About this Course

On Being a Scientist will provide you with an overview of scientific conduct & ethics, what it means to be a scientist and allows you to become acquainted with academic practice, thus meeting a demand for increased awareness in scientific integrity.

This course is designed to inform you on topics as scientific integrity and social responsibilities of scientists.
Broad questions, which are inseparably linked to these topics are discussed: namely regarding the nature of science and the societal role it fulfills.

Course objectives:
After this course you will:

  1. Understand the basic principles of science, and know what is «not done».
  2. Have a realistic image of science and scientists.
  3. Recognize integrity dilemmas, know how to respond in clear cases, and have the skills to respond prudently in unclear cases.
  4. Know and understand the differences and similarities of various disciplines.
  5. Have a basic understanding of the role of science in society, realise your own societal responsibilities, and are able to take a position in societal issues where science plays a role.

1. Scientific questions

This module discusses the importance of posing the right scientific questions, as well as the nature of a good question. It also queries whether al scientific questions or research topics are allowable for an ethical point of view.

Learning Objectives

  • Be able to transform a larger question into reachable question.
  • Know some dilemma’s regarding scientific questions.

2. Scientific Method. Part I

This module questions the notion of a single scientific method. It also discusses such issues as publication bias, confirmation bias and questionable research practices.

3. Scientific Method. Part II

Learning Objectives

  • Understand that there is no single scientific method.
  • Understand the hazy distinction between some common scientific routines and inappropriate science.
  • Be able to draw a line between «scientific optimism» and scientific fraud.

4. Scientific Careers

This module discusses the different stages of an academic career and some of the major hurdles an aspiring academic may encounter.

Learning Objectives

  • Know the typical career path of scientist.
  • Recognize the integrity dilemmas that are related to this career path.

5. Science and Industry

This module discusses the benefits and dangers of collaborations between science and industry.
Learning Objectives

  • Know the fundamental differences between science and industry.
  • Be aware of the interaction of science and the industry. Both positive and negative.