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(US) University of Illinois at Chicago Missed Warning Signs of Research Going Awry, Letters Show – Propublica Illinois (Jodi S. Cohen | March 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on March 31, 2019

UIC has played down its shortcomings in overseeing the work of a prominent child psychiatrist, but newly obtained documents show that the school acknowledged its lapses to federal officials.

This story was co-published with The Chronicle of Higher Education and the Chicago Sun-Times.

For a year, the University of Illinois at Chicago has downplayed its shortcomings in overseeing the work of a prominent child psychiatrist who violated research protocols and put vulnerable children with bipolar disorder at risk.

But documents newly obtained by ProPublica Illinois show that UIC acknowledged to federal officials that it had missed several warning signs that Dr. Mani Pavuluri’s clinical trial on lithium had gone off track, eventually requiring the university to pay an unprecedented $3.1 million penalty to the federal government.

UIC’s Institutional Review Board, the committee responsible for protecting research subjects, improperly fast-tracked approval of Pavuluri’s clinical trial, didn’t catch serious omissions from the consent forms parents had to sign and allowed children to enroll in the study even though they weren’t eligible, the documents show.

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(US) Duke whistleblower gets more than $33 million in research fraud settlement – NPR (Bill Chappell | March 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on March 30, 2019

Duke University is paying the U.S. government $112.5 million to settle accusations that it submitted bogus data to win federal research grants. The settlement will also bring a $33.75 million payment to Joseph Thomas, the whistleblower who drew attention to the fraud when he worked for Duke.

Thomas, a former Duke lab analyst, sued the university on behalf of the federal government, saying that a Duke researcher fudged data to help the university win and keep lucrative grants from two agencies, the National Institutes of Health and the Environmental Protection Agency.

The dozens of grants in question covered the study of the lung function of mice. The Justice Department says Thomas’ lawsuit alleged that “between 2006 and 2018, Duke knowingly submitted and caused to be submitted” claims to federal agencies that were unknowingly paying grant money for falsified research data. It adds that while the agreement settles the court case, it does not mean Duke has been determined liable.

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(US) NIH apologizes for its failure to address sexual harassment in science – STAT (Lev Facher | February 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on March 29, 2019

Recognising you have made a mistake and apologising for it are obviously essential steps, but that isn’t all that is required when you’re talking about systemic sexual harassment. And in Australia we have…

WASHINGTON — The National Institutes of Health on Thursday apologized for its past failures to recognize and address the culture of sexual harassment that has impacted scientists for generations.

“To all those who have endured these experiences, we are sorry that it has taken so long to acknowledge and address the climate and culture that has caused such harm,” NIH Director Francis Collins said in a statement.

Sexual harassment in science, Collins said, is “morally indefensible, it’s unacceptable, and it presents a major obstacle that is keeping women from achieving their rightful place in science.”

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Sexual harassment rife in Australian science, suggests first workplace survey – Science (February 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on March 26, 2019

One in two female respondents to a national poll has been sexually harassed at work.

Nearly half the female scientists who responded to an Australian survey on sexual misconduct at work have experienced sexual harassment. In a report released today, 10% of male scientists also said they had been sexually harassed at work.

As we have observed before (see the list of related stories/papers) this situation is sickening and unacceptable. Many Australia research institutions have separate HR processes for harassment and bullying – which is acceptable if they are supportive of the concern raised with them. But harassment and bullying needs also to be defined as research misconduct. The accomplishments of researchers shouldn’t be lauded if they are harassers or bullies.

The poll represents the first investigation into the prevalence of sexual harassment among Australian scientists and technologists working in industry, the public sector or non-profit organizations, as well as academia. Almost 300 science professionals answered the questions in an online poll conducted by Science & Technology Australia (STA), an organization based in Canberra that lobbies for the interests of scientists.

Previous surveys of students in Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom have found widespread harassment at universities. The latest results show that harassment is rife across all types of scientific workplace.

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