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Ethics and Responsible Innovation in Biotechnology Communities: A Pedagogy of Engaged Scholarship

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Conference

2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Innovation and Reflection

Tagged Division

Liberal Education/Engineering & Society

Page Count

20

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/28299

Download Count

253

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Paper Authors

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Joseph R. Herkert North Carolina State University

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Joseph R. Herkert, D.Sc., is Associate Professor Emeritus of Science, Technology and Society and a Visiting Scholar in the Genetic Engineering and Society Center, North Carolina State University. He was formerly Lincoln Associate Professor of Ethics and Technology in the Consortium for Science, Policy & Outcomes, Arizona State University (retired May 2015). Herkert has been teaching engineering ethics and science, technology & society courses for thirty years. He is editor of Social, Ethical and Policy Implications of Engineering: Selected Readings (Wiley/IEEE Press, 2000) and co-editor of The Growing Gap between Emerging Technologies and Legal-Ethical Oversight: The Pacing Problem (Springer, 2011), and has published numerous articles on engineering ethics and societal implications of technology in engineering, law, social science, and applied ethics journals. Herkert previously served as Editor of IEEE Technology and Society Magazine and an Associate Editor of Engineering Studies. He has been a leader in many professional organizations including the Society on Social Implications of Technology (SSIT) of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the National Institute for Engineering Ethics, and the Engineering Ethics and Liberal Education/Engineering and Society (LEES) Divisions of the American Society for Engineering Education. In 2005 Herkert received the Sterling Olmsted Award, the highest honor bestowed by LEES, for “making significant contributions in the teaching and administering of liberal education in engineering education.” Herkert is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Senior Member of IEEE, and served a three-year term on the IEEE Ethics and Member Conduct Committee. He currently serves on the IEEE Ad Hoc Committee on IEEE Ethics Programs and the Advisory Group of the Center for Engineering Ethics and Society of the National Academy of Engineering. Herkert received his BS in Electrical Engineering from Southern Methodist University and his doctorate in Engineering & Policy from Washington University in St. Louis.

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Jennifer Kuzma North Carolina State University

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Jennifer Kuzma is the Goodnight-NCGSK Foundation Distinguished Professor in Social Sciences in the School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA) and co-director of the Genetic Engineering and Society (GES) Center at NC State. Previously, Kuzma was a faculty member in science and technology policy at the University of Minnesota Humphrey School of Public Affairs; study director for genetic engineering and bioterrorism at the National Academies of Science; and an American Association for the Advancement of Science Risk Policy Fellow at the Department of Agriculture. Kuzma has more than 100 scholarly publications on emerging technologies and governance. She serves on the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Committee on Future Biotechnology Products and Opportunities to Enhance Capabilities of the Biotechnology Regulatory System and on the Council on Agricultural Science and Technology CAST Committee on Gene Editing. She has served as secretary of the Society for Risk Analysis Council, chair of the Gordon Conference on Science and Technology Policy, the FDA Blood Products Advisory Committee, and the U.N. World Health Organization-Food and Agriculture Organization Expert Group for Nanotechnologies in Food and Agriculture. In 2014, she received the Society for Risk Analysis Sigma Xi Distinguished Lecturer Award in recognition of her outstanding contributions to the field of risk analysis. She has been called upon in national media, including the Washington Post, Scientific American, New York Times, Nature and NPR, for her expertise on genetic engineering policy issues.

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Patricia Mae Roberts North Carolina State: School of Public and International Affairs Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-5818-4357

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John Patrick Roberts is a second year doctoral student in North Carolina State University's Department of Public Administration. His work occurs at the intersection of emerging technologies, particularly genetic engineering, and society. Currently his work revolves around exploring ways to build capacity for responsible innovation into the science and technology policy process.

