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ResourcesHuman Research EthicsEurope’s biggest research fund cracks down on ‘ethics dumping’ – Nature (Linda Nordling | July 2018)

Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Europe’s biggest research fund cracks down on ‘ethics dumping’ – Nature (Linda Nordling | July 2018)

 


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The practice of conducting ethically dubious research in foreign countries is under fresh scrutiny.

Ethics dumping — doing research deemed unethical in a scientist’s home country in a foreign setting with laxer ethical rules — will be rooted out in research funded by the European Union, officials announced last week.

A commendable move by the EU, which at least, in theory, is addressed by the provisions of national research ethics frameworks such as Australia’s National Statement, but peak research funding bodies should consider the merits a similarly clear statement in its funding criteria.

Applications to the EU’s €80-billion (US$93-billion) Horizon 2020 research fund will face fresh levels of scrutiny to make sure that research practices deemed unethical in Europe are not exported to other parts of the world. Wolfgang Burtscher, the European Commission’s deputy director-general for research, made the announcement at the European Parliament in Brussels on 29 June.
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Burtscher said that a new code of conduct developed to curb ethics dumping will soon be applied to all EU-funded research projects. That means applicants will be referred to the code when they submit their proposals, and ethics committees will use the document when considering grant applications.
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