The UBRP Ethics Retreat: A Model for Introducing Undergraduate Researchers to Ethics and Professional Values

By Carol Bender.

Published by The International Journal of Science in Society

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Over the past thirteen years, the University of Arizona (UA) Undergraduate Biology Research Program (UBRP) has offered a two-day off campus ethics retreat as a means of engaging students in the discussion of ethical issues related to the conduct of science and medicine. Sessions cover professional values, environmental ethics, medical ethics, the use of animals in research, and connection between human rights and science. Presenters include UA faculty members and members of the community who have particular expertise. Undergraduate peer mentors facilitate discussions and the retreat culminates with student presentations that synthesize the information discussed over the two-day event. Students’ evaluations suggest that the ethics retreat provides a useful introduction to issues they had not considered and acquaints them with community values governing the conduct of research. Faculty participants and retreat organizers find that the ethics retreat provides more in-depth exploration of issues than is possible in the two hour introduction to ethical behavior that is part of UBRP orientation. This paper describes the structure of the retreat and its value to undergraduate researchers.

Keywords: Ethics Retreat, Undergraduate Researchers

The International Journal of Science in Society, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp.71-77. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 342.161KB).

Prof. Carol Bender

University Distinguished Outreach Professor and Director, Undergraduate Biology Research Program, College of Science, The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, USA

Prof. Carol Bender is a University Distinguished Outreach Professor and Director of the Undergraduate Biology Research Program (UBRP) and the Biomedical Research Abroad: Vistas Open! (BRAVO!) Program at the University of Arizona. She has led these programs for 25 years and is an innovator in undergraduate research training. For thirteen years she has organized a two-day, off campus ethics retreat for UBRP students to introduce them to the ethical conduct of science. The didactic and interactive retreat provides an introduction to issues most students have not considered previously.