1. During the course of conducting a recent review into questions of scientific medical research misconduct, I have had occasion to consider, when a person suspects another of engaging in research misconduct, the best practice for:
a) receiving reports of that kind; and
b) dealing with those reports by way of investigation.
In this cogent and well-presented suggestion, Bruce Lander KC discusses a national investigative body for alleged research misconduct. We have discussed before our belief that institutions have an intolerable conflict of interest when it comes to the investigation and action on alleged research misconduct, we are also not convinced that ARIC really fills the need Australia has for an expert, independent and well-resourced body to act on such matters. Bruce’s suggestion is an incredibly welcome suggestion that could positively change the responsible research landscape in Australia.
3. Scientific research in Australia isa large industry. Medical research is a significant part of the research industry. Almost $2bn each year is provided for medical research by the Australian Government. The Australian Government and the Australian people are entitled to expect that those moneys will be used for the purpose they are provided and not wasted. The research industry’s reputation needs to be protected from persons or institutions that engage in research misconduct.
4. It is critical that medical research, as any other scientific research, 1s conducted transparently and honestly.
5. The National Health and Medical Research Council Act I992 (Cth) (“the HMRC Act”) has established the National Health Medical Research Council (“NHMRC”) 2 to pursue activities including:”