Science and Engineering Ethics

, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp 235–250 | Cite as

Ethical issues in graduate education

  • Samuel Gorovitz


Concern about the employment prospects of Ph.D.’s in the sciences and engineering has prompted overdue interest in the ethical aspects of graduate education. It is not possible to isolate an ethical inquiry that focuses solely on job-related issues. The ethical problems in graduate education are each related to employment, but none is related to employment only. We can illuminate potential ethical problems by considering conflicts of interest at each point from the decision to offer a graduate program through the treatment of its alumni. Such consideration prompts reassessment of program content, relations with students, and the objectives of graduate programs.


ethics graduate education employment students conflict 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes and References

  1. 2.
    Magner, D.K. (March 15, 1996) Too Many Science Ph.D.’s?, The Chronicle of Higher Education, pp. A18–19.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    Magner, D.K. (June 28, 1996) Survival Skills for Young Scientists, The Chronicle of Higher Education, p. A18.Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    Jeavons, T. (Spring 1993) Humanizing Doctoral Education, Liberal Education, p. 50.Google Scholar
  4. 5.
    Leatherman, C. (September 6, 1996) Relations Between Graduate Students and Their Mentors, Though Rarely Violent, Are Often Fraught With Tension, The Chronicle of Higher Education, p. A15.Google Scholar
  5. 6.
    McPhee, J. (1994) Assembling California, Noonday Press, New York, pp. 106–107.Google Scholar
  6. 7.
    Swazey, J.P., Louis, K.S. & Anderson, M.S. (March 9, 1994) The Ethical Training of Graduate Students, The Chronicle of Higher Education, p. B1.Google Scholar
  7. 8.
    Cf., e.g. Navaro, M. (June 6, 1996) Dispute Turns Researcher Into an Inmate, The New York Times, p. 22.Google Scholar
  8. 9.
    Cho, M. K. (August 1, 1997) Secrecy and Financial Conflicts in University-Industry Research Must Get Closer Scrutiny, The Chronicle of Higher Education, p. B4.Google Scholar
  9. 10.
    Wenneras, C. & Wold, A. (22 May 1997) Nepotism and Sexism in Peer-Review, Nature 387 (6631): 341–343.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 11.
    Cole, J.R. & Zuckerman, H. (1987) Marriage, Motherhood and Research Performance in Science, Scientific American 256: 119–125.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 12.
    See, for example, Cage, M.C. (March 15, 1996) Some Graduate Programs Offer Training for Careers Outside Academe, The Chronicle of Higher Education, p. A20, and Tobias, S. & Chubin, D.E. (July 12, 1996) New Degrees for Today’s Scientists, The Chronicle of Higher Education, pp. B1–2.Google Scholar
  12. 13.
    Goodstein, D. (August 2, 1996) quoted in: The Chronicle of Higher Education, p. B5.Google Scholar
  13. 14.
    Milton, John (1968) The Prose of John Milton (J.M. Patrick, Ed.), University of London Press, London, p.232.Google Scholar
  14. 15.
    Billings, P. (August – September 1989) Debunking the Genetic Myth, Technology Review, pp. 75 – 76.Google Scholar
  15. 16.
    Parnas, D.L. (September–October 1985) Software Aspects of Strategic Defense Systems. American Scientist 73: 432–440.Google Scholar
  16. 17.
    Weisskopf, V. F. (1989) The Privilege of Being a Physicist, W. H. Freeman and Co., New York, p. 33.Google Scholar
  17. 18.
    Shakespeare, Wm. (1607–8) Pericles, Act IV, 5 – 11.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Opragen Publications 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Samuel Gorovitz
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Philosophy, HL 541Syracuse UniversitySyracuseUSA

Personalised recommendations