Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR): Conflict of Interest


Wednesday, January 13, 2021, 12:30pm to 2:00pm


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SESSION DESCRIPTION: Today, no topic in a course on the responsible conduct of research seems as controversial as conflicts of interest. As a starting point, ask yourself: why is the issue so contentious? Why are opinions so strongly held? From the perspective of ethics: what human values are at stake? Our approach in this section, as in all others, is not to presuppose “right” answers. Rather, we expect you to approach this subject with the same intellectual honesty and rigor you would approach a scientific or clinical question.
You have a little more reading to do in this section. The reason for this is because in the sea of professional opinion that exists about conflicts of interest and science, it is important to canvass all angles – we hope that whatever opinion you end up holding is based on a modicum of evidence and not just anecdotal experience or personal intuition.

The RCR course is designed to run as a graduate-style seminar. Each session will be co-facilitated by the course director, research faculty, and administrative deans. This course is meant to provide an opportunity to openly and critically reflect with your peers and others about what responsibility and integrity should mean to the professional scientific community. To that end, you will be expected to have done the readings prior to class and you will be expected to participate in discussion.
Sponsored by the HMS Center for Bioethics and Office for Postdoctoral Fellows
Course Directors: Sadath A. Sayeed JD, MD and James Gould, PhD