The Importance of the University in the 21st Century: Ethical Conflicts and Moral Choices Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-8 DOI 10.1007/s10805-012-9152-9 Authors Samuel M. Natale, Kellogg College, University of Oxford, England, UK Sebastian A. Sora, Adelphi University, Garden City, NY, USA Matthew Drumheller, Grand Canyon University, Phoenix, AZ, USA Journal Journal of Academic Ethics Online ISSN 1572-8544 Print ISSN 1570-1727.
The Protein Ontology (PRO) provides a formal, logically-based classification of specific protein classes including structured representations of protein isoforms, variants and modified forms. Initially focused on proteins found in human, mouse and Escherichia coli, PRO now includes representations of protein complexes. The PRO Consortium works in concert with the developers of other biomedical ontologies and protein knowledge bases to provide the ability to formally organize and integrate representations of precise protein forms so as to enhance accessibility to results of protein (...) research. PRO (http://pir.georgetown.edu/pro) is part of the Open Biomedical Ontologies (OBO) Foundry. (shrink)
There is much still to learn about the nature of fair trade consumers. In light of the Pope's encyclical Caritas in Ventate, this article sought to advance the current understanding by investigating the role of religion in fair trade consumption. In this study, fair trade consumers and non-consumers across many religions as well as the nonreligious described their consumption of fair trade products as well as the use of their religious beliefs in their purchase behavior. It appears that the non-religious (...) are slightly more inclined toward buying fair trade products. Of the religious observers studied, Buddhists have a greater propensity to buy fair trade. The relationship between religion and fair trade consumption is complex in that religious affiliation - group membership - alone is not enough to encourage members to buy fair trade; rather, it is the use of religious beliefs as a criterion in consumption behavior that linked religion to fair trade consumption. (shrink)
Research has indicated that microRNAs (miRNAs), a special class of non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs), can perform important roles in different biological and pathological processes. miRNAs’ functions are realized by regulating their respective target genes (targets). It is thus critical to identify and analyze miRNA-target interactions for a better understanding and delineation of miRNAs’ functions. However, conventional knowledge discovery and acquisition methods have many limitations. Fortunately, semantic technologies that are based on domain ontologies can render great assistance in this regard. In our (...) previous investigations, we developed a miRNA domain-specific application ontology, Ontology for MIcroRNA Target (OMIT), to provide the community with common data elements and data exchange standards in the miRNA research. This paper describes (1) our continuing efforts in the OMIT ontology development and (2) the application of the OMIT to enable a semantic approach for knowledge capture of miRNA-target interactions. (shrink)
Biomedical ontologies are emerging as critical tools in genomic and proteomic research where complex data in disparate resources need to be integrated. A number of ontologies exist that describe the properties that can be attributed to proteins; for example, protein functions are described by Gene Ontology, while human diseases are described by Disease Ontology. There is, however, a gap in the current set of ontologies—one that describes the protein entities themselves and their relationships. We have designed a PRotein Ontology (PRO) (...) to facilitate protein annotation and to guide new experiments. The components of PRO extend from the classification of proteins on the basis of evolutionary relationships to the representation of the multiple protein forms of a gene (products generated by genetic variation, alternative splicing, proteolytic cleavage, and other post-translational modification). PRO will allow the specification of relationships between PRO, GO and other OBO Foundry ontologies. Here we describe the initial development of PRO, illustrated using human proteins from the TGF-beta signaling pathway (http://pir.georgetown.edu/pro). (shrink)
Identification of non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) has been significantly improved over the past decade. On the other hand, semantic annotation of ncRNA data is facing critical challenges due to the lack of a comprehensive ontology to serve as common data elements and data exchange standards in the field. We developed the Non-Coding RNA Ontology (NCRO) to handle this situation. By providing a formally defined ncRNA controlled vocabulary, the NCRO aims to fill a specific and highly needed niche in semantic annotation of (...) large amounts of ncRNA biological and clinical data. (shrink)
