McKearn Fellowship Program Summer 2015

The Ethics of Research

Shannon Wapole’s  presentation really increased my awareness in the need for careful preparation before, during, and even after the research is completed. I did not know that there are many people out there who falsify or fabricate their data in order to prove a biased point or make a name for themselves. Furthermore, I was surprised by how in-depth research conduct was covering a variety of topics ranging from data storage to authorship. Thinking about my own field of study, engineering research mostly has to do with the ethics of giving credit to your sources and not stealing ideas. There are a variety of engineering innovations that have been world changing, and taking that innovation and calling it your own would discredit the person who created it. I know a lot of engineering products are patented in order to secure the rights and ownership of it. This is where patent lawyers become very important in the development of new technology. Someone wants to claim ownership to a strong product, but not everyone can. Therefore, there is a need to be ethical about the end products of research and development. In order to ensure that I follow the research codes of conduct, I will always make sure I give proper credit to any ideas that I read about even if the idea I come up with afterwards is my own because certain ideas can spark other ideas. This way I can be sure to develop a product that I know is ethical and has most likely been built off previous ideas that I want to be sure I give recognition for. This method of ethical research should decrease the amount of disputes over ownership of products.

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