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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

We talked to the scientist at the center of a brutal firestorm in the field of psychology – Business Insider: Australia (Rafi Letzter: September 2016)0

Posted by Admin in on November 13, 2016

On Thursday, I wrote an article about a firestorm in the field of psychology.

Susan Fiske, a Princeton University social psychologist and former president of the Association for Psychological Science (APS), had written a column for the newsletter APS Observer arguing that there was a serious problem of anonymous, ad-hominem attacks among researchers in the field. She accused psychologists, who she did not name, of what she termed “methodological terrorism.”

The column leaked online ahead of its scheduled publication, and sparked a firestorm of ridicule and critique.

Read the rest of the interview and this discussion piece

Peer review: the benefits of leaving it open – Biomed Central Blog (Francesca Martin: September 2016)0

Posted by Admin in on November 11, 2016

In this podcast, we talk to Professor Ian Cree, section editor for BMC Cancer, about open peer review and recognition for those participating in it.

Not all reviewers hide behind a cloak of anonymity. If given the chance, many choose to be highly critical and not always kind. With open peer review, reviewers tend to be more respectful and constructive when passing judgement which helps the overall situation.

Professor Cree believes that it’s important to treat authors with respect as you would if they were presenting data in front of you at a scientific meeting. Constructive criticism encourages authors to take on board productive comments and improve their work accordingly.

Access the podcast

Did medicine save the life of ethics? – The Ethics Blog (Pär Segerdahl: October 2016)0

Posted by Admin in on November 10, 2016

About thirty-five years ago, Stephen Toulmin wrote an article on the topic: How medicine saved the life of ethics. I think it is still worth reading.

Toulmin argued roughly as follows:

During the first six decades of the 1900s, ethics wasn’t feeling well at all. One might say that it suffered from moral aphasia: it couldn’t talk sensibly about real ethical problems.

Read the rest of this discussion piece
Read Toulmin’s seminal article

A fascinating experiment into measuring dishonesty: Is peer review a major determent in keeping science honest? – Elsevier Connect (Dan Ariely and Yael Melamede: September 2016)0

Posted by Admin in on November 9, 2016

Scientific misconduct is a serious issue that has resulted in hefty fines, ruined reputations and even prison sentences.

To be honest we included this in the Resource Library primarily because we were intrigued by the ethics of the described experiment. The film is also now on our ‘to watch’ list.

If a scientific paper is a building block in the foundation of knowledge of a specific subject area, a fraudulent paper has the potential to destabilize anything that is built upon it.
But just how dishonest are we as humans? Can you even measure dishonesty? And do existing peer-review and ethics guidelines deter researchers from heading down this path?
With these questions in mind, Darren Sugrue, Marketing Communications Manager, Elsevier, reached out to Professor Dan Ariely and Yael Melamede (producer of Oscar-winning Inocente) and asked them to share some of their findings while making the recent documentary (Dis)Honesty: The Truth About Lies.

Read the rest of this interview and discussion piece