The Sanger Series, a partnership between VCU Libraries and the VCU Office of Research and Innovation, explores the ethical issues and trends that affect research, scholarship and creative expression. The innovative lectures span interests on the MCV and Monroe Park campuses and facilitate productive dialogue among disciplines.
The currency of science is publishing. Producing novel, positive and clean results maximizes the likelihood of publishing success because those are the best kind of results. There are multiple ways to produce beautiful results: 1) be a genius, 2) be lucky, 3) be patient, or 4) employ flexible analytic and selective reporting practices to manufacture the desired results. In a competitive marketplace with minimal accountability, it is hard to resist 4). The result is a glut of papers that appear beautiful only because they mask their less-than-rigorous methodologies. But there is a way to stop this. Researchers must be rewarded not for their results, but for how they got them. With transparency as their chief objective, researchers won't stop aiming for beautiful papers, but when they gets them, it will be clear that they earned them.
The VCU Office of Research and VCU Libraries had launched a new speaker series, the Sanger Series, designed to address ethical issues and trends that affect research, scholarship and creative expression. A focus of the intellectual series is on ethics and intellectual property in the digital age. John Wilbanks, a well-known national voice on many topics related to medical and health informatics and human subjects in the digital age, presents the inaugural Sanger Series lecture on Feb. 18. A reception follows the presentation.
From medieval times to Thomas Jefferson to today’s digital revolution, scholarship and research has given rise to intellectual property that is different in fundamental ways from the properties of writers and entertainers such as Alice Munro or Justin Bieber. What distinguishes the intellectual properties involved in learning? How does intellectual property of the academy earn and retain its value? The intellectual properties of learning are now taking on greater legal prominence, through various open access initiatives, with profound implications for what, where, and how we teach, as well as the ways in which we publish. Come learn more about what promises to be the great digital opening of the university to the world at large.
Concerns voiced by the public and scientists suggest the systems for ensuring the reproducibility of biomedical research are in need of repair. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is exploring ways to strengthen the rigor and reproducibility of research findings. Learn more from thought leader Lawrence Tabak in a presentation that takes to task current research practice.
The world badly needs the innovation that comes from continual scientific and technical advances. And both the knowledge and the problem-solving skills of scientists are critical for every nation, no matter how rich or poor. Every society also needs a "scientific temper," the type of rationality and tolerance that stems from the central values of science: honesty, generosity, an insistence on logic and evidence and a respect for all ideas and opinions, regardless of their source of origin. Learn more as leader and advocate Bruce Alberts discusses the important role of science and science education to our future.
Why do universities make significant distinctions among ownership of data, inventions and scholarly works? What are researchers and scholars giving away when they sign with publishers? What perils are inherent in consulting NDAs, CDAs and other industry agreements? What work belongs to faculty, and what belongs to students? University writers grapple with such questions on a daily basis, but there seem seldom to be simple, clear answers. Join us as University Counsel Madelyn Wessel navigates the complex and much-contested issue of intellectual property. Lunch will be served at 11:30 a.m. The lecture will begin at noon.