Blog Squad: What We Hope to Gain From AER15

AER15 Blog Squad: Jacqueline TulskyJacqueline Tulsky: What challenge do I hope to address at the conference?

Prisoners, drug users, persons living with mental illness. Care to name three groups who are more equally in need of human research and human research protection?  And now with the rapid rise in innovative technologies uniquely suited for use in these complex groups, the approach to ethical protection for them and their investigators is faced with many unanswered challenges. For example, the ethical and legal dilemma involved in data gathering with mobile tracking devices at the time of potentially illegal behavior is a new and important question to consider. What are the protections that informed consent can promise? What can investigators do without compromising “evidence” to recover their data and data gathering devices?

On the AER15 agenda, there are multiple provocative sessions applicable to each of these populations and the intersection of the latest research devices such as mobile technology and use of social networks. I am looking forward to individual presentations on prisoners by a former prisoner, a session on studying illegal activity, and several sessions on the use of internet, mobile devices, and social network sites in research.

Let the challenging considerations begin! I look forward to seeing you all in Boston.

AER15 Blog Squad: Michael KratenMichael Kraten: A Veteran IRB Chair?

Last year, I attended my very first AER Conference as the newly minted IRB Chair at Providence College in Rhode Island. Now that I’ve begun my second year as IRB Chair, have I earned the right to call myself a veteran?

Perhaps not…but it does mean that I no longer feel compelled to focus on learning the rudimentary responsibilities of my position! And so, at this year’s conference, I can enjoy some of the more advanced topics of human subjects behavioral research.

So farewell to the sessions that emphasize form filing, meeting management, and record keeping activities. And hello to those that cover globalization! And internet technology! And risk management!

It’s not that those initial three topics are unimportant, of course. They’re incredibly critical skills that must be mastered by any fledgling IRB Chair. But now that I’ve progressed beyond that level, it’s time for me to leap into some of the more stimulating intellectual content of the conference.

And away we go!

Learn more about our AER15 Blog Squad members here.