Tag Archive | "Institute for Bioethics and Health Policy"


Dialogues in Research Ethics: When Mentors Break the Rules

The UM Institute for Bioethics and Health Policy and  the Center for Humanities will present the next Dialogues in Research Ethics, “When Mentors Break the Rules,” by Allison Harbin, Ph.D. at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, February 13, in the School of Nursing and Health Studies’ executive board roomLunch will be provided on a first come, first-served basis.

As Harbin learned, mentors in STEM fields and the social sciences sometimes violate duties to graduate students. After the publication of her story of academic misconduct on her blog (www.allisonharbin.com/post-phd), Harbin received hundreds of “me too” emails from around the world. Given what she has learned, her talk will address a systemic problem in academia in which ethics is sometimes enforced as a one-way street that can leave those in lower positions of power without recourse or agency.  Most importantly, she will discuss ways graduate students can protect themselves, while inspiring mentors to do their duty.

Harbin holds a Ph.D. in Art History. After her defense, she launched her blog detailing an abuse of power and negligence toward graduate students. The blog is now a wider platform to advocate for the rights of—and duties to—graduate students. She is currently a freelance writer living in Brooklyn.

Dialogues in Research Ethics is a series of monthly seminars. For more information, phone UM Ethics Programs at 305-243-5723 or email ethics@miami.edu.


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SEEDS: Reproducibility in Science

Special to UM News


Panelists discuss one of the greatest challenges in contemporary science—the failure to reproduce or replicate research results.

MIAMI, Fla. (April 25, 2016)—One of the greatest challenges in contemporary science—the failure to reproduce or replicate research results—was tackled by a first-ever symposium that linked reproducibility and the responsible conduct of research.

The SEEDS “You Choose” Awards and the Miller School’s Institute for Bioethics and Health Policy presented “Reproducibility in Science: Writing, Data and the Growth of Knowledge” on April 24 at the Mailman Center for Children Development, with a keynote talk by Elizabeth Iorns, Ph.D., founder and CEO of the California-based Science Exchange and co-director of its Reproducibility Initiative.

“It is rare and reassuring to see institutional leadership take such a supportive role” in fostering reproducibility, Iorns said during a subsequent panel discussion with John Bixby, Ph.D., vice provost for research and professor of pharmacology and neurological surgery; Dushyantha T. Jayaweera, M.D., executive dean for research and research education and professor of medicine; and Joyce M. Slingerland, M.D., Ph.D., associate director for translational research at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, professor of medicine, and director of the Braman Family Breast Cancer Institute.

The program was chaired and the panel was moderated by SEEDS grant recipient Joanna Johnson, Ph.D., director of writing in the College of Arts and Sciences, who described her work on a project that identifies poor, boastful, and hedging scientific prose as a potential contributor to failures of reproducibility.

What has been called a “crisis” in science, repeated failures to reproduce complex and costly experiments is thought to be an obstacle to public trust in science, especially worrisome in times of budget uncertainty.

Iorns discusssed ways of measuring and incentivizing reproducible research, and included results from the first replication studies published by the Reproducibility Project: Cancer Biology. Iorns was an assistant professor at the University of Miami before starting Science Exchange in 2011. Bixby, Jayaweera, and Slingerland addressed efforts at UM to improve reproducibility and made clear that such efforts are an important component of the responsible conduct of research—and a key element of National Institutes of Health compliance rules for academic institutions.

SEEDS (A Seed for Success) “You Choose” Awards support investigator-initiated activities that enhance the awardee’s community and career. The event was co-sponsored by the Miami Clinical and Translational Science Institute.

For more information about SEEDS, please contact Marisol Capellan, SEEDS manager, at mailto:mcapellan@miami.edu.


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