Campus News - February 26, 2001

Spotlight

Gluck explores research ethics, southwestern landscape

By Steve Carr

John GluckPsychology professor John Gluck heads into new territory whether into relatively unchartered areas of research ethics or living and experiencing a culture he’d only read about as a kid. As a psychologist, Gluck realized the need to learn and study about ethical issues early in his career.

“My initial interest in psychology at the graduate level was in studying animal models of human psychology,” Gluck said. “We were interested in seeing if we couldn’t create certain kinds of developmental settings in which we could expose non-humans and actually produce certain psychopathological conditions like depression and autistic-like symptoms. The results of that research have put me in contact with people who had questions about the ethical justification of some of that work.”

It was through this work that Gluck, who is also the Director of the Research Ethics Service Project (RESP) in the Office of Research at UNM, realized that his scientific training had not prepared him to deal with questions in research ethics.

“What that has led to is a central interest into the ethics of conducting research with human and animals,” Gluck said. “From a research perspective, my students are studying the impact of conducting research on human beings and how the human participant experiences being the subject of an experiment.

“The position of director of the RESP is one that I just love having in the sense that it allows me to combine my teaching, my research efforts and also be of service to the University around topics that way.”

However, since moving to New Mexico many years ago, Gluck has found another love.

“When I grew up as a child in New York City, I was very interested in reading travel books about the southwest and the west,” Gluck said. “I was fascinated by of the idea of the wild west. That got me reading about the west and the culture of the west.”
When Gluck finished graduate school at the University of Wisconsin, his priority was to find a job in the southwest and to involve himself in a culture he had only read about.

“Since I’ve been here, I think probably my biggest joy has been hiking the canyons and deserts of New Mexico,” Gluck said.

“When I first came here I bought myself a good camera and began taking pictures of petroglyphs that I had run across and the mountains and canyons all over this part of the state. I still do a lot of desert walking and enjoying the evidence of the paleo-history of New Mexico.”

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