Oops -- Broke Another One


A scenario in which a graduate student repeatedly breaks expensive laboratory equipment.


Terry is a graduate student in Professor Young's lab. Terry's research project requires use of delicate optical instrumentation. In the past year, Terry broke a notch filter and a dichroic mirror while handling them. Each of these components costs about $500. After the second breakage, Professor Young warned Terry that he has limited grant funds and cannot continue to replace expensive optical components. Last week Terry was having a bad time and broke another notch filter.

What can/should Professor Young do?


Caroline Whitbeck introduced methods and modules for discussing numerous issues in responsible conduct of research at a Sigma Xi Forum in 2000. Partial funding for the development of this material came from an NIH grant.

You can find the entire sequence on the OEC at Scenarios for Ethics Modules in the Responsible Conduct of Research. Some information in these historical modules may be out-of-date; for instance, there may be a new edition of the professional society's code that is referred to in an item. If you have suggestions for updates, please contact the OEC.

Albert R. Meyer. . Oops -- Broke Another One. Online Ethics Center. DOI:. https://onlineethics.org/cases/scenarios-ethics-modules-responsible-conduct-research/oops-broke-another-one.