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Those Pesky Side-Reactions

A Case Study on Ethics for Scientists and Engineers Developing Data in the Private Sector


Wayne Seames
Chemical Engineering
University of North Dakota


The characters in this dilemma case must balance personal financial considerations, their professional futures, and time constraints against ensuring that the new product they are proposing is safe. The case explores the issues surrounding ethical decision-making and asks students to decide what the central characters in the story should do. The case was designed to be used in mid- or upper-level chemistry and chemical engineering college courses.

  • Gain a better understanding of the factors that influence and cloud a person's judgment when faced with an ethical dilemma.
  • Understand the basis for making ethical decisions.
  • Explore some of the options available when faced with an ethical dilemma.
  • Understand the consequences of whistle blowing.
Keywords: Professional ethics; code of ethics; code of conduct; ethical decision-making; whistle-blowing; whistleblower; new product development; product safety
Topical Area: Ethics
Educational Level: Undergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division
Formats: PDF
Type/Method: Dilemma/Decision, Interrupted
Language: English
Subject Headings: Chemical Engineering   Chemistry (General)   Engineering (General)   Science (General)  
Date Posted: 10/22/01
Date Modified: N/A
Copyright: Copyright held by the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, University at Buffalo, State University of New York. Please see our usage guidelines, which outline our policy concerning permissible reproduction of this work.

Teaching Notes

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