Greetings to Ampersand readers! I am a new member of the Blog Squad for PRIM&R’s 2015 Advancing Ethical Research (AER15) and 2015 Social, Behavioral, and Educational Research Conferences (SBER15) in Boston this November and look forward to creating interesting and helpful posts for you as the meetings unfold.
Trained as a general internist, I became an HIV disease and addiction medicine specialist during my 20 years of clinical, research, and teaching experience at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). I am currently a vice chair on one of the UCSF Committees on Human Research , but my interest in ethics and science started in my undergraduate days at the University of Pittsburgh. To take advantage of educational grants at my workplace, I looked for the best teachers in the night school at Pitt. After a few semesters, I realized all those ethics, philosophy of science, and logic classes added up to a major in Philosophy. Human subjects protection (HSP) work is really just applied ethics at the intersection of human protection and scientific discoveries.
My enthusiasm for HSP activities really took off after my first PRIM&R AER Conference in 2010. To spend a few days with such a diverse group of people, from different countries, with different attachments to research ethics was very eye opening. I gained an appreciation for the science applied to subjects protection and was impressed with the variety of efforts to identify and present data, policy—and yes, even philosophy—on the approach to human protections of persons, genetic material, social networks, and data sets. Such creative and sympathetic minds at work!
This will be my third conference and the variety of topics looks as eclectic and practical as ever. I have devoted many years of research and teaching time to issues affecting persons in the criminal justice system, so I am eager to attend some of the sessions on research on illegal activities and representing prisoners. As an IRB member, the complexities of QA/QI/Program Evaluation and Research is still a topic I wrestle with uneasily, so I’ve signed up for those sessions as well. Finally, having taught clinicians and researchers in West Africa off and on for several years, the challenge of "you can’t do it here, but it is okay to do it there" in international research will drive me to those sessions to learn from the experience of others.
I look forward to future communications with you leading up to, during, and after AER15 and SBER15. And if you see me around the conference in my Blog Squad shirt, please introduce yourself!
Learn more about our AER15 Blog Squad members here.
Jacqueline Tulsky, professor of medicine, emeritus at the University of California, San Francisco, is a member of the PRIM&R Blog Squad for the 2015 AER Conference. The PRIM&R Blog Squad is composed of PRIM&R members who blogged here, on Ampersand, to give our readers an inside peek of what happened at the conference in Boston, MA.