Research events in 2014
10th-11th December the 7th values development conference titled "Good School as Values Based School. How to End Bullying in Schools?" took place. The aim of the conference was to look at the Good School model in light of the issues surrounding bullying and safe school environment. Conference program and more information.
28th November in co-operation with the office of Chancellor of Justice conference titled "Will of the People: Formed or Expressed by Law?" took place. The aim of the conference was to look at some of the following issues: should laws express or be formed by laws? Is the legal sphere based on the value sphere or vice versa? How much weight should be given to minorities in lawmaking when their interests conflict with the majority?
4th June conference titled "Value education in home and in the kindergarten" took place. The aim of the conference was to discuss what makes a good kindergarten and to introduce various value education methods and practises.
Colloquia and seminars
28th October a colloquim titled "Personalized medicine: According to Need or Opportunity?". The issues concerning realizing personal medicine in everyday pracise were under discussion. Also what should be our expectations and understanding of personalized medicine. Video (in Estonian).
15th-16th Centre for Ethics took part of the Festival of Opinion Culture where we played the Values Game for teachers.
3rd Aprill Roger Brownsword held a public lecture titled "Big Biobanks: Three Major Governance Challenges"
29th May a colloquim titled "Living Together: How and with Whom?" where Liis Arrak and Toomas Jürgenstein discussed the Cohabitation Act, the discussion was moderated by Kadri Simm. Video (in Estonian).
13th-14th February a worksop on the topic of disaster medicine and ethical aspects of refugees was held. Presentations on the issues were given by: Eva Piirimäe, Dónal O’Mathúna, Eero Janson, Eleni Kalokairinou, Ayesha Ahmad, Emanuele Valenti, Goran Mijaljica, Kadri Simm, Johan von Schreeb.
Competition of research-based ethical cases
Dear researcher! Dear PhD student!
Centre for Ethics of the University of Tartu and Estonian Research Council invite you to participate in the competition of research-based ethical cases. We would like to receive cases about the everyday research practice that contain potential value conflicts or dilemmas and enable different solutions. You are very welcome to send your cases!
The deadline is May 13, 2014. Participants have the chance to win the main prize – e-reader – and several smaller prizes (books, memory sticks). Every situation that you send will count in the lottery. The winners will get their prizes in the research ethics seminar „Allowed and prohibited in research“, which takes place on June 6, 2014 in Tallinn.
We are waiting for the descriptions of situations that
- concern publication of research results, authorship, ownership of research results, distributing resources, reliability of research results, conflicts of interest (in reviewing or in the distribution of research grants), conflicts between different parties (supervisor-student, colleague-colleague, researcher-funder) and conflicts between the different roles of the researcher etc.
- are not regulated by legislation but contain an ethical dilemma (for instance, a conflict of different values such as honesty vs loyalty, autonomy vs solidarity, freedom vs responsibility).
On the basis of the cases, the Centre for Ethics will create an innovative dialogue tool – „The Values Game for Researchers“ – which can be used in the discussions of questions of research ethics in teaching, seminars and conferences. The cases are used anonymously.
The Centre for Ethics has a good experience with the use of value dilemmas in the discussion of ethical questions in different fields: we have collected value dilemmas from teachers, officers, doctors, politicians, officials, librarians and museum workers.
Please send the descriptions of your situations to Triin Käpp, Project Manager of the Centre for Ethics, via e-mail triin.kapp [ät] ut.ee by May 13, 2014. Triin can also give you additional information about the competition.
There are some examples below in order to give you an idea of what we expect.
An example of a conflict of interest in research ethics:
Tartu University Press has asked professor Kask to review a book. It is a textbook of developmental psychology and it has been written by a former student of prof. Kask. Prof. Kask is currently writing a textbook about the introduction to developmental psychology himself. The writing style of his former student is very similar to him, which is not surprising as prof. Kask has been the author’s teacher. If this textbook will be published and it turns out to be successful, it is unlikely that any publisher or reader is interested in prof. Kask’s textbook. What should prof. Kask do in this situation?
The following example derives from the discussion of the values of the University of Tartu.
A faculty is electing a new Assistant Professor. There are two candidates in the final round. The first candidate has published several highly appreciated international publications and s/he has been invited to give lectures in several conferences abroad, but as a lecturer s/he has formerly received very negative feedback from his students. According to the students, the lecturer is not interested in the worries and questions of the students, s/he is not helpful, is too rigid in requirements and does not give any feedback.
The second candidate has received excellent feedback from his/her students. S/he is praised for his/her ability to motivate students to learn and for his/her flexibility. However, the second candidate has few publications and these few also belong to the field of local popular science.
Half of the members of the election committee support the first candidate, the other half is for the second candidate. There is only one expert who has not voted yet and who can make the final decision. What would you do if you were the expert? How would you choose?