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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

A Guide to Professional in Political Science (Guidelies: APSA | 2012)0

Posted by Admin in on May 19, 2017

Political scientists share problems in common with practitioners of other scholarly disciplines. They also frequently encounter ethical problems unique to their professional concerns. The purpose of this Guide is to provide an authoritative statement of ethical principles for political scientists, particularly for those newly entering the profession.
In 1967 the APSA created a committee with a broad mandate to explore matters “relevant to the problems of maintaining a high sense of professional standards and responsibilities.” That committee, chaired by Marver H. Bernstein1, published its report, “Ethical Problems of Academic Political Scientists,” in the summer 1968 issue of PS. An enduring contribution of this committee was the development of a written code consisting of twenty-one rules of professional conduct. The Bernstein Report, as it came to be called, also recommended the appointment of a Standing Committee on Professional Ethics and such a committee was duly created in 1968.
The title, the work, and the jurisdiction of the Standing Committee have been in a process of continuous evolution since that time. Its original jurisdiction, for example, did not include individual cases. The Committee was at first envisaged as an educational body to “protect the rights of political scientists” by the issuance of advisory opinions to guide the professional behavior of political scientists. Twenty-three advisory opinions have been adopted since the Committee was established.

Read the guidelines

Friday afternoon’s funny – How research ethics committees got started0

Posted by Admin in on May 19, 2017

Cartoon by Don Mayne

Oh there is sooooo much we could say about the matters alluded to by this chuckle-worthy cartoon. Indeed really reflecting on those matters has pretty much been at the core of our professional, academic and consultancy work these last few decades.

Promoting Responsible Research Conduct: A South African Perspective (Papers: Lyn Horn | 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on May 13, 2017

A great deal of effort has gone into developing capacity in the sphere of human research protection programmes in South Africa and Africa over the last decade or more, by several international organisations. However the promotion of the broader agenda of research integrity or ‘RCR’ (Responsible Conduct of Research) has lagged behind. From a global perspective South Africa and other African countries are actively involved in research endeavours and collaborations across a very broad spectrum of scientific fields. For this research to fulfil its potential social value it must be reliable and trustworthy and hence it is essential that research institutions and universities take the promotion of research integrity seriously. The purpose of this paper is to consider the role of an institutional office of research integrity within the context of academic research particularly in South Africa but also in Africa. I will reflect on my own experience over a period of five years as a research integrity officer at a South African academic institution to highlight concerns in five domains; the promotion of an ethic of responsibility in opposition to compliance and bureaucracy, collaboration ethics and collegiality especially in the context of North-South collaborations, authorship and publication ethics, the problem of plagiarism and the utility of policy and procedure. I will suggest that the establishment of such an office can be of great value in the promotion of a broad culture of research ethics and responsible research conduct. The possible role and scope of function of an institutional office of research integrity will be briefly outlined.

Research integrity, Research ethics, Institutional review board, Plagiarism, Compliance

Horn, LJ (2017) Promoting Responsible Research Conduct: A South African Perspective. Journal of Academic Ethics 15(1) 59-72. doi:10.1007/s10805-016-9272-8

Hey, Computer Scientists! Stop Hating on the Humanities – Wired (Emma Pierson | April 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on May 7, 2017

AS A COMPUTER science PhD student, I am a disciple of big data. I see no ground too sacred for statistics: I have used it to study everything from sex to Shakespeare, and earned angry retorts for these attempts to render the ineffable mathematical. At Stanford I was given, as a teenager, weapons both elegant and lethal—algorithms that could pick out the terrorists most worth targeting in a network, detect someone’s dissatisfaction with the government from their online writing.

This discussion piece is quite different from our usual inclusions in the Resource Library but we found it thoroughly engrossing and we hope you will as well.

Computer science is wondrous. The problem is that many people in Silicon Valley believe that it is all that matters. You see this when recruiters at career fairs make it clear they’re only interested in the computer scientists; in the salary gap between engineering and non-engineering students; in the quizzical looks humanities students get when they dare to reveal their majors. I’ve watched brilliant computer scientists display such woeful ignorance of the populations they were studying that I laughed in their faces. I’ve watched military scientists present their lethal innovations with childlike enthusiasm while making no mention of whom the weapons are being used on. There are few things scarier than a scientist who can give an academic talk on how to shoot a human being but can’t reason about whether you should be shooting them at all.
The fact that so many computer scientists are ignorant or disdainful of non-technical approaches is worrisome because in my work, I’m constantly confronting questions that can’t be answered with code. When I coded at Coursera, an online education company, I developed an algorithm that would recommend classes to people in part based on their gender. But the company decided not to use it when we discovered it would push women away from computer science classes.

Read the rest of this discussion piece