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Research ethics

Analysis and Comment (19)

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…
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…
The decisions we make about animal welfare are important; even more so if we’re welfare researchers. Jannes Pockele

Animal welfare researchers must be honest about motivations

Many people take the Christmas and New Year period as a time to ponder how they can be a better person. We make resolutions about eating better, doing exercise, being kinder or slowing down. We all know…
Young people have the right to contribute to research about their lives. Anita & Greg/Flickr

Complexity and consent: the ethics of researching youth

Ethics by their very nature are tricky – if the morally right thing to do was clear-cut, we wouldn’t need to have ethical deliberations. Perhaps one of the most enduring ethical dilemmas is around questions…
SKB knew eight adolescents self-harmed or reported emergent suicidal ideas compared to only one in the placebo group but hid this. Michael Valli

Insight into how pharma manipulates research evidence: a case study

TRANSPARENCY AND MEDICINE – A series examining issues from ethics to the evidence in evidence-based medicine, the influence of medical journals to the role of Big Pharma in our present and future health…
Scientists could reconstruct the work on the avian flu virus from clues, making suppression of future work counterproductive. AAP

Censoring influenza research: gagging scientists could put lives at risk

Researchers working on a pathogenic strain of avian flu (H5N1) have agreed to pause their work for 60 days so international experts can discuss the safest ways to proceed. But it’s important to ensure…

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