Tagged: ethics

Cyborg bugs - Ariadne

Robert Hickson Feb 10, 2017

Here’s a sci-fi scenario that may become reality: genetically modified cyborgs susceptible to mind control. That’s the plan for a collaboration between engineering R&D firm Draper and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.  They are focusing on dragonflies, and using optogenetics so that their movements can be controlled by light. The techniques and technologies are there, … Read More

Is someone reanimated from cryogenic freezing legally dead or alive? And other problems - Guest Work

Guest Work Dec 02, 2016

By Heather Conway, Queen’s University Belfast The idea that your dying or recently deceased body could be frozen in the hope that some future technology could revive you is no longer science fiction. It is now something people will pay handsomely for – as the recent court ruling that allowed a 14-year-old British girl with terminal cancer to … Read More

Is it OK for medical students to practise on themselves? - Guest Work

Guest Work Nov 25, 2016

By Eleanor Milligan, Griffith University and Liz Fitzmaurice, Griffith University Medical students are practising invasive clinical procedures on themselves and fellow students at home as well as at medical school, a recent New Zealand study has confirmed. These procedures commonly include inserting a cannula, taking blood, and giving injections. Less commonly, students are suturing, … Read More

Fluoridation – freedom of choice - Open Parachute

Ken Perrott Sep 02, 2016

This sort of image springs to mind when I see claims of forced fluoridation. Aren’t activists like “Forced Fluoridation Freedom Fighters” misrepresenting the real situation? I think the “freedom of choice” argument is the most reasonable argument that anti-fluoride campaigners can use. Unfortunately for them, they usually only resort to it after their “science-based” arguments have been exposed as misleading … Read More

Ethics and the doping scandal – a response - Open Parachute

Ken Perrott Aug 07, 2016

International Olympic Committee (IOC) decisions about participation of athletes from the Russian Federation in the Rio Olympics have brought both criticism and support – from the political as well as the sporting communities. The issues of sports doping, the responsibilities and actions of sporting bodies and the political context and factors all need discussing. So I am pleased to see … Read More

Even scientists take selfies with wild animals. Here’s why they shouldn’t. - Guest Work

Guest Work Aug 02, 2016

By Christine A. Ward-Paige, Dalhousie University One of the great things about being a biologist is getting to work in the field and connect with wildlife. Through my career, I have enjoyed many unforgettable close encounters with various species, including turtles, birds, marine mammals, invertebrates and a lot of fish, especially sharks and rays. My research program also … Read More

Morality and autonomous vehicles - Guest Work

Guest Work Jun 27, 2016

By Dr Carolyn Mason, Lecturer, Philosophy, University of Canterbury A new study published in Science finds that the majority of research participants accept that it is morally right to program autonomous vehicles (AVs) to kill the occupant of the car to save ten pedestrians. As the authors Bonnefon, Shariff and Rahwan point out, this result agrees with utilitarianism, that … Read More

Would we want to regenerate brains of patients who are clinically dead? - Guest Work

Guest Work May 13, 2016

By Anders Sandberg, University of Oxford A trial to see if it is possible to regenerate the brains of patients who have been declared clinically dead has been approved. Reanima Advanced Biosciences aims to use stem cells, injections of peptides, and nerve stimulation to reverse “brain death as noted in clinical examination or EEG”, a project … Read More

Meta-IRB - The Dismal Science

Eric Crampton Mar 04, 2015

Here's a fun one for those of you still based at a university. All of you put together a Human Ethics Review proposal for a field experiment on Human Ethics Review proposals. Here is the proposal within my proposal. Each of you would propose putting together a panel of researchers at different universities. You would propose that each of your … Read More

Please review the ethics of human ethics review - The Dismal Science

Eric Crampton Mar 04, 2015

Human ethics review panels are the worst. Designed to prevent atrocities like Tuskegee, they then metastasised: any time your research could possibly involve a human subject, there are a billion forms to fill in. So it's usually easiest just to avoid doing field research.U Queensland's Paul Frijters didn't avoid doing field research. He sent actors out onto Brisbane buses with … Read More