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March 26, 2019
"Research in Humanitarian Crises"
The third CARE panel featured Veena Pillai (Dhi Consulting and Training, Malaysia), Erin Lin (Political Science, OSU) and Marcel Yotebieng (Public Health, OSU). This panel was a session in the PREA International Conference on Ethics and Humanitarian Research.
Disasters and conflicts lead to crises that call for humanitarian responses. How can we know that the type of response being provided is actually effective, timely, and the best use of the available resources? To answer these questions, there has been a recent drive for more research and other evidence-generating activities related to humanitarian aid. But research related to humanitarian aid often involve human participants and thus raise ethical issues of their own. This CARE panel discussed the distinctive challenges of conducting research during and after humanitarian crises. Among the questions discussed: How can such research avoid exploitation? What counts as good evidence of efficacy? What sort of risks can we expect research participants to sign up for? Is informed consent possible? Are there conditions under which research is not appropriate and the sole priority should be providing aid?
February 19, 2019
"Reproducibility in Research"
The second CARE panel featured Chris Chartier (Psychology, Ashland University; Director, Psychological Science Accelerator), Phillip Popovich (Neuroscience, OSU), and Duane Wegener (Psychology, OSU).
According to one recent Nature survey, more than 70% of researchers have tried and failed to reproduce another scientist’s experiments, and more than half have failed to reproduce their own experiments. Some claim that these findings point to a “Crisis of Reproducibility” and it has caused alarm in a far ranging number of disciplines. But is there really any crisis at play and if so what are the ethical responsibilities of researchers and institutions in addressing this trend? This panel discussed the potential ethical implications for the lack of reproducibility in research results not only for the reliability of science but also for the safety of research subjects.
January 22, 2019
"Conflicts of Interest and Research: Is Disclosure Enough?"
The inaugural CARE panel featured Matthew McCoy (Medical Ethics and Health Policy, UPenn) and Dr. Clark Anderson, MD (Professor Emeritus, Division of Rheumatology and Immunology).
A New York Times/Pro Publica investigation recently exposed dozens of leading medical figures who have failed to report their financial relationships with pharmaceutical and health care companies when their studies are published in medical journals. This has resulted in high profile resignations from leading medical research centers and investigations into the policies of leading journals. In this inaugural panel we will discuss the nature of this pressing problem and how it can best be addressed. Some questions that we will discuss: How should we address the danger of conflicts of interest? Is disclosure enough? Given the nature of these ethical abuses, is the term 'conflict-of-interest' the appropriate term? Is it too bland? Failure to disclose conflicts of interest is a breach of public trust, but is there any evidence that COIs actually have any effect on research outcomes? Do professional and institutional bodies overemphasize the dangers of financial COIs without attending to the prevalence of non-financial conflicts of interest?