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Journal Cover Science and Engineering Ethics
  [SJR: 0.372]   [H-I: 31]   [6 followers]  Follow
   Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
   ISSN (Print) 1471-5546 - ISSN (Online) 1353-3452
   Published by Springer-Verlag Homepage  [2336 journals]
  • Defining Nano, Nanotechnology and Nanomedicine: Why Should It Matter?
    • Authors: Priya Satalkar; Bernice Simone Elger; David M. Shaw
      Pages: 1255 - 1276
      Abstract: Abstract Nanotechnology, which involves manipulation of matter on a ‘nano’ scale, is considered to be a key enabling technology. Medical applications of nanotechnology (commonly known as nanomedicine) are expected to significantly improve disease diagnostic and therapeutic modalities and subsequently reduce health care costs. However, there is no consensus on the definition of nanotechnology or nanomedicine, and this stems from the underlying debate on defining ‘nano’. This paper aims to present the diversity in the definition of nanomedicine and its impact on the translation of basic science research in nanotechnology into clinical applications. We present the insights obtained from exploratory qualitative interviews with 46 stakeholders involved in translational nanomedicine from Europe and North America. The definition of nanomedicine has implications for many aspects of translational research including: fund allocation, patents, drug regulatory review processes and approvals, ethical review processes, clinical trials and public acceptance. Given the interdisciplinary nature of the field and common interest in developing effective clinical applications, it is important to have honest and transparent communication about nanomedicine, its benefits and potential harm. A clear and consistent definition of nanomedicine would significantly facilitate trust among various stakeholders including the general public while minimizing the risk of miscommunication and undue fear of nanotechnology and nanomedicine.
      PubDate: 2016-10-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s11948-015-9705-6
      Issue No: Vol. 22, No. 5 (2016)
  • Some Ethical Concerns About Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
    • Authors: Yue Liang Zheng
      Pages: 1277 - 1284
      Abstract: Abstract Human induced pluripotent stem cells can be obtained from somatic cells, and their derivation does not require destruction of embryos, thus avoiding ethical problems arising from the destruction of human embryos. This type of stem cell may provide an important tool for stem cell therapy, but it also results in some ethical concerns. It is likely that abnormal reprogramming occurs in the induction of human induced pluripotent stem cells, and that the stem cells generate tumors in the process of stem cell therapy. Human induced pluripotent stem cells should not be used to clone human beings, to produce human germ cells, nor to make human embryos. Informed consent should be obtained from patients in stem cell therapy.
      PubDate: 2016-10-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s11948-015-9693-6
      Issue No: Vol. 22, No. 5 (2016)
  • Informed Consent in Implantable BCI Research: Identifying Risks and
           Exploring Meaning
    • Authors: Eran Klein
      Pages: 1299 - 1317
      Abstract: Abstract Implantable brain–computer interface (BCI) technology is an expanding area of engineering research now moving into clinical application. Ensuring meaningful informed consent in implantable BCI research is an ethical imperative. The emerging and rapidly evolving nature of implantable BCI research makes identification of risks, a critical component of informed consent, a challenge. In this paper, 6 core risk domains relevant to implantable BCI research are identified—short and long term safety, cognitive and communicative impairment, inappropriate expectations, involuntariness, affective impairment, and privacy and security. Work in deep brain stimulation provides a useful starting point for understanding this core set of risks in implantable BCI. Three further risk domains—risks pertaining to identity, agency, and stigma—are identified. These risks are not typically part of formalized consent processes. It is important as informed consent practices are further developed for implantable BCI research that attention be paid not just to disclosing core research risks but exploring the meaning of BCI research with potential participants.
      PubDate: 2016-10-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s11948-015-9712-7
      Issue No: Vol. 22, No. 5 (2016)
  • Darurah (Necessity) and Its Application in Islamic Ethical Assessment of
           Medical Applications: A Review on Malaysian Fatwa
    • Authors: Noor Munirah Isa
      Pages: 1319 - 1332
      Abstract: Abstract The discovery and invention of new medical applications may be considered blessings to humankind. However, some applications which might be the only remedy for certain diseases may contain ingredients or involve methods that are not in harmony with certain cultural and religious perspectives. These situations have raised important questions in medical ethics; are these applications completely prohibited according to these perspectives, and is there any room for mitigation? This paper explores the concept of darurah (necessity) and its deliberation in the formulation of fatwas on medicine issued by the National Fatwa Council of Malaysia. Darurah has explicitly been taken into consideration in the formulation of 14 out of 45 fatwas on medicine thus far, including one of the latest fatwas regarding uterine donation and transplantation. These fatwas are not only limited to the issues regarding the use of unlawful things as remedies. They include issues pertaining to organ transplantation, management of the corpse and treatment of brain dead patients. While deliberation of darurah in medicine may vary from issue to issue, darurah applies in a dire situation in which there are no lawful means to prevent harm that may be inflicted upon human life. Nevertheless, other aspects must also be taken into the deliberation. For example, consent must be obtained from the donor or his next of kin (after his death) to conduct a cadaveric organ transplantation.
