Increasing complexity and competitiveness in research environments, the prevalence of interdisciplinary and international involvement in research projects, and the close coupling of commerce and academia have created an ethically challenging environment for young scientists and engineers. For the past several decades, federal research agencies have supported projects to meet the need for mentoring and ethics training in graduate education in research, often called training in the responsible conduct of research. Recently, these agencies have supported projects to identify ethically problematic behaviors and assess the efficacy of ethics education in addressing them.
With support from the National Science Foundation, the National Academy of Engineering Center for Engineering, Ethics, and Society held the workshop "Ethics Education and Scientific and Engineering Research: What's Been Learned? What Should Be Done?" on August 25 and 26, 2008.
The workshop, summarized in this volume, discussed the social environment of science and engineering education; the need for ethics education for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in science and engineering; models for effective programs; and assessment of approaches to ethics education, among other topics.