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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Erica Rangel, BA (Saint Louis University)
Description: The authors of this book offer an accessible and thorough introduction to many of the social, ethical, and legal issues facing scientists and researchers today. This second edition includes four new chapters on burgeoning areas of interest, including international research, protection of vulnerable populations, and genetics and stem cell research. The first edition was published in 2002.
Purpose: The purpose is to educate and equip scientists to respond to the numerous ethical issues they face in the course of their research with integrity and accountability. The authors succeed by covering an impressive array of topics, but with an eye toward practicality by incorporating many examples and case discussions.
Audience: While the book is written for anyone involved in research, it may be of more focused interest to biomedical researchers, as it has several chapters on the use of humans and animals in research. However, researchers in any scientific discipline will find it a useful guide.
Features: Each of the 16 chapters addresses a different area of the ethical conduct of research. The book begins with an overview of ethical decision-making by briefly summarizing different ethical theories and presenting a method for making ethical decisions, and proceeds through such topics as data acquisition, authorship, research misconduct, and the protection of human research subjects. Among the notable features are chapter summaries, discussion questions, and case studies, as well as an appendix detailing a sample policy for responding to allegations of research misconduct.
Assessment: The authors are qualified and dexterous authors on the subject of accountability in research. Their book covers impressive ground with thoughtful attention to practicality and readability. I would recommend this to anyone involved in scientific research as a tool for becoming more aware of the social and ethical implications of their attitudes and behavior.