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Research ethics

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Research undertaken on beagles and the contraceptive pill in the 1970s was found to be fabricated - there never were any beagles.. Flickr

Fabricating and plagiarising: when researchers lie

There are a few things you might need for an experiment involving beagles and the side effects of contraceptive pills. Animal research ethics aside, beagles might be a good start. Sadly, one researcher…
Old fashioned scandals meet new-fangled complexity. Andy Dean Photography

Will all the ethical social scientists please stand up?

Social scientists have to get better at recognising and responding to ethical problems. Although economists, political scientists and psychologists have not been responsible for the same level of abuses…
That sinking feeling - Facebook is in hot water over revelations about its news feed research. Flickr/mkhmarketing

Facebook puts ethics of research by private companies in spotlight

International outrage at Facebook’s study on thousands of its users without their consent has raised questions about the ethics of research done by private companies. Facebook’s Emotional Manipulation…
Australia uses over seven million of the around 115 million animals used for scientific research each year worldwide. Ikayama/Flickr

Why Australia needs to catch up on animal research transparency

The UK government recently concluded a six-week consultation on discarding a section of its law on animal experimentation in the interest of openness. Australia doesn’t have such restrictive laws but we’re…
Microsoft has been at the forefront of allegations regarding the NSA. rhonogle

Using Microsoft products may be unethical for universities

Universities and researchers all over the world have a problem with Microsoft. It’s not just that the company forces expensive and dated software on customers. Using products like Microsoft’s email service…
“Having a really hard time at the office today.” What can you believe in social media? Apuch

Study shows concern over use of social media data in research

For researchers, social media is a veritable goldmine of opportunity. Every day, reams and reams of naturally occurring data are produced by users of Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. At any given moment…
Research of supplements already in the market has no incentive for robustness. Health Gauge/Flickr

Alternative medicine research must be publicly funded

TESTING ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES - La Trobe University’s decision to accept funding from Swisse for a new centre to research alternative medicines has sparked controversy. This article considers the ethical…
A $15 million deal between Swisse Wellness Pty Ltd and La Trobe University has prompted Ken Harvey’s resignation. lucy was here/Flickr (resized)

Academics back professor over Swisse research collaboration

Friends of Science in Medicine, an association that lobbies for evidence-based medicine, has called on La Trobe University…
The ethical failures of the trials echo ongoing debates within international bioethics communities. Shutterstock

Care and consent: the fraught ethics of international clinical trials

CLINICAL TRIALS – Human clinical trials are an important last hurdle in the development of new drugs and therapies. Today, The Conversation takes a closer look at this vital scientific endeavour with three…
Scientists are often untrained in methods to make their research replicable. Pulpolux !!!

Science is in a reproducibility crisis – how do we resolve it?

Over the past few years, there has been a growing awareness that many experimentally established “facts” don’t seem to hold up to repeated investigation. This was highlighted in a 2010 article in the New…
Public confidence in medical research is vulnerable to attacks on its integrity. Andrew Huff

What Australia should do to ensure research integrity

Clinical trials of an experimental cancer drug being undertaken by the University of New South Wales were suspended this week, after questions about the accuracy of some preliminary results were made public…
How serious an issue is the theft of intellectual property, and who does it affect? ALERAI

Great idea, thanks: intellectual property and theft

If ideas are currency in a knowledge-driven industry such as scientific research, why is intellectual property (IP) so often taken without consent? The majority of ideas generated through scientific endeavour…

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