Representing species-specific proteins and protein complexes in ontologies that are both human and machine-readable facilitates the retrieval, analysis, and interpretation of genome-scale data sets. Although existing protin-centric informatics resources provide the biomedical research community with well-curated compendia of protein sequence and structure, these resources lack formal ontological representations of the relationships among the proteins themselves. The Protein Ontology (PRO) Consortium is filling this informatics resource gap by developing ontological representations and relationships among proteins and their variants and modified forms. Because (...) proteins are often functional only as members of stable protein complexes, the PRO Consortium, in collaboration with existing protein and pathway databases, has launched a new initiative to implement logical and consistent representation of protein complexes. We describe here how the PRO Consortium is meeting the challenge of representing species-specific protein complexes, how protein complex representation in PRO supports annotation of protein complexes and comparative biology, and how PRO is being integrated into existing community bioinformatics resources. The PRO resource is accessible at http://pir.georgetown.edu/pro/. (shrink)
The Marketing of Education has become epidemic. Business practices and principles now commonly suffuse the approach and administration of Higher Education in an attempt to make schools both more competitive and “branded.” This seems to be progressing without reference to the significant ethical challenges as well as the growing costs to society, students, and educators in pursuing a model with such inherent conflicts. The increased focus on narrowly defined degrees targeted to specific job requirements rather than the focus on raising (...) the level of students’ ability to engage in more abstract and critical thinking is accelerating. The impact on student world views and the lack of engagement with meaningful and challenging discourse has severely impaired their ability to become both engaged and reflective. This model has also impacted faculty morale as concern with lack of academic rigor continues to grow. An ethical crisis has emerged within education internationally and intervention is urgently needed. (shrink)
The Protein Ontology (PRO) provides terms for and supports annotation of species-specific protein complexes in an ontology framework that relates them both to their components and to species-independent families of complexes. Comprehensive curation of experimentally known forms and annotations thereof is expected to expose discrepancies, differences, and gaps in our knowledge. We have annotated the early events of innate immune signaling mediated by Toll-Like Receptor 3 and 4 complexes in human, mouse, and chicken. The resulting ontology and annotation data set (...) has allowed us to identify species-specific gaps in experimental data and possible functional differences between species, and to employ inferred structural and functional relationships to suggest plausible resolutions of these discrepancies and gaps. (shrink)
The authors discussed the reasons for the recent economic collapse as caused by the lack of large businesses and global corporations losing touch with the people they serve. Losing touch has caused a distancing of understanding of the customers as people by these businesses and corporations. An antidote to this is that decisions that have to be made in global businesses as well as domestic organizations reflect some level of empathy. The objective is to highlight the fact that these businesses (...) are corporate citizens and in themselves must be aware of the culture in which they conduct themselves. The authors discuss how empathie decision-making can become part of the corporate fabric without losing any sense of appropriate business judgment. A process is defined to enable the empathie process. Finally, a straw man is set up to fund/enable the process while creating a positive and profitable business environment. (shrink)
Identification of non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) has been significantly enhanced due to the rapid advancement in sequencing technologies. On the other hand, semantic annotation of ncRNA data lag behind their identification, and there is a great need to effectively integrate discovery from relevant communities. To this end, the Non-Coding RNA Ontology (NCRO) is being developed to provide a precisely defined ncRNA controlled vocabulary, which can fill a specific and highly needed niche in unification of ncRNA biology.
Online education lacks the moral and ethical engagement as well as the empathic interactions that are essential and integral to true liberal education, including business. While the online venue can provide useful information and put libraries at the hands of the student or employee, there is an implicit lack of focus on the sacredness and centrality of the person, his or her values, attitudes, needs, and expectations. The focus of online education is on the delivery of data, not the student’s (...) engagement with the material or the process. Critically absent from online education is the ability to explore the transformation of data as it changes, first to information, then to knowledge, and finally to wisdom, within each person. Finally, absent is the ability to raise the level of abstraction. Since all needs to be measurable in concrete terms in online education, we are left with the language of metrics, such as deliverables, outcomes, inputs, and outputs. Where is the person in all of this? Where is the focus on the moral compass that is so necessary in any type of education? (shrink)
The Protein Ontology (PRO) web resource provides an integrative framework for protein-centric exploration and enables specific and precise annotation of proteins and protein complexes based on PRO. Functionalities include: browsing, searching and retrieving, terms, displaying selected terms in OBO or OWL format, and supporting URIs. In addition, the PRO website offers multiple ways for the user to request, submit, or modify terms and/or annotation. We will demonstrate the use of these tools for protein research and annotation.