      PubDate: 2016-10-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s11948-015-9698-1
      Issue No: Vol. 22, No. 5 (2016)
  • Engineering Codes of Ethics and the Duty to Set a Moral Precedent
    • Authors: Eugene Schlossberger
      Pages: 1333 - 1344
      Abstract: Abstract Each of the major engineering societies has its own code of ethics. Seven “common core” clauses and several code-specific clauses can be identified. The paper articulates objections to and rationales for two clauses that raise controversy: do engineers have a duty (a) to provide pro bono services and/or speak out on major issues, and (b) to associate only with reputable individuals and organizations? This latter “association clause” can be justified by the “proclamative principle,” an alternative to Kant’s universalizability requirement. At the heart of engineering codes of ethics, and implicit in what it is to be a moral agent, the “proclamative principle” asserts that one’s life should proclaim one’s moral stances (one’s values, principles, perceptions, etc.). More specifically, it directs engineers to strive to insure that their actions, thoughts, and relationships be fit to offer to their communities as part of the body of moral precedents for how to be an engineer. Understanding codes of ethics as reflections of this principle casts light both on how to apply the codes and on the distinction between private and professional morality.
      PubDate: 2016-10-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s11948-015-9708-3
      Issue No: Vol. 22, No. 5 (2016)
  • The Relevance of Social Theory in the Practice of Environmental Management
    • Authors: Richard Meissner
      Pages: 1345 - 1360
      Abstract: Abstract In this paper I argue that the dominance of certain paradigms and theories on policies can have an influence on the value added by impact assessments. A link exists between paradigms and theories and policies and consequently the practices humans develop to tackle real world problems. I also argue that different types of thinking (contained in paradigms and theories) need to be integrated, at least at the scientific level, to enhance our understanding of social phenomena. This in turn can have a positive influence on policy processes that follow impact assessment recommendations. I am not arguing for the adoption of theoretical positions by practitioners, Instead, I contend that if impact assessments are informed by a variety of paradigms and theories, the policy practitioner might have a better understanding of the issue and the moral choices he or she needs to make. I will highlight the connection between theory and policies with practical examples from the social impact assessment of the De Hoop Dam, which was constructed on the Steelpoort River. I also argue for an integration of different theories to give a deeper understanding of real world problems.
      PubDate: 2016-10-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s11948-015-9700-y
      Issue No: Vol. 22, No. 5 (2016)
  • An Applied Mereology of the City: Unifying Science and Philosophy for
           Urban Planning
    • Authors: Shane Epting
      Pages: 1361 - 1374
      Abstract: Abstract Based on their research showing that growing cities follow basic principles, two theoretical physicists, Luis Bettencourt and Geoffrey West, call for researchers and professionals to contribute to a grand theory of urban sustainability. In their research, they develop a ‘science of the city’ to help urban planners address problems that arise from population increases. Although they provide valuable insights for understanding urban sustainability issues, they do not give planners a manageable way to approach such problems. I argue that developing an applied mereology to understand the concept of ‘city identity’ gives planners a theoretical device for addressing urban affairs, including ethical concerns. In turn, I devise a model of city identity to show how a ‘philosophy of the city’ contributes to a grand theory of urban sustainability.
      PubDate: 2016-10-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s11948-015-9696-3
      Issue No: Vol. 22, No. 5 (2016)
  • ‘You Wouldn’t have Your Granny Using Them’: Drawing Boundaries
           Between Acceptable and Unacceptable Applications of Civil Drones
    • Authors: Philip Boucher
      Pages: 1391 - 1418
      Abstract: Abstract Some industry and policy actors are concerned about public opposition to civil drones, in particular because of their association with military drones. However, very little is understood about public reactions to the technology. Strategies to ‘manage public acceptance’ have so far relied upon several untested assumptions. We conducted public engagement activities to explore citizens’ visions of civil drones. Several insights counteracted the prevailing assumptions. Rejecting the notion of blanket support for or opposition to civil drones, we found that citizens make nuanced decisions about the acceptability of civil drones depending upon the purpose of the flight and the actors involved. The results are positioned in support for calls to strengthen the role of citizens in civil drone development and, in particular, to shift away from the current focus on citizens’ acceptance of civil drone development towards the development of civil drones that are acceptable to citizens.
