Yale Professors Talks about Research Ethics at NTNU
The Center of Research Ethics invited Prof. Marc Potenza from Yale University and Assistant Prof. Sarah Yip to come talk about the case study of research ethics . Executive Vice President Sung Yao Ting, Vice President Hsu Ying Shao of the Office of Research and Development, Minister of the Research Ethics Committee Tony Lee all came to this sharing.
Dr. Potenza first introduced the context of research ethics. During WWII period, the idea of having consent of subjects of experiments is did not exist. After the war, Nuremberg Code, Declaration of Helsinki and Belmont Report came out and a more complete rule of human testing ethic was established.
In Yale, the committee of bio medical research is called Human Investigation Committee. Prof. Potenza told us that it's not uncommon to see participants of drug or video game addicts. In addition to examining whether researchers have signed research consents with participants and safeguarding their “right to know” about research projects, HIC will also evaluate participants whether they need further assistance, in addition to being protected. For example, they would assess individual needs and may refer the participants to counseling agencies, etc.
It's important for scholars to think about the rule of harm v.s. wrong when it comes to research ethics. He also mentioned some key points about research ethics, like the transparency of research projects and responsibility of the author.
Prof. Tony Lee said that more than 10 years ago, he participated in a long-term project of studying children's psychology health. The team wrote an thesis about children suicide but was rejected for more than 30 times. Later, he found out that the reason of it is that the researchers didn't take action when knowing that the children are thinking of committing suicide, which is not ethical.
One audience raise the question of the policy of personal data protection. He said that in the old times, researchers could pay for the data related to National Health Insurance but now researchers can only get the data in a particular unit. Prof. Potenza replied that there's also a debate about the access of government information. However, he believes in two rules, one is to obeying local law of personal data and de-identifying data.
Vice President Hsu Ying Shao said that it's a valuable to learn from Professor at Yale. In the end, she reminded the researchers in NTNU that if they have encounter any questions about research ethics, they can reach out to the professionals at the Center of Research Ethics.