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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

‘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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(Australia) Caught Our Notice: Ethics, data concerns prompt another retraction for convicted researchers – Retraction Watch (Alison Abritis | November 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on November 4, 2017

Title: Unravelling the influence of mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) on cognitive-linguistic processing: A comparative group analysis

What Caught our Attention: RW readers might already be familiar with Caroline Barwood and Bruce Murdoch, two researchers from Australia who had the rare distinction of being criminally charged for research misconduct. Both Barwood and Murdoch received suspended sentences after being found guilty of multiple counts of fraud. In September 2014, University of Queensland announcedthat:

“UQ subsequently examined 92 papers published since 2007 by former staff members Bruce Murdoch and Caroline Barwood. The examination did not reveal any other instances of research not supported by primary data or of research undertaken without ethics approval.

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Also see
(07/01/17) Remaining fraud charges withdrawn for Parkinson’s… – Retraction Watch
(9/11/16) Tougher action needed in the fight against… – The Conversation
(26/10/2016) Academic misconduct claims: Fresh call for national body – The Australian
(25/10/16) Parkinson’s researcher avoids jail following… – Retraction Watch
(24/10/16) Australian court finds Parkinson’s researcher guilty of fraud – Retraction Watch
(17/10/16) Parkinson’s researcher in Australia pleads not… – Retraction Watch
(14/10/16) Parkinson’s researcher with three retractions heads to court… – Retraction Watch

(21/07/16)  4th retraction for neuroscientist sentenced for fraud – Retraction Watch
(31/03/16) Bruce Murdoch: Former University of Queensland professor given suspended… – Courier Mail


Ethics, human rights and responsible innovation – The Ethics Blog (Josepine Fernow | October 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on November 3, 2017

It is difficult to predict the consequences of developing and using new technologies. We interact with smart devices and intelligent software on an almost daily basis. Some of us use prosthetics and implants to go about our business and most of us will likely live to see self-driving cars. In the meantime, Swedish research shows that petting robot cats looks promising in the care of patients with dementia. Genetic tests are cheaper than ever, and available to both patients and consumers. If you spit in a tube and mail it to a US company, they will tell you where your ancestors are from. Who knows? You could be part sub Saharan African, and part Scandinavian at the same time, and (likely) still be you.

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Swedish review board finds misconduct by Macchiarini, calls for six retractions – Retraction Watch (Alison McCook | October 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on November 1, 2017

An ethical review board in Sweden is asking journals to retract six papers co-authored by former star surgeon Paolo Macchiarini, after concluding that he and his co-authors committed misconduct.

One of the papers is the seminal 2011 article in The Lancet, which described the first case of a transplant using an artificial trachea seeded with the patient’s own stem cells, and now bears an expression of concern from The Lancet editors. Over time, multiple authors have asked to be removed from the paper.

The Expert Group on Scientific Misconduct at the Central Ethical Review Board has determined that concerns over that paper — and five others co-authored by Macchiarini, once based at the Karolinska Institutet (KI) — were justified. In a press release, it says:

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Also see
(29/09/2016) – Macchiarini scandal: overstepping the research ethics mark – Euroscientist
(01/09/2017) – Dr Con Man: the rise and fall of a celebrity scientist who fooled… – The Guardian