      PubDate: 2016-10-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s11948-015-9720-7
      Issue No: Vol. 22, No. 5 (2016)
  • A Simple Framework for Evaluating Authorial Contributions for Scientific
    • Authors: Jeffrey M. Warrender
      Pages: 1419 - 1430
      Abstract: Abstract A simple tool is provided to assist researchers in assessing contributions to a scientific publication, for ease in evaluating which contributors qualify for authorship, and in what order the authors should be listed. The tool identifies four phases of activity leading to a publication—Conception and Design, Data Acquisition, Analysis and Interpretation, and Manuscript Preparation. By comparing a project participant’s contribution in a given phase to several specified thresholds, a score of up to five points can be assigned; the contributor’s scores in all four phases are summed to yield a total “contribution score”, which is compared to a threshold to determine which contributors merit authorship. This tool may be useful in a variety of contexts in which a systematic approach to authorial credit is desired.
      PubDate: 2016-10-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s11948-015-9719-0
      Issue No: Vol. 22, No. 5 (2016)
  • Plagiarism Allegations Account for Most Retractions in Major Latin
           American/Caribbean Databases
    • Authors: Renan Moritz V. R. Almeida; Karina de Albuquerque Rocha; Fernanda Catelani; Aldo José Fontes-Pereira; Sonia M. R. Vasconcelos
      Pages: 1447 - 1456
      Abstract: Abstract This study focuses on retraction notices from two major Latin American/Caribbean indexing databases: SciELO and LILACS. SciELO includes open scientific journals published mostly in Latin America/the Caribbean, from which 10 % are also indexed by Thomson Reuters Web of Knowledge Journal of Citation Reports (JCR). LILACS has a similar geographical coverage and includes dissertations and conference/symposia proceedings, but it is limited to publications in the health sciences. A search for retraction notices was performed in these two databases using the keywords “retracted”, “retraction” “withdrawal”, “withdrawn”, “removed” and “redress”. Documents were manually checked to identify those that actually referred to retractions, which were then analyzed and categorized according to the reasons alleged in the notices. Dates of publication/retraction and time to retraction were also recorded. Searching procedures were performed between June and December 2014. Thirty-one retraction notices were identified, fifteen of which were in JCR-indexed journals. “Plagiarism” was alleged in six retractions of this group. Among the non-JCR journals, retraction reasons were alleged in fourteen cases, twelve of which were attributed to “plagiarism”. The proportion of retracted articles for the SciELO database was approximately 0.005 %. The reasons alleged in retraction notices may be used as signposts to inform discussions in Latin America on plagiarism and research integrity. At the international level, these results suggest that the correction of the literature is becoming global and is not limited to mainstream international publications.
      PubDate: 2016-10-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s11948-015-9714-5
      Issue No: Vol. 22, No. 5 (2016)
  • Users or Students? Privacy in University MOOCS
    • Authors: Meg Leta Jones; Lucas Regner
      Pages: 1473 - 1496
      Abstract: Abstract Two terms, student privacy and Massive Open Online Courses, have received a significant amount of attention recently. Both represent interesting sites of change in entrenched structures, one educational and one legal. MOOCs represent something college courses have never been able to provide: universal access. Universities not wanting to miss the MOOC wave have started to build MOOC courses and integrate them into the university system in various ways. However, the design and scale of university MOOCs create tension for privacy laws intended to regulate information practices exercised by educational institutions. Are MOOCs part of the educational institutions these laws and policies aim to regulate? Are MOOC users students whose data are protected by aforementioned laws and policies? Many university researchers and faculty members are asked to participate as designers and instructors in MOOCs but may not know how to approach the issues proposed. While recent scholarship has addressed the disruptive nature of MOOCs, student privacy generally, and data privacy in the K-12 system, we provide an in-depth description and analysis of the MOOC phenomenon and the privacy laws and policies that guide and regulate educational institutions today. We offer privacy case studies of three major MOOC providers active in the market today to reveal inconsistencies among MOOC platform and the level and type of legal uncertainty surrounding them. Finally, we provide a list of organizational questions to pose internally to navigate the uncertainty presented to university MOOC teams.
