Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2013


  • Clinical trials
  • Ethics
  • Molecular biology
  • Translational research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


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