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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.

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.

Read the rest of this discussion piece

(Australia) Industrial umpire lashes universities ‘obsessed’ with rankings and reputation – Sydney Morning Herald (Nick Bonyhady & Natassia Chrysanthos | March 2020)0

Posted by Admin in on March 15, 2020

The Fair Work Commission has ordered the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) to reinstate and backpay a dismissed business school lecturer as it criticised the higher education sector for being “obsessed” with top research rankings, reputation and attracting student money.

A timely story about an appalling obsession which is twisting and distorting academia. Universities are behaving in an awful manner in our experience the culture it engenders is horrendous.

Lucy Zhao was fired from UTS in August last year for “unsatisfactory performance” after the university decided she was not publishing enough articles in prestigious academic journals given her experience.

Dr Zhao, who worked at the university from 2005, said she had been “shocked and disappointed” when her supervisor – head of the finance department Professor David Michayluk – put her on a formal “performance improvement plan” in early 2018.

Professor Michayluk told the commission he ultimately decided to terminate Dr Zhao’s employment because he did not “see any improvement on the quality of her research”, despite her receiving support and counselling.

Read the rest of this news story and discussion piece

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

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.

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

Global Code of Conduct for Research in Resource-Poor Settings (TRUST Resource | May 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on February 11, 2020

Access by researchers to any biological or agricultural resources, human biological materials, traditional knowledge, cultural artefacts or non-renewable.

A useful TRUST resource to guide international research (of any discipline) that is conducted in poor settings. The resource includes 18 articles.

Global Code of Conduct for Research in Resource-Poor Settings. This Global Code of Conduct for Research in Resource-Poor Settings counters ethics dumping by: providing guidance across all research disciplines. presenting clear, short statements in simple language to achieve the highest possible accessibility.

ThisGlobalCodeofConductforResearchin Resource-Poor Settings counters ethics dumping by:

• Providing guidance across all research disciplines

Access the resource