Article ID: CBB999442297

Beyond following rules: Teaching research ethics in the age of the Hoffman Report (2022)


The Hoffman Report scandal demonstrates that ethics is not objective and ahistorical, contradicting the comforting progressive story about ethics many students receive. This modern-day ethical failure illustrates some of the weaknesses of the current ethics code: it is rule-based, emphasizes punishments for noncompliance, and assumes a rational actor who can make tricky ethical decisions using a cost–benefit analysis. This rational emphasis translates into pedagogy: the cure for unethical behavior is more education. Yet such an approach seems unlikely to foster ethical behavior in the real world, either for students or for mature scientists. This article argues for an alternative ethical system and a different way of teaching ethical behavior. Virtue ethics emphasizes the development of ethical habits and traits through regular practice and reflection. We show how virtue ethics complements a feminist approach to science, in which scientists are encouraged to reflect on their own biases, rather than attempting to achieve an impossible objectivity. Our article concludes with pedagogical suggestions for teaching ethical behavior as a practical and intelligent skill.

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Article Nadine Weidman (2022) Introduction: The Hoffman Report in historical context. History of the Human Sciences (pp. 3-6). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Rider Foley
Lawrence P. Rockwood
Crooks, Roderic N.
Galloway, Gerard E., Jr.
Medwed, Karen
Benjamin, Medea
History of the Human Sciences
The Bridge: Journal of the National Academy of Engineering
Engineering Studies
Social Studies of Science
Science, Technology, and Human Values
Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences
OR Books
Northeastern University
Yale University Press
The MIT Press
Bedford/St. Martin's
American Psychological Association
Teaching; pedagogy
Psychology and war
Education, engineering
Weil, Vivian
Whitbeck, Caroline
Time Periods
21st century
20th century, late
20th century
United States
American Psychological Association
United States. Department of Defense
United States. Central Intelligence Agency

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