Science, Society and Responsible Research

Module code: MD7438

The module is designed for you to develop an understanding of research in the context of society, to appreciate the ethical issues associated with the various domains of medical research (including animal research), and to consider and engage with the public understanding of scientific research. These are some of the most crucial skills for designing your own research, understanding and evaluating research done by others, and communicating findings to mixed audiences.

The intended learning outcomes are that on successful completion of the module, you should be able to:

  • Describe how research is funded, including potential sources of funding, and how to apply for and cost it.
  • Discuss patient and public involvement in research, why it is important, and how to engage the public in your research.
  • Explain the factors that need to be considered when recruiting volunteers for research studies, including healthy controls and individuals with limited/no capacity to give consent.
  • Discuss equality and diversity in research and how research can be made more inclusive, particularly for vulnerable or marginalised groups.
  • Discuss the importance of responsible research, including key issues in open science: reproducibility and reliability, questionable research practices,, and how to identify misleading research findings
  • Discuss how ethical issues and research are portrayed in the media, and how they may be distorted or misunderstood.
  • Explain the arguments for and against animal experimentation, the basic legislation relating to animal experimentation, and strategies to refine, reduce, and replace animals in experimentation.
  • Communicate the aims, methods, findings and implications of a research study to mixed audiences.
  • Discuss the role of commercial organisations in research, and how to engage and colaborate with industrial partners.
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