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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

The Ethics of Political Science Research and Teaching in MENA – (Conference | 2015)0

Posted by Admin in on May 19, 2017

9-11 June 2015, Rabat, Morocco

Funded by the American Political Science Association MENA Program and Carnegie Corporation of New York, the LSE Middle East Centre and King Mohammed V University in Rabat co-hosted a workshop on ‘The Ethics of Political Science Research and Teaching in MENA’. A discussion was held between researchers and scholars facing shared challenges, in terms of human subject protection, identity of the researcher, increased state surveillance, working in conflict areas and with vulnerable people. Participants also shared best practices of teaching political science inside the region. The workshop follows on the efforts of POMEPS at George Washington University.

A workshop bibliography is available to download. Memos by most of the workshop participants were posted on our blog, with links below.

View event web site

A Guide to Professional in Political Science (Guidelies: APSA | 2012)0

Posted by Admin in on May 19, 2017

Political scientists share problems in common with practitioners of other scholarly disciplines. They also frequently encounter ethical problems unique to their professional concerns. The purpose of this Guide is to provide an authoritative statement of ethical principles for political scientists, particularly for those newly entering the profession.
In 1967 the APSA created a committee with a broad mandate to explore matters “relevant to the problems of maintaining a high sense of professional standards and responsibilities.” That committee, chaired by Marver H. Bernstein1, published its report, “Ethical Problems of Academic Political Scientists,” in the summer 1968 issue of PS. An enduring contribution of this committee was the development of a written code consisting of twenty-one rules of professional conduct. The Bernstein Report, as it came to be called, also recommended the appointment of a Standing Committee on Professional Ethics and such a committee was duly created in 1968.
The title, the work, and the jurisdiction of the Standing Committee have been in a process of continuous evolution since that time. Its original jurisdiction, for example, did not include individual cases. The Committee was at first envisaged as an educational body to “protect the rights of political scientists” by the issuance of advisory opinions to guide the professional behavior of political scientists. Twenty-three advisory opinions have been adopted since the Committee was established.

Read the guidelines

Friday afternoon’s funny – How research ethics committees got started0

Posted by Admin in on May 19, 2017

Cartoon by Don Mayne

Oh there is sooooo much we could say about the matters alluded to by this chuckle-worthy cartoon. Indeed really reflecting on those matters has pretty much been at the core of our professional, academic and consultancy work these last few decades.

First, Do No Harm: The US Sexually Transmitted Disease Experiments in Guatemala (Papers: Michael Rodriguez and Robert García | 2013)0

Posted by Admin in on May 18, 2017


Consolidated information about horrifying US research conducted in Guatemala in the late Forties around the same time the Nuremberg War Trials were underway. The project involved deception, lack of genuine consent, intentional infection (and reinfection) with STDs, participation of minors, people living with a mental illness and Indigenous people. There is evidence to suggest the researchers conducted the work in Guatemala precisely because the researchers knew they would never be able to conduct the research in mainland US. It was 2011 before the US made an official apology about this staggering case.

Beginning in 1946, the United States government immorally and unethically—and, arguably, illegally—engaged in research experiments in which more than 5000 uninformed and unconsenting Guatemalan people were intentionally infected with bacteria that cause sexually transmitted diseases. Many have been left untreated to the present day.
Although US President Barack Obama apologized in 2010, and although the US Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues found the Guatemalan experiments morally wrong, little if anything has been done to compensate the victims and their families.
We explore the backdrop for this unethical medical research and violation of human rights and call for steps the United States should take to provide relief and compensation to Guatemala and its people.

Rodriguez MA, & García R. (2013). First, Do No Harm: The US Sexually Transmitted Disease Experiments in Guatemala. American Journal of Public Health, 103(12), 2122–2126.
Publisher (open access):

Also read
2014 paper by Barry Lyons
2015 video recording of a lecture by Daniel Sulmasy
Link to 2011 Presidential Commission report (PDF)