Research Ethics Roundup: China’s Role in Research, NIH’s Single IRB Policy, and More

This week’s Research Ethics Roundup reflects on the past by exploring revelations that the US government conducted race-based experiments on American troops and considers emerging issues such as China’s growing presence in biomedical research and the move toward single IRB review.

A Scientific Ethical Divide Between China and West
: In this article for The New York Times, Didi Kirsten Tatlow explores some ethical concerns that have come to the fore amidst China’s efforts to “become a leader biomedical research.”
Please, Corporations, Experiment on Us: In this piece for The New York Times, Michelle N. Meyer and Christopher F. Chabris explore whether it can “ever be ethical for companies or governments to experiment on their employees, customers or citizens without their consent.”
Secret World War II Chemical Experiments Tested Troops by Race: Caitlin Dickerson reports on a “once-secret government program — formally declassified in 1993 — to test mustard gas and other chemical agents on American troops.” In this piece for NPR, Dickerson shares that an NPR investigation into the program revealed that subjects were grouped by race.
In the OSP Kitchen – Single IRB for Multisite Research Policy: In this blog post from the National Institutes of Health’s Office of Science Policy, Carrie D. Wolinetz, the associate director for science policy, provides a summary of the comments the NIH received in response to the agency’s December 2014 draft “Policy on the Use of a Single Institutional Review Board for Multi-site Research.”
US Vaccine Researcher Sentenced to Prison for Fraud: Last week, Dong Pyou Han, “a former biomedical scientist at Iowa State University in Ames, was sentenced to 57 months for fabricating and falsifying data in HIV vaccine trials.” This article from Nature explores Han’s case, including Federal prosecutors’ decision to press charges against him.