      PubDate: 2016-10-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s11948-015-9692-7
      Issue No: Vol. 22, No. 5 (2016)
  • Changes in the Social Responsibility Attitudes of Engineering Students
           Over Time
    • Authors: Angela R. Bielefeldt; Nathan E. Canney
      Pages: 1535 - 1551
      Abstract: Abstract This research explored how engineering student views of their responsibility toward helping individuals and society through their profession, so-called social responsibility, change over time. A survey instrument was administered to students initially primarily in their first year, senior year, or graduate studies majoring in mechanical, civil, or environmental engineering at five institutions in September 2012, April 2013, and March 2014. The majority of the students (57 %) did not change significantly in their social responsibility attitudes, but 23 % decreased and 20 % increased. The students who increased, decreased, or remained the same in their social responsibility attitudes over time did not differ significantly in terms of gender, academic rank, or major. Some differences were found between institutions. Students who decreased in social responsibility initially possessed more positive social responsibility attitudes, were less likely to indicate that college courses impacted their views of social responsibility, and were more likely to have decreased in the frequency that they participated in volunteer activities, compared to students who did not change or increased their social responsibility. Although the large percentage of engineering students who decreased their social responsibility during college was disappointing, it is encouraging that courses and participation in volunteer activities may combat this trend.
      PubDate: 2016-10-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s11948-015-9706-5
      Issue No: Vol. 22, No. 5 (2016)
  • Is There a Role for Publication Consultants and How Should Their
           Contribution be Recognized?
    • Authors: Graham Kendall; Angelina Yee; Barry McCollum
      Pages: 1553 - 1560
      Abstract: Abstract When a scientific paper, dissertation or thesis is published the author(s) have a duty to report who has contributed to the work. This recognition can take several forms such as authorship, relevant acknowledgments and by citing previous work. There is a growing industry where publication consultants will work with authors, research groups or even institutions to help get their work published, or help submit their dissertation/thesis. This help can range from proof reading, data collection, analysis (including statistics), helping with the literature review and identifying suitable journals/conferences. In this opinion article we question whether these external services are required, given that institutions should provide this support and that experienced researchers should be qualified to carry out these activities. If these services are used, we argue that their use should at least be made transparent either by the consultant being an author on the paper, or by being acknowledged on the paper, dissertation or thesis. We also argue that publication consultants should provide an annual return that details the papers, dissertations and thesis that they have consulted on.
      PubDate: 2016-10-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s11948-015-9710-9
      Issue No: Vol. 22, No. 5 (2016)
  • Politics of Science: Unwarranted Encounters
    • Authors: Tanuj Kanchan; Kewal Krishan
      Pages: 1561 - 1563
      Abstract: Abstract This communication highlights a very pertinent and recent case of an erroneous representation of the Indian borders in an article ‘India by the numbers’ by Richard Van Noorden in Nature ( where a considerable part of the Jammu and Kashmir State of India is missing in the map incorporated in the article. The article received a series of comments showing disappointment on the issue and a need for the correction to the depicted Indian borders. The editor instead of making corrections to the map has issued a statement that ‘the map shows land areas currently administered by the Indian Government’, that in no way can be considered as an acceptable argument. We wish the focus of this well written article had remained on science rather than introducing unnecessary controversies.
      PubDate: 2016-10-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s11948-015-9695-4
      Issue No: Vol. 22, No. 5 (2016)
  • Recruitment Processes in Academia: Does the Emperor Have Any Clothes?
    • Authors: Behzad Ataie-Ashtiani
      Pages: 1565 - 1568
      Abstract: Abstract The final outcome of promotion and recruitment processes in universities should be conventional and plausible by the members of the relevant scientific community, to affirm that the processes have been competitive and fair. The objective of this opinion letter is to make a plea for the importance of the post-auditing and quantitative assessment of the selection criteria. It is shown that for an example case the outcome of the post-audit does not look reasonable from an external point of view, at least regarding the research competency.
      PubDate: 2016-10-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s11948-015-9711-8
      Issue No: Vol. 22, No. 5 (2016)
  • Michael Hauskeller: Sex and the Posthuman Condition
    • Authors: Lantz Fleming Miller
      Pages: 1569 - 1574
      Abstract: Abstract This new book from Michael Hauskeller explores the currently marketed or projected sex/love products that exhibit some trait of so-called “posthumanistic” theory or design. These products are so designated because of their intention to fuse high technologies, including robotics and computing, with the human user. The author offers several arguments for why the theory behind these products leads to inconsistencies. The book uses a unique approach to philosophical argument by enmeshing the argument’s major points in a concomitant discussion of pieces from world literature pertaining to posthumanism. The method is compelling, heightened by great world authorial insights that rarely find their way into philosophy and shores up some strong argumentative points. Yet some of the argument still needs more elucidating.
