Training session on Ethical issues to be organized at Inria

Dear colleagues,

Our informatics and mathematical disciplines have developed to such an extent today that an ethical reflection has become essential so that we, collectively and individually, are better able to understand the meaning of our researches and the framework of their development. Sensitized to these issues since the early 2000s, Inria has created its operational ethics committee, COERLE, in 2012.

The importance of taking into account the ethical issues in research is very widely shared. The publication of research results is now often conditioned on the validation of experiments and results by an operational ethics committee, thus enabling scientists to benefit from the support of their institution in the ethical validation of their research. Similarly, at the level of research funding agencies, the ethical issue is one of the elements taken into account in the evaluation of proposals and in the monitoring of projects, for example for the H2020, ERC or ANR programs.

On the other hand, a reflection of all the personnel of the research on the questions of scientific integrity is fundamental in an international context where the impact of the digital sciences and technologies and the international coopetition frequently challenge us to ensure the integrity of our procedures.

In this context, Inria wishes to sensitize and gradually train all its staff to ethical issues and scientific integrity. To this end, PhD students in their first year will benefit this year from a training organized by COERLE in cooperation with all the actors concerned. Organized in two half days and per group of less than 20 people, it is especially important that you give yourself the capacity to attend this training which will be organized in the center by the end of June.

Do not hesitate to send back to the SRH the possible difficulties you would have to organize your participation in this training.

Training description

Inria training in the ethics of research and scientific integrity

This training is offered to students in the first year of a thesis in an Inria project-team. It will also be followed by a few people from Inria support services.

The training will take place in the eight Inria research centers. It will take place for each group of students in two half-days ideally spaced from 2 to 3 weeks and whose programs are described below. They will be led by two trainers under the responsibility of the COERLE (Operational Committee for the Assessment of Legal and Ethical Risks) and the Human Resources Department of Inria. The size of the groups will be limited to 20 people and the transfer of knowledge in the form of a lecture will be limited to allow the two half days to be open to interactions and the exchange of ideas starting from actual examples. The second part of the course will begin in particular with the participants’ reflections on the ethical or scientific integrity issues arising from their thesis subject and their first PhD track experience.

The two half-day programs are based on the reflection conducted by the CERNA (Commission de réflexion sur l’Ethique de la Recherche en sciences et technologies du Numérique d’Allistene) and summarized in the CERNA document available at the ‘Url and on the other hand of the training experience conducted in Toulouse by Catherine Tessier and her colleagues. The contents of the courses of these last are published on HAL in the url

The notion of ethics – Lecture
• The context of the training
• Philosophical Approach
• Ethics and science, historical approach
• Some definitions
Ethical Dilemmas – Exercise
• Ethical deliberation
• Work in 2 groups two groups; Each group focussing on a different case
• Possible answers to the dilemma and argument
• Development of a heuristic map
• Presentation to the other group
The different ethics – Lecture

A questioning concerning your thesis – Debate
• Analysis and discussion
Science Researcher Integrity – Lecture
• Tensions
• Some biases
• Publish!
Good practices and fraud – Lecture
• Synthesis for the PhD
• Committees, Guides and Charters
• References and credits

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