Codes of Conduct
Code of Conduct exercise for the Instructor's Guide to Prepare Research Group Leaders as RCR Mentors.
NOTES TO THE INSTRUCTOR:
- The exercise included in this section is crucial to the proposed approach for using codes of conduct. As you register faculty for the workshop, ask them to locate and bring an appropriate code of ethics/conduct for the workshop discussion. We [MK and DP] have found it helpful to have done this ourselves as instructors, as well; DP is an anthropologist, and the concerns articulated in her profession’s Principles of Professional Responsibility (PPR) were both different and similar enough to facilitate good discussion. This section concludes with numerous possible questions. This is both to provide the participants with different approaches they might take in using codes of conduct and to allow the workshop instructor and participants to address those questions of particular interest and relevance. The list is not meant to be covered in its entirety. In response to question #6, it was suggested in an earlier workshop that students could be assigned particular sections of their code, and that one could spend 10‐15 minutes relating the code to what has just been discussed in a lab meeting, journal club, data meeting, or brownbag lunch. More generally, you should encourage workshop participants to come up with other ways to use the code of their profession.
Each workshop participant should bring a copy of a professional code of conduct most appropriate to the practice of her or his profession. If they do not know of a code, then they can check the Illinois Institute of Technology website (http://ethics.iit.edu/ecodes/bibliography). If still unable to find an appropriate code, the workshop instructor can propose a surrogate.
Participants will be asked to explain their respective codes.
Questions for Discussion
- What is similar among the codes presented?
- What is different?
- To what extent is it possible to understand key elements of codes from a discipline different than your own?
- Are the differences due to differences between disciplines, or an oversight on the part of one of the codes?
- Do codes from disciplines different than your own contain elements that might be translatable to your own discipline?
- How might such codes be appropriate for encouraging discussion in your research setting?
- When/where should trainees be introduced to their professional code(s)?
- How might the code be used to illustrate practice in your discipline?
- Does your code make certain practices sound easier than they actually are in practice?
- How consistent is your code with actual practice in your discipline, and how do you have effective conversation with your trainees about any disconnects?
- What is the purpose of codes in general? In your particular discipline/organization?
- Do you have any sense of 1) whether others are aware of the existence and/or content of your code, and 2) how other people view your code – other professions? The community?