2013 AER Conference: What You Liked

by Maeve Luthin, JD, Professional Development Manager

For the second post in our two part series highlighting the evaluation results from the 2013 Advancing Ethical Research (AER) Conference, I’ll be sharing your favorite parts of the meeting. We hope that we will be able to recreate some of these successes (and that you’ll be with us to witness them!) in Baltimore, MD, on December 5-7, 2014 for the 2014 AER Conference!

Finding Posters: We tried something new, and you told us that it worked! (We love it when that happens.) We’re talking about a new series—titled “Innovations in…”—that featured individuals who submitted exemplary poster abstracts as panelists. These sessions focused on controversial topics, genomics and biobanking, influences on research participation, and communication with research subjects. You enjoyed hearing the authors present their work and take questions on their research, and, as one of you shared, this format “does the presenters and their material far more justice” as compared to poster sessions in the past.

Star Wars: Our keynote speakers brought energy and inspiration to the podium! You cited Atul Gawande as a master storyteller; George Demetri as brilliant and inspiring; Paul Appelbaum as fascinating and enlightening; Esther Duflo as engaging and impressive; and Joan Rachlin as moving and motivating. We hope that next year’s slate of keynote speakers meet the high expectations set by this year’s group.

A Few Good Arguments: There was a lot of enthusiasm about the moderated debate on risk and consent in standard of care interventions. Why? Mostly because it was a true debate—the kind in which the speakers don’t agree with one another. Moderator Jeremy Sugarman and panelists Leonard Glantz and Robert Truog outdid themselves with their whip-smart, witty dialogue in their discussion about this controversial topic.

Once again, many thanks to everyone who shared their thoughts about their time in Boston!