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Langlais Leading Research Ethics Training in China, Taiwan

Philip Langlais

Old Dominion University faculty member Philip Langlais is having a busy May and June in China and Taiwan helping to define the future of peer review and research ethics for a scientific community that is not as Western-centric as it once was.

From May 20-24, Langlais was at Dalian University of Technology in Dalian, China, for the International Conference on Peer Review, Research Integrity and the Governance of Science.

Academics from all over the world who, like Langlais, have special expertise in research integrity issues and safeguards, attended the conference.

"Western societies today seek to exercise greater control over science, particularly in the case of public science agencies," states the introduction on the conference website. "This means that the standard mechanisms of 20th century peer review are being rethought. At the same time, China is poised to take on a leading role in scientific and technical research. What are the present conditions and future possibilities for peer review in China? Is it possible to have a truly global community of peers to guarantee scientific integrity and the governance of science?"

For the Dalian workshop, Langlais served as a co-chair of the session "Peer Review: Theory and Practice" and he made a separate presentation on "Research Integrity: Global Impact, Common Principles, Shared Governance."

From the mainland, Langlais will move in June to the National Tsing Hua University in Hsinchu, Taiwan, to teach a three-week course on research integrity. He will give lectures to faculty, administrators and public officials on ways to establish policies, practices and a supportive culture of research ethics.

In 2010, Langlais, a neuroscientist and professor of psychology at ODU, was appointed to a joint steering committee of the China Association for Science and Technology and American Association for the Advancement of Science to coordinate initiatives involving ethics in science. Also, he was a co-founder of the 27-member National Advisory Panel on Research Integrity.

Langlais participated in the first World Conference on Research Integrity in Lisbon in 2007 and he was an invited presenter at the second World Conference in Singapore in 2010. Through leadership roles in the national Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) and the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools, he has promoted a responsible conduct in research (RCR) agenda he started at ODU more than six years ago.

In his former role as ODU vice provost, he led the university's participation in a CGS pilot program to develop best practices for comprehensive ethics and RCR education in graduate programs. ODU got an initial grant in 2004 to fund its participation and in 2006 the university successfully applied for support in the second wave of the CGS program. An ODU task force led by Langlais conducted research on campus to gauge student and faculty perceptions and skills regarding ethical decision-making and to frame a general plan for the ethics training. These efforts culminated in the establishment of an ODU policy that requires all graduate students to receive training in RCR.

This article was posted on: May 28, 2012

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