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Erin Banks North Carolina State University

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Dr. Banks is the current Director of the $5.7 million NIH Initiative for Maximizing Student Diversity (IMSD) program and the ARRA supplement for students in the biomedical and behavioral sciences at North Carolina State University. She has worked with the IMSD program at NC State since its implementation in 2008.
Dr. Banks has experience managing IMSD program participants (i.e. 68 undergraduate students and 25 graduate students), over 40 graduate student tutors and a Graduate Program assistant. Dr. Banks has also organized over 100 professional development seminars/workshops for students, facilitated research training workshops, and organized events for guest speakers from around the country to speak to IMSD students regarding their work as behavioral/biomedical scientist. In addition, Dr. Banks has experience working with research programs such as the U.S. Department of Education Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN Program) and the Florida A&M University Graduate Feeder Program in an effort to increase the number of minority students enrolling and graduating with graduate level degrees. Dr. Banks also has experience in program evaluation and research involving health disparities and psychosocial issues and is a lecturer in the psychology and interdisciplinary studies program.

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Sharon A Stauffer NC State University Genetic Engineering and Society Center

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Sharon joined the Genetic Engineering and Society Center in the fall of 2013, at the beginning of its inaugural year. She brings to the Center many years of experience in event planning, office management, project management, and financial management. She is the current project manager on the Centers' NSF-funded grant titled "Cultivating Cultures in Ethics STEM:Comparing Meanings of Responsible Innovation across Bio-engineering Communities",upon which this paper is based on.

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Abstract

Issues surrounding genetic engineering, biotechnology, and synthetic biology are contentious, especially when applied to food, the environment, and industrial applications for which direct human consent and medical benefits are not present. How researchers, developers, and policy-makers communicate about and reflect upon their work is of utmost importance to these fields. Increased understanding about how participants within and across various professional contexts conceive of and frame the ethical dimensions of their work can assist with future cross-sector dialogue, and potentially conflict resolution. In this paper we present the results to date of a two year NSF-funded project which employs a novel approach for comparative analyses of meanings of responsible innovation (RI) and ethics in genetic engineering, biotechnology and synthetic biology, while cultivating socially-responsible cultures of R&D among graduate students, faculty, and outside practitioners.

The project innovates in four key respects: 1) it focuses on bioengineering, specifically in areas in which engineering ethics programs have not routinely been applied--genetic engineering, biotechnology and synthetic biology; 2) it evaluates an example pedagogy of engaged scholarship, student facilitation of focus groups, for learning and cultivating ethical cultures; 3) it uses framings of RI as key parts of the dialogue about ethical cultures in biotechnology; and 4) it compares meanings of RI across five sectors—government, academe, industry, trade organizations, and non-profit organizations with advocacy roles. The project has two major components: 1) two four-day interdisciplinary workshops for graduate students (some from a program to maximize student diversity and some from an NSF-IGERT on Genetic Pest Management) in which the students consider meanings of RI, examine micro- and macro-ethical issues associated with biotechnology, and learn about focus groups as a research method and how to facilitate them; and 2) fifteen focus groups (three from each biotechnology sector) moderated by the students who were enrolled in the workshop.

In the paper we report on the first year of the project (one student workshop and one focus group for each sector) including the workshop design and focus group protocol, as well as preliminary analysis of project results. Data collected include pre- and post-surveys from the workshop and stakeholder focus groups designed to test participants’ attitudes towards RI and measure core values from cultural theory in relation to policy values regarding RI, as well as qualitative analysis of the focus group transcripts. Workshop outcomes are based on a student workshop evaluation and analysis of student learning in the workshop, including pre- and post-tests on study-specific questions and moral reasoning using the DIT-2 instrument.

Preliminary results indicate that the workshop was successful in achieving goals of increasing student learning about ethics and RI, and confidence in moderating focus groups and in conversations with stakeholders. Some interesting differences between stakeholder groups in policy values related to RI are emerging in the focus groups. Industry, and to a lesser extent academic and trade groups, seem less in favor of elements of RI after the focus groups. There are also some observable differences in core values among stakeholder groups.

Herkert, J. R., & Kuzma, J., & Roberts, P. M., & Banks, E., & Stauffer, S. A. (2017, June), Ethics and Responsible Innovation in Biotechnology Communities: A Pedagogy of Engaged Scholarship Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. https://peer.asee.org/28299

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