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Responsible conduct of research at Association for Practical and Professional Ethics

Stuart Yoak, executive director of the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics since July 2011, introduced a number of innovations for his first annual meeting in March 2012, including "tracks" -- a day of sessions on a theme.

The Responsible Conduct of Research track on March 2 had five sessions, three of which were organized by Kenneth Pimple, director of Teaching Research Ethics Programs at the Poynter Center.

Pimple, Kenneth

Kenneth Pimple

Print-Quality Photo

The first session -- the meeting's keynote address, "What Is Life Worth?" -- was presented by attorney Kenneth R. Feinberg, the special master of the federal September 11th Victim Compensation Fund of 2001. The other session not organized by Pimple was a paper presentation titled "Dirty Money" by Cynthia Jones from the University of Texas-Pan American, in which she raised questions about whether there are some sources of funding that university research should not use.

Pimple's sessions included a paper presentation with his co-author, Douglas Adams of the University of Arkansas, on "Research Misconduct as Crime (and Why It Matters)." The paper makes a case that recent insights from criminology that have been effective in preventing and reducing crime rates could be profitably used to promote research integrity.

The most elaborate segment of the track was a four-hour workshop titled "RCR Instruction Face-to-Face," which included two plenary presentations and a pair of breakouts with a total of six presenters. About 40 people attended the workshop.

The final segment was a roundtable on "Ethics CORE: A New Online Tool for Promoting Research Integrity." Pimple was joined by three colleagues from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the physical home of the Ethics CORE, in describing the project's goals, functions and uses.

Feinberg's keynote address and Pimple's roundtable were both also part of the Business Ethics track.