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BU Research Days to focus on ethics

Third annual event highlights student work, features keynote speaker

Binghamton University will be showcasing its students’ work this week during the third annual Research Days.

The event, which takes place from Wednesday to Friday, features a keynote speaker, tours, talks by professors and over 80 students participating in poster presentations of their research.

According to Rachel Coker, the director of research advancement, research is integral to BU.

“Our students are fortunate to be learning from faculty members who are engaged in the most pressing challenges facing their disciplines,” she wrote in an email. “During Research Days, students have a chance to learn about their professors’ scholarly work, which can be inspiring for both sides.”

The theme of this year’s event is “ethics.” According to Coker, it was chosen as the theme in part because people in every discipline can relate to it.

“There are ongoing aspects of scholarship in philosophy related to ethics, and there are professional ethics that help to guide people’s actions in fields ranging from engineering to accounting,” she wrote. “And, of course, there are ethics related to how one conducts research as well.”

Another goal of Research Days, according to participant Heather Fiumera, is to engage the community with the University’s research.

“The phrase ‘think globally, act locally’ describes the importance of investing in our local research community, such that we can address questions of global importance,” said Fiumera, an assistant professor of biology presenting research in environmental genetics.

The keynote speaker is Jonathan Moreno, a professor and bioethicist from the University of Pennsylvania. His speech, “Mind Wars: Brain Science and the Military in the 21st Century,” will broach the topic of different technologies and the ethics surrounding them. Moreno will speak at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Mandela Room.

On Friday, two poster sessions in the Mandela Room — one at 11 a.m. and another at 1 p.m. — will showcase undergraduate student research.

Ilana Ben-Ezra, a senior majoring in history, will present research she conducted over the summer in the Summer Scholars and Artists program and during this semester with the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities undergraduate fellowship.

“These events are important to allow students to demonstrate their academic accomplishments,” Ben-Ezra said. “Events that promote students’ intellectual and academic development should be part of the University experience because they demonstrate the active pursuit of knowledge.”

Other Research Days events include a tour of the Organic Electronics and Solar Cell Lab by physics professor Jeffrey Mativetsky, an undergraduate history research conference, a research-oriented special installment of the Faculty Breakfast Series and a workshop on getting funding for graduate and post-doctoral research.