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Excerpt from Presentation Paper
Current Issues and Directions in Ethics Instruction for Scientists and Engineers
by Michael D. Mumford and Alison L. Antes of University of Oklahoma
Several key premises regarding the nature of ethical research practices on the part of scientists and engineers serve as the basis of this model. First, ethical research practices arise from decisions about how to respond to complex, ill-defined work problems. Second, tradeoffs exist between various decisions, and the issues underlying these decisions are seldom black-and-white. Third, making a decision involves social implications and depends on predicting likely outcomes for oneself, others, and the work being conducted. Thus, when presented with an ambiguous, high-stakes problem, scientists and engineers arrive at a decision by engaging in “sensemaking” – a form of complex cognition concerning how one thinks through and understands the problem.