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Brown Bag Series/Advanced RCR Training Offerings

Brown Bag Series

The Brown Bag Seminar Series is an opportunity for the Clemson University community to better understand research integrity and research compliance related topics. 

Please register for one or more of the following presentations


Bring your lunch and snacks will be provided.  These seminars DO qualify for RCR advanced training credit hours.

September 14, 2018, 9:30-10:30am-Mary Gray: When Social Media Companies, Research Ethics, and Human Rights Collide

Target Audience- Faculty, Staff, Postdocs, and Students

Location- Watt Innovation Center Auditorium

Counts for 1 hour of Advanced RCR training credit


Tech companies used to be in the business of selling software or hardware to individual users. Computer science long fed those companies with state-of-the-art engineering know-how that pushed benchmarks on speed and capacity. Now the wealthiest tech companies build social worlds comprised of human interaction, happening a billion times a second, whether it’s the mother of all search engines, a global social network, or live-streaming gaming and entertainment platforms. The shift to building and selling social worlds moved tech and computer science into uncharted territory. These systems convene people, as much as they mine their data, in real-time.

The humanities and social sciences used to be the ones traditionally tasked with making sense of society and the human condition. Now anthropologists, historians, economists, political scientists, psychologists, and sociologists must observe and engage people where they socialize most: online. Unlike the public archives, classrooms, street corners, and public parks that once informed our understanding of social life, researchers cannot access the bulk of people’s daily social interactions. These data are ensconced behind the firewalls of commercial companies, piled in terrabytes most social scientists haven’t been trained to analyze.

Through a review of basic tenets of human subjects research and lessons learned from past research blunders that compromised the public’s trust in science, this talk offers a new “human data research” paradigm for training the next generation of engineers and social researchers studying and building technology’s next wave of social worlds. The talk argues that most “ethical dilemmas” arise not because maniacal actors intentionally do the wrong thing but because methods of investigation and innovation are pushed to capacity and failing us. The path forward will not be listing an abstract set of principles, pontification, or finger-pointing but hammering out a new, shared course of action that considers: How do to respect the rights and freedoms of individuals and society when we interact with online environments that are at once familiar software, like a spreadsheet, controlled settings, like a lab, and deeply social and dynamic, like a backyard BBQ? This essay makes the case that it is our collective job to earn and maintain the Public’s trust through mapping out a new set of actions so that future social research and technology builders have a fighting chance to learn and create more down the line.


Mary L. Gray is a Fellow at Harvard University’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society and Senior Researcher at Microsoft Research. She chairs the Microsoft Research Lab Ethics Advisory Board. Mary maintains a faculty position in the School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering with affiliations in Anthropology, Gender Studies and the Media School, at Indiana University. Mary’s research studies how technology access, social conditions, and everyday uses of media transform people’s lives. Another thread of Mary’s work examines how ethics and research compliance processes produce norms of vulnerability and risk in human subjects research, particularly studies at the intersections of computer and social science. Her most recent book, Out in the Country: Youth, Media, and Queer Visibility in Rural America, looked at how young people in the rural United States use media to negotiate their sexual and gender identities, local belonging, and connections to broader, imagined queer communities. Mary’s forthcoming book Ghost Work (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2019), a collaboration with computer scientist Siddharth Suri, combines ethnography, interviews, and survey data with large-scale platform transaction data to explore the impact of automation on the future of work through workers’ present-day experiences of on-demand economies. Mary’s research has been covered in the popular press, including The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and the Guardian. She served on the American Anthropological Association’s Executive Board and chaired its 113th Annual Meeting. She currently sits on the Executive Board of Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research (PRIM&R) and Stanford University’s “One-Hundred-Year Study on Artificial Intelligence” (AI100), looking at the future of AI and its policy implications.


Save the date: March 7, 2019-Temple Grandin

Target Audience- Faculty, Staff, Postdocs, and Students

Location- TBD  Time- TBD

Counts for 1 hour of Advanced RCR training credit


Dr. Grandin did not talk until she was three and a half years old.  She was fortunate to get early speech therapy.  Her teachers also taught her how to wait and take turns when playing board games.  She was mainstreamed into a normal kindergarten at age five.  Oliver Sacks wrote in the forward of Thinking in Pictures that her first book Emergence: Labeled Autistic was “unprecedented because there had never before been an inside narrative of autism.”  Dr. Sacks profiled Dr. Grandin in his best selling book Anthropologist on Mars.

Dr. Grandin became a prominent author and speaker on both autism and animal behavior.  Today she is a professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University.  She also has a successful career consulting on both livestock handling equipment design and animal welfare.  She has been featured on NPR (National Public Radio) and a BBC Special – "The Woman Who Thinks Like a Cow". She has also appeared on National TV shows such as Larry King Live, 20/20, Sixty Minutes, Fox and Friends, and she has a 2010 TED talk.  Articles about Dr. Grandin have appeared in Time Magazine, New York Times, Discover Magazine, Forbes and USA Today. HBO made an Emmy Award winning movie about her life and she was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2016.

When she was young, she was considered weird and teased and bullied in high school.  The only place she had friends was activities where there was a shared interest such as horses, electronics, or model rockets.  Mr. Carlock, her science teacher, was an important mentor who encouraged her interest in science.  When she had a new goal of becoming a scientist, she had a reason for studying.  Today half the cattle in the United States are handled in facilities she has designed. 

Other Offerings

The library regularly offers courses on plagiarism and data management that qualify for one hour of RCR advanced training credit.  Please see the course schedule and register.

The Graduate School Professional Development office offers additional courses related to research, teaching, ethics, career development, leadership and wellness.

Questions?  Please contact Hope Smith-Sielicki, 864-656-1525

If faculty, staff and students would like to have specialized training or have suggestions for future programs, please contact Tracy Arwood, 864-656-1525.