nl en

On being a Scientist





Science and in particular the natural sciences play an integral part in our society. However, due to incidents concerning integrity the societal credit has diminished. This course is designed to inform bachelor students on topics such as scientific integrity and social responsibilities of scientists. Broad questions, which are inseparably linked to these topics are discussed. Namely regarding the nature of science and the societal role it fulfills.

On Being a Scientist encompasses the following subjects:

  • What is science

  • Which questions do scientists ask

  • What do scientists do

  • What do scientists contribute

  • Alpha, beta & gamma; how do scientists differ

  • How is science organised

  • Scientific fraud and indecency

  • Science & Industry

  • Science and societal problems

  • Scientific activism


  • Students will be familiar with the preconditions and principles of science and “knows what is and isn’t acceptable”.

  • Students will have a realistic view of what science is and what scientists do.

  • Students will recognise integrity dilemmas; know how to handle themselves in clear cut situation, and have a sufficient basis to be able to handle unclear situations.

  • Students know and recognise similarities and differences between their own discipline and other disciplines in- and outside the faculty of Science.

  • Students will know the role of science in society; will realise their own social responsibility; and will be able to independently take position regarding social issue in which science plays an important role.


Lectures and group discussions

Date Time Location
March 6, 2020 09:15-11:00 Gorlaeus 04/05
March 13, 2020 09:15-11:00 Gorlaeus 04/05
March 20, 2020 09:15-11:00 Gorlaeus 04/05
April 3, 2020 09:15-11:00 Gorlaeus 04/05
April 17, 2020 09:15-11:00 Gorlaeus 04/05
April 24, 2020 09:15-11:00 Gorlaeus 04/05
May 1, 2020 09:15-11:00 Gorlaeus 04/05
May 8, 2020 09:15-11:00 Gorlaeus 04/05
May 15, 2020 09:15-11:00 Gorlaeus 04/05
May 29, 2020 09:00-12.00 USC
June 19, 2020 09:00-12:00 Gorlaeus 01, 02, 03, 04/05

Students who still need to complete 'On being a scientist - Part 2' follow lectures starting from 24th of April.


Written examination and group assignments.


Name of the Bb module: On Being a Scientist On Being a Scientist [2020] 4602OBAS3-1920FWN
Enroll in Blackboard. After enrollment the student assistants will assign students to groups.


Aanbevolen (niet verplicht):
On Being a Scientist: A Guide to Responsible Conduct in Research: Third Edition (2009). National Academies Press, Washington, D.C. – available as free download John Hatton & Paul Plouffe (1997) Science and its ways of knowing.


This course is offered to all students of the Faculty of Science.


Course registration in uSis:

Register for this course via uSis

Course-registration in uSis using study-activity number (studie activiteit):
E-prospectus number 4602OBASC
Study-activity (class number) lectures (LEC): 4650
Study-activity (class number) exam (EXA) May 29: 14808
Study-activity (class number) re-exam (RET) June 19: 10757

There is no formal deadline in uSis regarding registration for this course. However, for proper organization of the course we would like to kindly ask you to register at least 10 days before the date of the exam (or unregister should you not participate in the exam).

For more information on how to sign up for classes