ACN - 101321555 Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)
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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Rethinking Informed Consent in Biobanking and Biomedical Research: a Taiwanese Aboriginal Perspective and the Implementation of Group Consultation (Papers: Chih-hsing Ho | 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on February 1, 2018

The current informed consent mechanism is based mainly on the rationale of individualism, particularly for its emphasis on autonomy and self-determination. However, in biobanking and genetic research, research findings may pose a risk of harm to the collective, quite aside from a particular individual. Under this circumstance, individual consent needs to be supplemented by other mechanisms, such as group consent obtained from the relevant group or community. In Taiwan, the inclusion of Taiwanese aborigines in biobanking and genetic research challenges the conventional wisdom of individual consent-taking, which overlooks the significance of collective involvement in decision-making. This paper discusses the rationale of the group consent requirement in Taiwan, which seeks to include Taiwanese aborigines’ perspectives, and the related measures that have been pronounced to implement group consultation. It is further argued that consent procedures should not be transactional in being primarily focused on types of information that is to be communicated. Rather, it should be a process that ensures comprehension, empowerment and trust.

Informed consent, Biobanking, Biomedical research. Group consultation, Taiwanese aborigines, Human Subjects Research Act

Ho, C.-h. (2017). “Rethinking Informed Consent in Biobanking and Biomedical Research: a Taiwanese Aboriginal Perspective and the Implementation of Group Consultation.” Asian Bioethics Review 9(4): 353-365.
Publisher (Open Access):

Do consultancies compromise academic research and ethics? A case study of Burma/Myanmar (Papers: Ardeth Maung Thawnghmung | April 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on December 24, 2017

This paper contributes to ongoing debates about interactions between the political science discipline and policymaking communities by analysing the role played by scholars who work as consultants for governments, non-governmental organizations, and international aid agencies in conflict-affected and post-conflict societies. It argues that although consultancies permit scholars to engage with policy communities and provide convenient access for data collection, they also present methodological constraints and can complicate and compromise research ethics due to the inherent tensions linking the two different realms with their differing norms, agendas, and goals. The findings are based on the author’s decades of field experience in Myanmar, a country which has recently received much attention from the international community, on interviews with nine PhD candidates or PhD holders who have been employed as consultants for aid agencies in Myanmar and Southeast Asia, and analysis of secondary sources on countries with similar situations.

Consultancy, Qualitative Research Method, Myanmar/Burma, Research Ethics, Policy-making, Transitional Democracies

Thawnghmung AM. (2017). Do consultancies compromise academic research and ethics? A case study of Burma/Myanmar. Asian Journal of Political Science 25(2): 176-193.
Research Gate: …/publication/316061682_Do_consultancies_compromise_academic_research_and_ethics…


Global Health Research in an Unequal World: Ethics Case Studies from Africa (Gemma Aellah | 2016)0

Posted by Admin in on November 23, 2017

Conducting good, ethical global health research is now more important than ever. Increased global mobility and connectivity mean that in today’s world there is no such thing as ‘local health’. How we experience the effects of disease may be shaped by our particular social and political-economic circumstances, but the sick in one part of the world and the healthy in another are connected through economics, politics, media, and imagination, as well as by the infectiousness of disease. Global health research carried out through transnational collaboration is one crucial way in which people from far-flung geographic regions relate to each other. Good global health research, and the relationships it creates, therefore, concerns us all.

This book is a collection of fictionalized case studies of everyday ethical dilemmas and challenges often encountered in the process of conducting global health research in Africa where the effects of global, political and economic inequality are particularly evident. Our aim is to create a training tool which can begin to fill the gap between research ethics guidelines and their implementation ‘on the ground’. The case studies, therefore, focus on everyday or ‘relational’ ethics: ethical actions and ideas that emerge through relations with others in context, rather than in universal principles or abstract regulations

Aellah, G; Chantler, T; Geissler, PW (2016) Global Health Research in an Unequal World: Ethics Case Studies from Africa CABI: Oxfordshire, UK. Available at:

‘World-class universities’ – The accountability gap – University World News (Paul Benneworth | October 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on November 5, 2017

It is interesting to see the ‘world-class university’ wrestling with some of the tensions that exist when they try to justify themselves on anything more than their own excellence. The original model proposed by Jamil Salmi a decade ago was valued for its ability to bring prestige to the host country through its research excellence and talent attraction rather than being valued for its wider public benefits.

An article about how rarely the socially marginalised can influence universities’ research agendas, especially in the face of corporate and government interests. We slotted this into the human research ethics category but such matters really better fits at a level above the bureaucratic domains assigned to human research ethics, research integrity, biosafety, etc.

Last week, Lin Tian, Yan Wu and Niancai Liu reflected in University World News on the potential that ‘world-class universities’ or WCUs offer to drive societal development beyond merely creating human capital. In their article, “A shift to the global common good in higher education”, they argue that world-class universities make valuable contributions to the public common good, mobilising collective, shared endeavours that benefit all participants.

Service mission

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