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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Want to do better science? Admit you’re not objective – Nature (Angela Saini | March 2020)0

Posted by Admin in on March 19, 2020
 

When science is viewed in isolation from the past and politics, it’s easier for those with bad intentions to revive dangerous and discredited ideas.

One of the world’s leading universities — University College London (UCL) — has completed an inquiry into its support for the discredited pseudoscience of eugenics. Funds linked to Francis Galton, a racist who believed it was possible to improve the British population through selective breeding, and who founded the Eugenics Records Office at UCL in 1904, continue to line the university’s coffers to the value of more than £800,000 (US$1 million).

An important idea, which should inform practice – especially when we comment on social factors.

The inquiry’s report, released on 28 February, recommended renaming lecture theatres and buildings bearing Galton’s name and that of another prominent geneticist. Although this is welcome, it does not acknowledge just how much yesterday’s mistakes survive in modern science.
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As I found while writing my 2019 book Superior: The Return of Race Science, geneticists today rightly treat eugenics as a laughable proposition, and the concept of biological race — the belief that humans can be subdivided into distinct groups with meaningful differences between them — as easily debunked nonsense. But this ignores how these ideas manifest in the real world. They can only be truly understood as age-old intellectual threads, embedded in politics as much now as ever.
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Ethical Procedures? A Critical Intervention: The sacred, the profane, and the planet (Papers: Keyan Tomaselli | 2017))0

Posted by Admin in on February 13, 2020
 

Abstract
Issues relating to ethical clearance, how these procedures relate to very different ontologies, ways of making sense, conditions of existence, and the ideological implications thereof are critically discussed. Written as an invited intervention, the author takes readers through a variety of paradigms: indigenous approaches involving the sacred and the profane, instrumentalization of research; multispeciesism and research as a lived practice. Comments are offered on the nature of science and some questions are posed on the contradictions of ethical practices that readers encounter. The method is eclectic, read through a Peirceian pragmatism, and the outcome proposes relationality rather than the inevitability of discrete findings. Some conclusions are offered on the geographical distribution of populations sampled.

Keywords
Ethical clearance; indigenous methods; multispeciesism; fieldwork, pragmatism

Tomaselli, Keyan. (2017). Ethical Procedures? A Critical Intervention: The sacred, the profane, and the planet. The Ethnographic Edge. 1. 3. 10.15663/tee.v1i1.21
ResearchGate: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/321749816_Ethical_Procedures_A_Critical_Intervention_The_sacred…

There’s ‘consent’ and then there’s consent: Mobilising Māori and Indigenous research ethics to problematise the western biomedical model (Papers: Kiri West-McGruer | January 2020)0

Posted by Admin in on January 23, 2020
 

Abstract

A fascinating recent paper from New Zealand reflecting on Māori research ethics, consent, First People, collective outlooks, sociology, big data and genuine respect

Challenging western research conventions has a strong documented history in Indigenous critical theory and Kaupapa Māori research discourse. This article will draw from the existing research in these fields and expand on some of the core critiques of the biomedical model in Māori research environments. Of interest are the tensions produced by an over-reliance on individual informed consent as the panacea of ethical research, particularly when the research concerns communities who prioritise collective autonomy. These tensions are further exacerbated in research environments where knowledge is commodified and issues of knowledge ownership are present. Continuing a critique of the informed consenting procedure, this article considers its role in emulating a capitalist exchange of goods and perpetuating a knowledge economy premised on the exploitation of Indigenous people, resources and knowledge. Finally, this article will consider emerging ethical concerns regarding secondary data use in an era of big data.
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Keywords
Informed consent, collective autonomy, Māori research ethics, western biomedical model, scandal and response

West-McGruer, K. (2020). There’s ‘consent’ and then there’s consent: Mobilising Māori and Indigenous research ethics to problematise the western biomedical model. Journal of Sociology. https://doi.org/10.1177/1440783319893523
Publisher: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1440783319893523
ResearchGate: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/338556502_There’s_’consent’_and_then…

(China) Ideological ‘rectification’ hits social sciences research – University World News (Yojana Sharma | December 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on December 15, 2019
 

Social sciences research in China, not as well funded in the past as the hard sciences, is undergoing an even further narrowing so that research more closely serves the purposes of the state, experts have said, with some going as far as to say social sciences in China have undergone political rectification under Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

As part of China’s control over the intelligentsia, there has been greater focus on moulding the social sciences, including law, economics, political science, sociology and ethnic studies, to be politically correct, according to Carl Minzner, professor of law at Fordham University, New York, and an expert on Chinese law and politics.

“In the past four or five years they [the Chinese leadership] have been in an effort to politically sanitise the social sciences in China,” Minzner told University World News. “They were worried that they had lost control over the narrative, and that there were too many critical voices emerging within university classrooms in China.”

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