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Shame versus guilt in community responses to wrongdoing.

Yesterday, on the Hastings Center Bioethics Forum, Carl Elliott pondered the question of why a petition asking the governor of Minnesota to investigate ethically problematic research at the University of Minnesota has gathered hundreds of signatures from scholars in bioethics, clinical research, medical humanities, and related disciplines -- but only a handful of signatures from scholars and researchers at the University of Minnesota.At the center of the research scandal is the death of Dan Markingson, who was a human subject in a clinical trial of psychiatric drugs...

April 25, 2013 — Janet D. Stemwedel
The Sciences

The ethics of naming and shaming.

Lately I've been pondering the practice of responding to bad behavior by calling public attention to it.The most recent impetus for my thinking about it was this tech blogger's response to behavior that felt unwelcoming at a conference (behavior that seems, in fact, to have run afoul of that conference's official written policies)*, but there are plenty of other examples one might find of "naming and shaming": the discussion (on blogs and in other media outlets) of University of Chicago neuroscientist Dario Maestripieri's comments about female attendees of the Society for Neuroscience meeting, the Office of Research Integrity's posting of findings of scientific misconduct investigations, the occasional instructor who promises to publicly shame students who cheat in his class, and actually follows through on the promise...

March 22, 2013 — Janet D. Stemwedel

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