ACN - 101321555 Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)
Generic filters
Exact text matches only
Search into
Filter by Categories
Research integrity
Filter by Categories
Human Research Ethics

Resource Library

Research Ethics MonthlyAbout Us

ResourcesMerit and integrity

Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

(UK) Questionable activities of UK company Celixir, by Patricia Murray – ForBetterScience (Leonid Schneider | July 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on May 15, 2020

Patricia Murray uncovers the business secrets of the Nobelist Martin Evans and his partner Ajan Reginald. It seems the magic iMP cells used to treat patients in Greece were drawn from the blood of patients in Swansea, for the purpose of a secret PhD thesis. There is no serious science behind it, only serious investor money and a fraudulent patent.

Troubling story from the UK highlights that academic superstars can sometimes are not above seriously questionable activity.  An institution’s governance arrangements must never exclude someone just because of what benefits their reputation/performance confers to the host institution.

This guest post by Dr Patricia Murray, Professor of Cellular and Molecular Physiology at the University of Liverpool, UK, follows a previous article on my site regarding the business activities of the regenerative medicine company Celixir, owned by Sir Martin Evans, winner of the Nobel Prize of 2007 and former President of the University of Cardiff, and the struck-off dentist Ajan Reginald. Much of the contents in that story must be credited to Dr Murray, who is also an activist for medical ethics and research integrity in regenerative medicine and played a key role in uncovering the extent of the trachea transplant scandal in the UK in the aftermath of the Paolo Macchiarini affair, which recently made main news in the UK (here and here).

Murray’s activities led to a parliamentary investigations into the role of UCL and their professors, primarily Martin Birchall, in two deadly trachea transplants (here and here) and into the attitude of the journal The Lancet. Three clinical trials were permanently suspended or terminated following Murray’s advocacy for patient safety, it is likely that related trials at UCL and elsewhere in UK were also postponed indefinitely because of that. There were retaliations: UCL’s business partners, the trachea transplant company Videregen, deployed lawyers against Murray and her colleague (read here and here), without any success though.

In my view, Professor Murray is a true hero and the bravest scientist I ever had the honour to know. And yet she doesn’t even have a Twitter account.

Read the rest of this discussion piece

Reconsidering Dynamic Consent in Biobanking: Ethical and Political Consequences of Transforming Research Participants Into ICT Users (Papers: Alexandra Soulier | June 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on May 14, 2020

Biobanks are not new. However, the scope of their application is growing, especially in genomics. Biobanks are also currently being reorganized to enable more genomic samples to be made available for different types of studies. Some future uses of the biobanks cannot be anticipated.

Genomics, Bioinformatics, Real-time systems, Internet, Information and communication technology, Law

Soulier, A. (2019) “Reconsidering Dynamic Consent in Biobanking: Ethical and Political Consequences of Transforming Research Participants Into ICT Users,” in IEEE Technology and Society Magazine, vol. 38, no. 2, pp. 62-70, June 2019.

Medical science faces the post-truth era (Papers: Sebastian Heinrich | April 2020)0

Posted by Admin in on May 13, 2020


Purpose of review
Science and its public perception are compromised by scientific fraud and predatory journals, and also by the general erosion of the meaning of truth in the so-called post-truth era. These developments have significant influence on scientific medicine and their impact on the public discourse. The purpose of this article is to show how fake science, and also the uncritical dissemination of compromised results in public and social media, threatens scientific medicine.

Recent findings

There are very real and serious consequences that can arise from the publication of junk science.  It also can undermine public confidence in research.  Institutions and academic bodies must stamp out publication in questionable publishers. We have included links to 15 related reads.

As social media rises to the preferred source of information of ever larger parts of the modern societies, the dissemination of falsified scientific results within the communities is almost unstoppable. With growing numbers of predatory journals and repetitive cases of fake science, the risk of publication of false results increases. Due to the underlying mechanisms of the post-truth era and social media, these compromised results find their way to the public discourse and continue to be disseminated even when they were, beyond all doubt, proven to be a lie. In medical sciences, dissemination of falsified results directly threats health and life of patients.

In the post-truth era, publication of false results in predatory journals and by fraudulent authors become even more dangerous for the health and life of patients, as their dissemination via new social media is nearly unstoppable and in the public perception truth is losing its meaning. The scientific community has implemented specific counter-measures to minimize the chances of false results being published. However, it is even more important that every participant in the scientific process assumes the responsibility according to his or her role. An orientation towards the values that have constituted and formed science is helpful in fulfilling this responsibility.

fake science, loss of meaning of scientific truth, post-truth era, scientific fraud, value-based responsibility

Heinrich S. (2020) Medical science faces the post-truth era: a plea for the grassroot values of science. Current Opinion in Anaesthesiology. 2020 Apr; 33(2):198-202. DOI: 10.1097/aco.0000000000000833.

Kinder publishing practices should become the new normal – Times Higher Education (Phil Emmerson | April 2020)0

Posted by Admin in on May 12, 2020

Varying personal circumstances highlight the need for accommodations that outlive the coronavirus, says Phil Emmerson

The impact on teaching of the forced closure of university campuses around the world has understandably dominated institutional and
press attention, with lecturers scrambling to learn new technologies and pedagogies so that disruption is minimised.

But the implications of the coronavirus-related shutdown on research is also huge. Limited or no access to labs and research participants
combined with the need to share home workspaces with other family members present considerable challenges to productivity.

Moreover, many academics are overwhelmed by worry. Some have family members who are unwell, or are unwell themselves. Some have had to take over the primary care of loved ones. Many are also having to home-school their children. These caring roles mostly fall to women.

Read the rest of this discussion piece