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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

He Tangata Kei Tua Guidelines for Biobanking with Māori0

Posted by Admin in on December 6, 2016

Kei tua o te awe māpara he tangata kē, he mā?


Māori ethical frameworks recognise that all research in New Zealand is of interest to Māori and outline community expectations of appropriate behavior in research to deliver the best outcomes for Māori. Research contributes to the broader development objectives of society and this endeavor is being supported by biobanking infrastructure. Ethics has a specific role in guiding key behaviours, processes and methodologies used in research. This document outlines a framework for addressing Māori ethical issues within the context of biobanking. It draws on a foundation of mātauranga (Indigenous knowledge) and tikanga Māori (Māori protocols and practices) and will be useful for researchers, ethics committee members and those who engage in consultation or advice about biobanking with Māori in local, regional, national or international settings.

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On the Origins of Research Ethics: China and the West – Blog (Craig Klugman, Ph.D July 2015)0

Posted by Admin in on December 4, 2016

When I was a graduate student, I was fortunate to be one of five students chosen by the China Medical Board to attend an international bioethics conference between the U.S. and China in Beijing. We listened to talks on the philosophical bases of ethics in each country and culture. The U.S. laid its philosophical history on the doorsteps of the ancient Greek traditions such as Plato and Aristotle as well as later European thinkers such as Kant, Mill, and Bentham. The Chinese delegates talked of Confucius and Lao Tzu. We toured a hospital and a medical school. I still have a black plastic plate with the image of the medical college drawn in a gold color that was a gift to us guests.

I was assigned to a break out session where both countries were supposed to talk about values of medical ethics in the hopes of crafting an international and intercultural code of medical ethics. As a graduate student I asked the too-wise-for-my-britches question, “How can we create an international code of ethics when we are only two countries?” I was quickly quieted as the chair, an illustrious scholar, said, “Privacy. We can agree that privacy is important, correct.” There was a lot of chatter and head nodding. Another American student sitting next to me, whispered in my ear, “I don’t know all of what they said in Chinese, but the last part was, ‘Don’t translate this for the Americans’.” The interpreter then said out loud, “Yes, we can agree to privacy.”

Two days later at the closing ceremony, a written document was placed before the head of each delegation. A list of agreed upon values and ideas was read to the audience. A pen was handed to each leader. The Chinese leader stopped and after a brief statement, the interpreter said, “We cannot sign this. We do not agree with it.” What had been lost in cultural translation was that in China, one does not contradict a guest and we were the guests.

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Research ethics education in Korea for overcoming culture and value system differences (Papers: Hwan-Jin Nho 2016)0

Posted by Admin in on December 2, 2016


Although ethical standards and procedures for research in Korea have developed closer to global standards, applying those standards and procedures have led significant conflicts widely due to the cultural differences. In Korea where relationship-centered East Asian values are crucial, it is difficult for ‘internal whistle-blowing’ and ‘conflicts of interest management’ to function properly. At universities, it is difficult to form an equal relationship to have a free discussion between professors and students. Also, the research community has been influenced by side effects such as ‘respect for quantity and speed’, ‘excessive competition’, and ‘mammonism’ that have permeated Korean society during its modernization process. Students have taken such values for granted, too. These circumstances disable research ethics system to function properly and have negative influence on organization development by discouraging open innovation.

In this context, how can we educate students to follow the global standards as well as dealing with conflicts derived from cultural differences wisely? I propose that the overarching principle of research ethics education should not be a ‘delivery of knowledge’ but be a ‘change in the way of thinking’. In this paper, five-stage education is proposed. As education methods, discussing of dilemma cases, avoiding remote online education and leading the whole team teaching classes by one head lecturer are recommended. In addition, classroom education should be provided together with social education to change the students’ ways of thinking.

As for social education, self-effort of universities and operational behaviour of research laboratories are two most important aspects. The government should establish legislation and expand financial support to facilitate these changes. It is very important that the universities should become key drivers that purify their member societies so that the nation may prosper.

Research ethics Research ethics education Scope of research ethics Disparity in Korean society Educational method

Nho HJJ (2016) Research ethics education in Korea for overcoming culture and value system differences. Journal of Open Innovation: Technology, Market, and Complexity 2(4) DOI: 10.1186/s40852-016-0030-3
Publisher (Open access): 

Canadian researcher in legal battle to keep her interviews confidential – Science (Wayne Kondro | November 2016)0

Posted by Admin in on December 1, 2016

When Canadian graduate student Marie-Ève Maillé held interviews with 93 people in 2010 about a massive wind farm being built in the Arthabaska region of Quebec, she made a promise that social scientists routinely make: that her respondents would remain anonymous, and that nobody would be able to trace quotes in her thesis back to them.

Disturbing use of a court order to silence academics acting as expert witnesses in the face of corporate interests in Canada.

Maillé, now an adjunct professor in social and public communications with the University of Quebec in Montreal, Canada, never expected that promise would be challenged in court. But a judge has sided with a company seeking access to the data in a legal case that has Canadian scientists up in arms. The issue has exposed the fact that “academic privilege”—special rights granted to researchers—and researcher-participant confidentiality are little more than conventions without a legal basis.
In a letter published in the Le Devoir newspaper earlier this month, more than 200 Quebec scientists expressed fear that the case will stifle participation in research. Maillé frets that it will tempt more corporations to use the legal system to deter researchers from testifying or undermine their credibility. “Every time someone will want to get rid of a scientist in a lawsuit, they will just try to get the data, and some researchers will probably give up the data,” she says.

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