The term mentor derives from a proper name in the Odyssey, that of Odysseus's trusted counselor, whose guise the godess Athena assumed when she took on the role of guardian and teacher to Odysseus's son. A mentor is a more experienced individual who servies as a role mdel and actively guides, advises, and promote's another career and training. This relationship is usually long-term and based on a strong personal commitment on part of the mentor. For more informaton see Dr. Vivian Weil's article, "Mentoring: Some Ethical Considerations." in Science and Engineering Ethics, 7(4): 471-482.
Guston, David H. “Mentorship and the Research Training Experience.” In Responsible Science, Volume II: Background Papers and Resource Documents. Washington D.C. : National Academies Press, 1993.
This paper describes the role of mentorship in the contemporary research environment and distinguishes it from other important relationships in the training of new researchers. The paper also discusses efforts by universities to improve mentorship practices.
National Academy of Sciences (1997), Advisor, Teacher, Role Model, Friend: On Being a Mentor to Students in Science and Engineering. National Academy Press, Washington, D.C.
This report offers mentoring advice for faculty, administrators, and all others who counsel science and engineering students.
Weil, Vivian. “Mentoring: some ethical considerations.” Science and Engineering Ethics. 7.4 (July 2001) 471-482. (Print copy available at CSEP Library)
The author argues for an"honorific" definition of mentoring, according to which a mentor is virtuous like a saint or hero. She then differentiates between what is meant by an advisor and a mentor. Namely, the role of advisor can be specified, mandated, and monitored, whereas mentoring must be a voluntary activity.
Find more articles and resources on mentoring by visiting the Ethics Education Library.