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Yousef Mehnatisorkhabi
Department of Process and Environmental Engineering, University of Oulu

1- Describe ethics and how it differs from morality?

Ethics is the body of principles used to decide what behaviours are right, good and proper.
Such principles (ethics) do not always dictate a single "moral" course of action, but provide a
means of evaluating and deciding among competing options. Morality involves what we
ought to do, right and wrong, good and bad, values, justice, and virtues. Morality is taken to
be important, moral actions are often taken to merit praise and rewards, and immoral actions
are often taken to merit blame and punishment.
Ethics is about putting principles into action. Consistency between what we say we value and
what our actions say we value is a matter of integrity.
Ethical discussions usually remain detached or marginalized from discussions of research
projects. In fact, some researchers consider this aspect of research as an afterthought. Yet, the
moral integrity of the researcher is a critically important aspect of ensuring that the research
process and a researchers findings are trustworthy and valid. The term ethics derives from
the Greek word ethos, meaning character. A consideration of ethics needs to be a critical
part of the substructure of the research process from the inception of your problem to the
interpretation and publishing of the research findings. Yet, this aspect of the research process
does not often appear in the diagrams of the models of research we discussed in Chapter 3. A
brief history of the ethical aspects of research will better help us understand why this still
remains so. The history of the development of the field of ethics in research, unfortunately,
has largely been built on egregious and disastrous breaches of humane ethical values. A
journey through this history can provide valuable insights into the state of contemporary
research ethics institutions and codes that currently guide social science and biomedical
2- Why ethics is needed in research work?
When most people want to think of ethics (or morals), they think of rules for difference
between right and wrong, such as the Golden Rule ("Do unto others as you would have them
do unto you"), a code of professional conduct like the Hippocratic Oath ("First of all, do no
harm"), a religious creed like the Ten Commandments or a wise aphorisms like the sayings of
Confucius. This is the most common way of defining "ethics": norms for conduct that
distinguish between acceptable and unacceptable behavior. For instance, in considering a
complex issue like global warming, one may take an economic, ecological, political, or
ethical perspective on the problem. While an economist might examine the cost and benefits
of various policies related to global warming, an environmental ethicist could examine the
ethical values and principles at stake.
Many different disciplines, institutions, and professions have norms for behavior that suit
their particular aims and goals. These norms also help members of the discipline to coordinate
their actions or activities and to establish the public's trust of the discipline. For instance,
ethical norms govern conduct in medicine, law, engineering, and business. Ethical norms also

serve the aims or goals of research and apply to people who conduct scientific research or
other scholarly or creative activities. There is even a specialized discipline, research ethics,
which studies these norms.
There are several reasons why it is important to adhere to ethical norms in research. First,
norms promote the aims of research, such as knowledge, truth, and avoidance of error. For
example, prohibitions against fabricating, falsifying, or misrepresenting research data promote
the truth and avoid error. Second, since research often involves a great deal of cooperation
and coordination among many different people in different disciplines and institutions, ethical
standards promote the values that are essential to collaborative work, such as trust,
accountability, mutual respect, and fairness. For example, many ethical norms in research,
such as guidelines for authorship, copyright and patenting policies, data sharing policies, and
confidentiality rules in peer review, are designed to protect intellectual property interests
while encouraging collaboration. Most researchers want to receive credit for their
contributions and do not want to have their ideas stolen or disclosed prematurely. Third, many
of the ethical norms help to ensure that researchers can be held accountable to the public. For
instance, federal policies on research misconduct, conflicts of interest, the human subjects
protections, and animal care and use are necessary in order to make sure that researchers who
are funded by public money can be held accountable to the public. Fourth, ethical norms in
research also help to build public support for research. People are more likely to fund research
project if they can trust the quality and integrity of research. Finally, many of the norms of
research promote a variety of other important moral and social values, such as social
responsibility, human rights, and animal welfare, compliance with the law, and health and
safety. Ethical lapses in research can significantly harm human subject, students, and the
public. For example, a researcher who fabricates data in a clinical trial may harm or even kill
patients and a researcher who fails to abide by regulations and guidelines relating to radiation
or biological safety may jeopardize his health and safety or the health and safety of staff and
3- For which purpose the ethics is needed in the engineering education and in the engineers
Engineers, perhaps more than any other single occupation, are responsible for the artifacts of
the modern world in which many of us live. This constructed world has both benefits and
risks, ranging from obvious safety and health issues to issues of equity and environmental
degradation. A key development here is the increased awareness of the connections between
the individual actions of engineers and the larger world. We now know that the wonderful
technological systems that provide us with our bounty of goods and services have a global
reach and impact. Whats more, todays technology can have a profound impact on future
generations. Engineering is also a profession. As such, engineers have specialized knowledge
and are entrusted to use these skills to serve society. Edwin Layton in The Revolt of the
Engineers goes so far as to say that an engineer is socially responsible for ensuring progress
and the benevolence of technological change. This indeed is quite a task and implies that
engineers must have an understanding of how their activity affects progress, and how to do
that benevolently. Being skilled in using our moral imagination is crucial for engineers. It
enables us to open up a larger realm of possibilities for action and to more thoroughly account
for the moral implications of an action. For example, conventional design recommended a
certain piping size and requisite pump of 95 hp. But by recognizing the assumptions in that
conventional design process and by considering the impact of the conventional design on
energy use and resultant resource use and pollution production, an interface engineer
redesigned the piping system to use only 7 hp, a 92% reduction in energy. This was achieved
in two ways: by using larger diameter pipes and by reducing the pipe length and number of
turns. In conclusion, it is evident that in order to be good engineers, we not only must be
technically competent, but we must also understand how to evaluate the moral implications of

