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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. 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. 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…
Facebook’s been playing with your emotions. Facebook’s been playing with your emotions. Flickr/Paul Walsh

Consent and ethics in Facebook’s emotional manipulation study

Significant concerns are raised about the ethics of research carried out by Facebook after it revealed how it manipulated the news feed of thousands of users. In 2012 the social media giant conducted a…
Microsoft has been at the forefront of allegations regarding the NSA. 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…
Gerry Adams, flanked by Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald, speaking after his release from custody on May 4. Gerry Adams, flanked by Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald, speaking after his release from custody on May 4. Brian Lawless/PA

Gerry Adams arrest: when is it right for academics to hand over information to the courts?

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams was arrested by the Police Service of Northern Ireland for questioning over an abduction and murder committed in Belfast in 1972. He maintains his innocence and after four…
Higher standards. Higher standards. shutterstock

Facing up to the C word – corruption in higher education

By definition, corruption is any type of deviation from an ideal. Ideals, as well as ideas, are core business for higher education. So when we fall short it matters. Reputation is becoming ever more important…
“Having a really hard time at the office today.” What can you believe in social media? “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. 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…
Incoming! But did he need to jump though all those hoops? Incoming! But did he need to jump though all those hoops? Wolfsavard

Ethics stop dodgy experiments but there’s too much red tape

Researchers and other similar species working within academia are ethical human beings. But actual standards are needed to ensure nobody is exposed to harm in our search for answers. Without these standards…
The ethical failures of the trials echo ongoing debates within international bioethics communities. 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. 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. 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? 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. 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. 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. 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. 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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