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The purpose of the Ethics Support Office, funded by the Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) and administered by the Institute for Translational Sciences (ITS…
The purpose of the Ethics Support Office, funded by the Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) and administered by the Institute for Translational Sciences (ITS) at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB), is to provide research ethics support to faculty, fellows, and students. This chapter reports on an ongoing qualitative study to understand scientists' views on ethical issues in team science and their suggestions for advancing ethical policy and activities in order to improve ethics training. We originally conducted face-to-face, semistructured, qualitative interviews with a convenience sample of 20 key ITS researchers, representing the majority of researchers. The scientists' most general approach to ethics – in perceiving them, understanding them, and applying them – is to appreciate ethics in terms of their relevance to particular research situations and problems. They prefer to deal with ethics as a common feature and value incorporated into their work. Respondents suggested that those teaching ethics in multidisciplinary translational research must develop strategies that help scientists see and understand the relevance of ethics education to their work. Strategies include improving communication skills, providing shared opportunities for learning, sensitizing researchers to the demands on others on the team who are expected to contribute data and knowledge to the success of the project, and imbedding ethicists on research teams. In tune with the key finding of the study, ethics instructors and coaches need to become well acquainted with the nuances of their scientists' work. This approach will respond to the scientists' desire to conduct ethical research, but in practical terms of the specialized nature of their work.
This chapter presents the main findings of the EU-funded SATORI project on ethics assessment of research and innovation (R&I) in its first 18 months. It offers summarised…
This chapter presents the main findings of the EU-funded SATORI project on ethics assessment of research and innovation (R&I) in its first 18 months. It offers summarised descriptions of the ways in which ethics assessment and guidance of R&I are currently practiced in different scientific fields, in different countries in Europe, the United States and China, and in different types of organisations.
The main findings include the following. Although the most extensive institutions, policies and activities exist in the medical and life sciences, there is evidence of a growing institutionalisation of ethics assessment in non-medical fields. Increasing coordination and cooperation between ethics assessors can be observed at the EU and global levels. Each of 15 types of organisations that were studied performs an important role in ethics assessment, which may not always be well established and sometimes poses significant challenges. Although significant differences exist among the countries that were studied in terms of the degree to which ethics assessment of R&I is institutionalised, all seem to be expanding their ethics assessment and guidance infrastructures.
The findings are an important means by which partners in the SATORI project will take their next steps: the identification of best practices, the development of proposals for harmonisation and shared standards, and, to the extent possible, the proposal of common principles, protocols, procedures and methodologies for the ethical assessment of research and innovation in the European Union and beyond.
Patrick Primeaux's life was one of exemplary service in a wide range of fields. The Marists can point to years of productive service in their order. Generations of…
Patrick Primeaux's life was one of exemplary service in a wide range of fields. The Marists can point to years of productive service in their order. Generations of students know the impact he had on their lives. The St. John's University community can testify regarding his contributions to their institution, and organizational ethics researchers can point to his influence on research and pedagogy.
Many academics have careers with achievements in research, teaching, and service. What made Father Primeaux truly remarkable, however, was that he also expanded the business ethics field itself. Business ethics has traditionally been a difficult area in which to establish a research niche. Pat's contributions to research and pedagogy, and particularly his efforts regarding the Vincentian Ethics Conferences opened doors for young business ethicists, which was enormously beneficial to those academics and increased the quality and quantity of business ethics research.
This chapter examines Patrick Premeaux's groundbreaking contributions to business ethics teaching and research, and to demonstrate the impact those contributions have had on his fellow academicians. The first section outlines the significance of Primeaux's efforts. The second section examines Pat's contributions to business ethics research and education. The third section discusses the role the Vincentian Ethics Conferences (VEC) have played in improving the quantity and quality of business ethics research, while the fourth section illustrates the impact Pat's efforts had on my own career. The fifth section summarizes and concludes the paper.
This paper explores the contribution of the AAA Symposium on Ethics Research in Accounting to fostering accounting ethics research. For a 17-year period, the contributors…
This paper explores the contribution of the AAA Symposium on Ethics Research in Accounting to fostering accounting ethics research. For a 17-year period, the contributors, their schools of affiliation, and their research topics were analyzed to determine the extent of and trends in accounting ethics research. The research rankings of the contributing authors were examined in business ethics journals, top-40 accounting journals, and accounting education journals. Institutional rankings identify supportive places to do accounting ethics research. The impact of significant accounting scandals such as Enron and Madoff was examined and a financial scandal “bump” in paper presentations was found. Authors affiliated with Texas schools had papers following the state requirement of an ethics accounting course. A large amount of ethics education-related research was also presented at the Ethics Symposia. Overall the study results indicate that the Symposium with its AAA affiliation is a high-quality venue for paper presentation.
