Ethical Challenges in the Behavioral and Brain Sciences: Case Studies and Commentaries

Sternberg, R. J., & Fiske, S. E. (Eds.) (2015). Ethical challenges in the behavioral and brain sciences: Case studies and commentaries. New York: Cambridge University Press.

In recent years, a growing number of scientific careers have been brought down by scientists' failure to satisfactorily confront ethical challenges. Scientists need to learn early on what constitutes acceptable ethical behavior in their professions. Ethical Challenges in the Behavioral and Brain Sciences encourages readers to engage in discussions of the diverse ethical dilemmas encountered by behavioral and brain scientists - allowing scientists to reflect on ethical issues before potentially confronting them. Each chapter is authored by a prominent scientist, who describes a dilemma, how it was resolved, and what the scientist would do differently if confronted with the situation again. Featuring commentary throughout and a culmination of opinions and experiences shared by leaders in the field, the goal of this book is not to provide 'correct' answers to real-world ethical dilemmas. Instead, authors pose the dilemmas, discuss their experiences and viewpoints on them, and speculate on alternative reactions to the issues.


"At a time of diminishing public trust in the sciences, Sternberg and Fiske have given us the perfect antidote: a rich collection of sincere and probing testimonies about ethical problems by leading brain and behavioral scientists. A page-turner - not usual in thoughtful treatments of ethics - this book will provide readers with a real educational experience. The book is a uniquely valuable answer to some of the most burning scientific dilemmas of our day." -- William Damon, Stanford University, California and author of The Power of Ideals: The Real Story of Moral Choice

"Through more than fifty always engaging, typically perplexing, and often disturbingly nuanced case studies, Robert Sternberg and Susan Fiske make vivid the fundamental place of ethical thinking and acting in the research and professorial lives of contemporary brain and behavioral scientists. This unique and historically important book represents a sea change in understanding the ubiquity and subtlety of ethical challenges in research, publication, teaching, mentoring, and professional conduct. Reading, reflecting on, and discussing this book may be transformative for both scientists and science." -- Richard M. Lerner, Bergstrom Chair in Applied Developmental Science and Director, Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development, Tufts University, Massachusetts

"Graduate students should be required to read this volume, in which a star-studded cast of scientists explore the oft-disguised forms of ethical lapse or corruption that, alas, are never absent, even from the most serene paths of the groves of academe." -- Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Management, Claremont Graduate School, California

"Sternberg and Fiske have brought together a remarkable collection of vignettes. Though written by psychologists, they largely raise issues relevant to all academic disciplines. Each vignette places an ethical issue in a concrete and personal context. Ultimately, they will raise our collective consciousness about how we can best promote fairness, truthfulness, responsibility, due credit, and personal growth in all our efforts." -- Jay McClelland, Professor and Director of the Center for Mind, Brain and Computation, Stanford University, California

Buy the book: Sternberg, R. J., & Fiske, S. E. (Eds.) (2015). Ethical Challenges in the Behavioral and Brain Sciences: Case Studies and Commentaries. New York: Cambridge University Press.

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