Ethics in research at a top university under fire…..

Having just started my career at a top research institution I was shocked to read the article that was published last month via ABC News.  The article revolves around three research professors at Dartmouth University who are under criminal investigation for allegations of sexual misconduct.  As a new student I had to undergo official IRB certification as part of my onboarding before I could progress onto my TA position or implement research sponsored by the institution.  Considering this particular research focused on studies of sexual desire and attractiveness I would have thought that a high level of scrutiny had been applied by the IRB and local university itself throughout all phases of the research.  Shame on them for not doing so.

Other articles speak about the situation in which the three professors created a hostile academic environment involving excessive drinking, favoritism, and inappropriate behavior were the norm.  In total around 15 students have filed official complaints and the university is complying with law enforcement for a full investigation.

Innocent until proven guilty, however, in my opinion reputation is will also be lost regardless of the litigation outcome.


Cheers, Lehi



Filed under PFP2017

3 Responses to Ethics in research at a top university under fire…..

  1. galenolmsted1

    Loss of reputation is an unfortunate reality in these cases. But the opposite situation can happen. This is when a victim’s reputation is muddied for coming out in the first place.

    • nordicgod

      Yes, you are absolutely correct!! It was brave for these students to come forward and challenge the institutionalized behavior. Many wouldn’t have done it.


      Cheers, Lehi

  2. erinleighvt

    So true! So many people do not report incidents for fear of negative push-back. This is why, I believe, there is often a snowball effect, where when one person “comes out,” numerous others do as well.

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