The Responsible Researcher

Please note: This course is not running in 2018-19

The idea that scientists are working in an ivory tower–or isolated in their own lab–far away from society is a myth. While Brian Cox, Jane Goodall and Craig Venter are examples of scientists in the spotlight who are particularly good at attracting media attention, every researcher needs to engage with broader issues surrounding their research.

Why are you focussing on specific questions and not others, are there any risks, and what are the possible applications of your research? In addition, researchers are often expected to field media enquiries, take part in public engagement activities, contribute to policy making, work through regulatory issues related to their research, and participate in interdisciplinary teams. This course will equip students with the skills and confidence to address the social dimensions of their research and contribute productively to broader discussions of what it means to be a ‘responsible researcher’ in the different contexts in which researchers work. Through lectures, discussions and project work, this course looks at different aspects of a career in research. It may also prompt some ideas for careers that might be open to graduates, ranging from science communication to policy making.


This is a level 10 course with 10 credits.

Course organisers: Dr. Ann Bruce and Dr Niki Vermeulen

Course Secretary: Alex Dysart

Semester: not running in 2018-19

More information: The Responsible Researcher (STIS10006)