our designs. Through improvements to engineering education, the next generation of

engineers will be better equipped to resolve ethical issues and anticipate negative
consequences, fulfilling societys dreams of a better world.
4- Why the ethics is taught and what is the basis of the education?
Most societies also have legal rules that govern behavior, but ethical norms tend to be broader
and more informal than laws. Although most societies use laws to enforce widely accepted
moral standards and ethical and legal rules use similar concepts, it is important to remember
that ethics and law are not the same. An action may be legal but unethical or illegal but
ethical. We can also use ethical concepts and principles to criticize, evaluate, propose, or
interpret laws. Indeed, in the last century, many social reformers urged citizens to disobey
laws in order to protest what they regarded as immoral or unjust laws. Peaceful civil
disobedience is an ethical way of expressing political viewpoints. Basic Education is a
technical term defined by the Washington State Legislature, meant to capture the knowledge
and skills needed to participate in the economy and in our democracy and meant to comply
with our state's constitutional paramount duty. It is the paramount duty of the state to make
ample provision for the education of all children residing within its borders, without
distinction or preference on account of race, color, caste, or sex.
5- Ethics and good life - How these are related?
Most people learn ethical norms at home, at school, in church, or in other social settings.
Although most people acquire their sense of right and wrong during childhood, moral
development occurs throughout life and human beings pass through different stages of growth
as they mature. Ethical norms are so ubiquitous that one might be tempted to regard them as
simple commonsense. On the other hand, if morality were nothing more than commonsense,
they will not be useful in our daily life.
One plausible explanation of these disagreements is that all people recognize some common
ethical norms but different individuals interpret, apply, and balance these norms in different
ways in light of their own values and life experiences.
6- What kind of ethical questions are related the research topic you selected?
We evaluate the cost and benefits for most decisions in life, whether we are aware of it or not.
Ethics should be applied on all stages of research, such as planning, conducting and valuating
a research project. The first thing to do before designing a study is to consider the potential
cost and benefits of the research. This can be quite a dilemma in some experiments. This
research is one example of an area with difficult ethical considerations.
Regarding the research I have been carrying, it should avoid:
Any risk of considerably harming people, the environment, or property unnecessarily.
Not use deception on people participating.
Obtain informed consent from all involved in the study.
Preserve privacy and confidentiality whenever possible.
Take special precautions when involving populations or materials which may not be
considered to understand fully the purpose of the study.
Not offer big rewards or enforce binding contracts for the study. This is especially
important when people are somehow reliant on the reward.
Not plagiarize the work of others.
Not skew their conclusions based on funding.
Not commit science fraud, falsify research or otherwise conduct scientific misconduct.

A con-study, which devastated the public view of the subject for decades, was
the study of selling more coke and popcorn by unconscious ads. The researcher said
that he had found great effects from subliminal messages, whilst he had, in fact, never
conducted the experiment.
Not use the position as a peer reviewer to give sham peer reviews to punish or damage
fellow scientists.
Researchers who manipulate their data in ways that deceive others are violating both the basic
values and widely accepted professional standards of science.
In this case of scenario, I did not do experiments on the Formaldehyde or the other derivatives
in a real situation, so I was not able to cover the whole parts as a summary of doing a
research, as a result I used a couple of reliable resources which I mentioned and referenced
though. This kind of activity is acceptable in the way of researching as long as referencing all
the resources which have been used to prevent plagiarism. So the question still remains that is
this article morally accepted? From my point of view I will say:yes.

Edwin, T., Layton, Jr. (1986) The Revolt of the Engineers: Social Responsibility and the
American Engineering Profession. Michigan: Johns Hopkins Press.
Louden, R. B. (1992) Morality and Moral Theory. New York: Oxford University Press.
Nolan. 1995. Ethics and morality. [ONLINE]. Available at: [Accessed: 08 December 14].