This chapter presents a virtue-based approach to research ethics which both complements and challenges dominant principle- and rule-based ethical codes and governance…
This chapter presents a virtue-based approach to research ethics which both complements and challenges dominant principle- and rule-based ethical codes and governance frameworks. Virtues are qualities of character that contribute to human and ecological flourishing, focussing on the dispositions and motivations of moral agents (in this case, researchers) as opposed to simply their actions. The chapter argues for the usefulness of ‘researcher integrity’, in the context of increasing interest internationally in ‘research integrity’ frameworks for regulating research practice. ‘Researcher integrity’ is analysed, including weak and strong versions of the concept (conduct according to current standards, versus reflexive commitment to ideals of what research should be at its best). Researcher integrity in its stronger sense is depicted as an overarching complex virtue, holding together and balancing other virtues such as courage, care, trustworthiness, respectfulness and practical wisdom. Consideration is given to educating researchers and university students as virtuous researchers, rather than simply ensuring that rules are followed and risks minimised. Several approaches are outlined, including Socratic dialogue, to develop attentiveness and respectfulness and participatory theatre to rehearse different responses to ethical challenges in research. Some limitations of virtue ethics are noted, including dangers of reinforcing a culture of blaming researchers for institutional failings, and its potential to be co-opted by those who wish to indoctrinate rather than cultivate virtues. Nevertheless, it is an important counter-weight to current trends that see research ethics as entailing learning sets of rules and how to implement them (to satisfy institutional research governance requirements), rather than processes of critical and responsible reflection.
Training in research ethics in higher education institutions tends to be increasingly focussed on operational instruction and how to navigate review processes. This has…
Training in research ethics in higher education institutions tends to be increasingly focussed on operational instruction and how to navigate review processes. This has largely come about as a result of the gradual extension of the ‘medical model’ of prospective ethics review to all research involving human participants over the last few decades. Often devolved to an administrator, the purpose of instruction in research ethics is sometimes reduced to form-filling techniques. While this may serve to facilitate researchers’ compliance with ‘auditable’ regulatory requirements, and to reassure risk-averse universities that they can demonstrate rigorous oversight, it does nothing to skill researchers in assessing the ethical implications of their own research. Mastering the skills to address and mitigate the moral dilemmas that can emerge during a research project involves more than having a pre-determined set of options for research practice. Changing their perception means enabling researchers to view themselves as ethical practitioners within a broader community of researchers. In this chapter we discuss the implementation of a university training programme that has been designed to improve both the moral character, and thus the moral competence of researchers. Using a virtue ethics approach, we employed case studies and discussion, backed up by provision of individualised advice, to help researchers to consider the moral implications of research and to improve their moral decision-making skills. Attendees reported greater engagement with the issues and increased confidence in facing ethical dilemmas in their own research.
In this chapter I build upon the case I argued in Volume 1 of this series (Carpenter, D. (2016). The quest for generic ethical principles in social science research. In R…
In this chapter I build upon the case I argued in Volume 1 of this series (Carpenter, D. (2016). The quest for generic ethical principles in social science research. In R. Iphofen (Ed.), Advances in research ethics and integrity (Vol. 1, pp. 3–18). Bingley: Emerald). There I established arguments for eschewing principlism and other well-established theories of practical ethics, such as deontology and consequentialism, in favour of virtue ethics. I drew on the work of Macfarlane (2009, 2010) in making a case for virtuous researcher and virtuous research. In this chapter, I draw attention to the role and conduct of ethics committees in reviewing research. If we are to consider the ethics of research and researchers, then we might also consider the ethics of reviewing and reviewers. Whilst there is an abundance of codes and similar documents aimed at guiding research conduct, there is relatively little to guide ethics committees and their members. Given the argument that a virtue ethics approach might help committees evaluate the ethics of proposed research and researchers, it could equally be the case that virtue ethics could be useful when thinking about the work of committees and ethics review. In this chapter I attempt to relocate and develop Macfarlane’s work by examining its application to the work of ethics committees and the virtues of their members. In particular, I will consider the virtues that reviewers should exhibit or demonstrate when reviewing research, and what we might take as the telos of ethics committees.
The chapter deliberates on research ethics and the unanticipated side effects that technological developments have brought in the past decades. It looks at data protection…
The chapter deliberates on research ethics and the unanticipated side effects that technological developments have brought in the past decades. It looks at data protection and privacy through the prism of ethics and focuses on the need for safeguarding the fundamental rights of the research participants in the new digital era. Acknowledging the benefits of data analytics for boosting scientific process, the chapter reflects on the main principles and specific research derogations, introduced by the EU General Data Protection Regulation. Further on, it discusses some of the most pressing ethics concerns, related to the use, reuse, and misuse of data; the distinction between publicly available and open data; ethics challenges in online recruitment of research participants; and the potential bias and representativeness problems of Big Data research. The chapter underscores that all challenges should be properly addressed at the outset of research design. Highlighting the power asymmetries between Big Data studies and individuals’ rights to data protection, human dignity, and respect for private and family life, the chapter argues that anonymization may be reasonable, yet not the ultimate ethics solution. It asserts that while anonymization techniques may protect individual data protection rights, the former may not be sufficient to prevent discrimination and stigmatization of entire groups of populations. Finally, the chapter suggests some approaches for ensuring ethics compliance in the digital era.