The recent global economic collapse brings new calls for reform and change as well as a re-examination of the ethical foundations underpining it. Most professors as well as students remain profoundly unhappy with the Business Curricula. The curricula appear to swing between technological training and academic theory. There is little genuine focus on the central issue of the problem: the students’ and faculty’s assumptive world which drives the selection of the materials chosen for presentation as well as the decision-making process. (...) In the pragmatic quest to achieve status within academe, business schools appear to have forgotten that their subject matter is not one cognate domain but a mixture of several areas including mathematics, economics, anthropology, sociology, psychology, logic and planning. Course structures must be redesigned as consilient. That is, each course contains in it the links to other courses and is not expected to be complete in themselves; the new structures proposed are no longer under the direct control of one instructor but each course is under the control of a committee. This creates a linkage between courses that together from a linked chain of knowledge where the strength of the curriculum is tied to the consilient strength of the courses. The result is an organic and developmental model for teaching and learning with a strong ethical foundation as well as developed moral links to effective decision making. (shrink)
Critiquing any practice, theory, or law, requires understanding the characteristics of the environment which created a need for this law. There are hundreds of different cultures in the world, and each one has its own set of norms, characteristics, and values. What in one country is perceived normal, ethical or unethical, right or wrong, may not be the same somewhere else in the world. The first civilizations begun in Africa and Europe many thousands of years ago when people were hunters (...) and nomads, it is not unreasonable to suspect that many of those traits and characteristics have been socially transferred and/or inherited by future generations. (shrink)
There remains a paucity of research investigating the efficacy of executive coaching. Ambiguity surrounds its definition, its methodology and outcomes. Despite this, the executive coaching remains a viable business proposition. Practitioners bring services to the business community offering services that transcend traditional performance management consultations establishing independent “performance-driven” relationships with executives. This paper examines the process of coaching suggesting that a better understanding of process will enhance practice efficacy and accelerates empirical investigations. In addition, ethical, confidential and legal issues require (...) attention when planning to utilize an executive coach. All this implicates the need to better understand coaching – and how it typically operates. Case studies are provided in the examination of coaching consultations in Fortune 100 settings. (shrink)
This paper summarizes three major approaches to the problem of business ethics. Comparisons and contrasts are drawn between the moralistic approach of Berhman, the social contract theory of Nash, and a comprehensive systems approach as articulated by Elbing. In the final section, some attempt is made to indicate how these models may be implemented into managerial policy decision making process by the use of group work and ascending communication. Some consideration of using organizational structure to implement ethical concerns is indicated.
Where one stands to engage with the world is not as some New Age Psychologists continue to argue, completely free and self-determined. Rather, it is formed largely beyond one’s control and is fraught with both dangers and opportunities. This pre-determined point of view is referred to as the Assumptive World (Parkes, 1975). This is defined as a “strongly held set of assumptions about the world and the self that is confidently maintained and used as a means of recognizing, planning and (...) acting…Assumptions such as these are learned and confirmed by the experience of many years” (Parkes, 1975, p. 132). There are, further, levels and intensities of assumptions, as refined by Janoff-Bulman, R. (1992). These assumptions form the centre point of our world and our consciousness. They are so much a part of us that we tend not to challenge them. Though unchallenged, these assumptions nevertheless drive our behaviors, set our expectations, and operationalize our moral views. (shrink)
The spatial-temporal association indicates that time is represented spatially along a left-to-right line. It is unclear whether the spatial-temporal association is mainly related to a perceptual or a motor component. In addition, the spatial-temporal association is not consistently found using a time reproduction task. Our rationale for this finding is that, classically, a non-lateralized button for performing the task has been used. Using two lateralized response buttons, the aim of the study was to find a spatial-temporal association in a time (...) reproduction task. To account for the perceptual component, reference and target stimuli were presented in different spaces through four experiments. In all experiments, a Spatial-Temporal Association of Response Codes (STEARC) effect was found and this effect was not modulated by the spatial position of both reference and target stimuli. The results suggested that the spatial-temporal association was mainly derived from the spatial information provided by response buttons, reflecting a motor but not visuospatial influence. (shrink)
This article argues the philosophical concerns and foundational challenges raised by a for-profit model of education. The for-profit model is governed by a business paradigm, without reference to the context in which it is found. The authors explore primary ethical questions and challenges presented by this model. As such, they present potential solutions to the growing problem in higher education as a corporate entity. The authors introduce a potential model for analysis of the issues and suggest an interventional technique with (...) concrete directions for change. Universities are on the threshold of a transformation which can no longer be isolated from wider society. This environment awakened the critical task of blending corporate success with educational integrity. (shrink)
This paper will argue the importance of the creation of a moral compass, driven by empathy and a rigorously trained will in higher education leadership to develop a tighter relationship between higher education and wealth equity. We will explore the foundational documents that first discussed these issues within a global context. Further, We explore how these goals, enhanced by insights promulgated by the United Nations, can be achieved by teaching empathy, developing a moral compass and training the will.