      PubDate: 2016-10-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s11948-016-9763-4
      Issue No: Vol. 22, No. 5 (2016)
  • Teledildonics and New Ways of “Being in Touch”: A Phenomenological
           Analysis of the Use of Haptic Devices for Intimate Relations
    • Authors: Nicola Liberati
      Abstract: Abstract The aim of this paper is to analyse teledildonics from a phenomenological perspective in order to show the possible effects they will have on ourselves and on our society. The new way of using digital technologies is to merge digital activities with our everyday praxes, and there are already devices which enable subjects to be digitally connected in every moment of their lives. Even the most intimate ones are becoming mediated by devices such as teledildonics which digitally provide a tactual stimulation allowing users to have sexual intercourse through them. The efforts made in order to provide such an intertwinement of our everyday lives and digital technologies are evident, but the effects produced by them are not clear at all. This paper will analyse these technologies from a phenomenological perspective in order to understand their effects on the constitution of the subjects and on our society at the intimate level.
      PubDate: 2016-10-18
      DOI: 10.1007/s11948-016-9827-5
  • Informing Public Perceptions About Climate Change: A ‘Mental
           Models’ Approach
    • Authors: Gabrielle Wong-Parodi; Wändi Bruine de Bruin
      Abstract: Abstract As the specter of climate change looms on the horizon, people will face complex decisions about whether to support climate change policies and how to cope with climate change impacts on their lives. Without some grasp of the relevant science, they may find it hard to make informed decisions. Climate experts therefore face the ethical need to effectively communicate to non-expert audiences. Unfortunately, climate experts may inadvertently violate the maxims of effective communication, which require sharing communications that are truthful, brief, relevant, clear, and tested for effectiveness. Here, we discuss the ‘mental models’ approach towards developing communications, which aims to help experts to meet the maxims of effective communications, and to better inform the judgments and decisions of non-expert audiences.
      PubDate: 2016-10-17
      DOI: 10.1007/s11948-016-9816-8
  • Engineering Student’s Ethical Awareness and Behavior: A New
           Motivational Model
    • Authors: Diana Bairaktarova; Anna Woodcock
      Abstract: Abstract Professional communities are experiencing scandals involving unethical and illegal practices daily. Yet it should not take a national major structure failure to highlight the importance of ethical awareness and behavior, or the need for the development and practice of ethical behavior in engineering students. Development of ethical behavior skills in future engineers is a key competency for engineering schools as ethical behavior is a part of the professional identity and practice of engineers. While engineering educators have somewhat established instructional methods to teach engineering ethics, they still rely heavily on teaching ethical awareness, and pay little attention to how well ethical awareness predicts ethical behavior. However the ability to exercise ethical judgement does not mean that students are ethically educated or likely to behave in an ethical manner. This paper argues measuring ethical judgment is insufficient for evaluating the teaching of engineering ethics, because ethical awareness has not been demonstrated to translate into ethical behavior. The focus of this paper is to propose a model that correlates with both, ethical awareness and ethical behavior. This model integrates the theory of planned behavior, person and thing orientation, and spheres of control. Applying this model will allow educators to build confidence and trust in their students’ ability to build a professional identity and be prepared for the engineering profession and practice.
      PubDate: 2016-10-17
      DOI: 10.1007/s11948-016-9814-x
  • A Pragmatic Approach to Ethical Decision-Making in Engineering Practice:
           Characteristics, Evaluation Criteria, and Implications for Instruction and
    • Authors: Qin Zhu; Brent K. Jesiek
      Abstract: Abstract This paper begins by reviewing dominant themes in current teaching of professional ethics in engineering education. In contrast to more traditional approaches that simulate ethical practice by using ethical theories to reason through micro-level ethical dilemmas, this paper proposes a pragmatic approach to ethics that places more emphasis on the practical plausibility of ethical decision-making. In addition to the quality of ethical justification, the value of a moral action also depends on its effectiveness in solving an ethical dilemma, cultivating healthy working relationships, negotiating existing organizational cultures, and achieving contextual plausibility in everyday professional practice. This paper uses a cross-cultural ethics scenario to further elaborate how a pragmatic approach can help us rethink ethical reasoning, as well as ethics instruction and assessment. This paper is expected to be of interest to educators eager to improve the ability of engineers and other professional students to effectively and appropriately deal with the kinds of everyday ethical issues they will likely face in their careers.
      PubDate: 2016-10-10
      DOI: 10.1007/s11948-016-9826-6
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