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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Controversial Australian journalist’s paper flagged by journal – Retraction Watch (Alison McCook | September 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on September 26, 2017

The Journal of Biological Chemistry has added an expression of concern to a 2003 paper that arose from the PhD thesis of a once-prominent — and controversial — science journalist in Australia.

The first author of the paper is Maryanne Demasi, a journalist whose reporting created unintentional headlines in recent years. In 2013, she produced a controversial series about cholesterol and fat (and even cast doubt on cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins); in 2016, she was fired from the science program Catalyst, after it aired an episode alleging wi-fi could cause brain tumors.

Now, it appears the research community is taking a second look at some of the work underlying her PhD in rheumatology from Royal Adelaide Hospital. Here’s the notice from the journal:

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Ethical Requirements and Responsibilities in Video Methodologies: Considering Confidentiality and Representation in Social Justice Research (Papers: Steph M. Anderson and Carolina Muñoz Proto 2016)0

Posted by Admin in on October 30, 2016


In recent years, psychologists have begun to use video more frequently in qualitative research, in particular, within research on social justice. The non-confidential nature inherent in video, however, raises new ethical challenges for the field of psychology to address. Building upon a growing literature on video-based research, in this article, we use an illustrative case study to examine how researchers’ sense of ethical responsibility can find guidance from, clash against, or fill gaps left by extant federal and disciplinary ethical requirements. We focus specifically on issues of confidentiality and representation, highlighting the challenges and possibilities that video creates in relation to participants’ power, dignity, and participation and arguing that psychologists must systematically engage questions about ethical responsibilities throughout the design and implementation phases of a research project. In doing so, psychologists, their community partners, and students will be better able to articulate and problematize their assumptions and intentions regarding video work.

Anderson SM and Muñoz CP (2016) Ethical Requirements and Responsibilities in Video Methodologies: Considering Confidentiality and Representation in Social Justice Research. Social and Personality Psychology Compass. 10(7) pp377-389 DOI 10.1111/spc3.12259
Research Gate:…

Scientific Studies: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO May 2016)0

Posted by Admin in on September 22, 2016

John Oliver discusses how and why media outlets so often report untrue or incomplete information as science. You can find this video on YouTube.

Even though this characteristically witty reflection by John Oliver reduced us to hearty rolling-on-the-floor laughter it actually contains some important messages. In addition to poking fun at the way in which research is often reported by the tabloid media it does highlight the degree to which researchers need to be careful when reporting the outcomes of research, the need to support/recognise replication work, and why we all need to be wary of ‘news headline’ reporting of science.

The Oaxaca Incident: A geographer’s efforts to map a Mexican village reveal the risks of military entanglement – The Chronicle of Higher Education (Paul Voosen 2016)0

Posted by Admin in on May 10, 2016

An American scholar. A Mexican village. The U.S. military. What could go wrong?

On most maps, Tiltepec doesn’t look like much. A Zapotec village of several hundred indigenous people, Tiltepec clings to the steep slopes of the Sierra Juárez, a formidable range in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca. Its people have lived there for generations in relative isolation under the shadow of Cerro Negro, where once their ancestors forced conquistadors off a cliff to the Rio Vera below. The valley teems with ancient earthen terraces, platforms, and sacred caves. Yet find Tiltepec on government maps and all you’ll see is bare topography and a name. Viewed on Google Earth, it’s even less — a few patches of white rectangles drowned in forest. For most of the world, Tiltepec might as well not exist.

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