Retiring the Pillar of PRIM&R Designation & Recognizing Seven New Pillars

The Pillar of PRIM&R designation was created by PRIM&R’s Board of Directors in 2006 to recognize individuals who were integral to the organization’s founding and early growth, providing exemplary service and uncommon commitment to advancing PRIM&R’s values and mission during its formative years. The designation was first conceived to memorialize and pay tribute to two recently deceased founding members of PRIM&R’s Board of Directors: Herman Wigodsky, MD, PhD, and Louis Lasagna, MD. Following that, as other founders passed away, they were posthumously designated as Pillars: Sanford Chodosh, MD; Harry Rozmiareck, DVM, PhD, DACLAM; and Warren Ashe, PhD. In 2018, Joseph J. Bryne, MD, was designated as the first living Pillar, upon his retirement from the board after 44 years of service.

In 2019, as part of a larger process of evaluating PRIM&R’s awards and recognitions and how they support and promote the organization’s mission and core values, we decided to retire the Pillar of PRIM&R designation. Before doing so, we reviewed our roster and the history of the organization to identify and honor anyone who played a key role in the organization’s founding and early growth who had not yet been recognized in this manner.

Our review resulted in a list of seven additional individuals whom we believe are deserving of the designation of Pillar of PRIM&R, and are honored to now name Pillars of PRIM&R:

  1. Charles McCarthy, PhD
  2. Natalie “Natasha” Reatig (deceased)
  3. Paula Knudson
  4. Barbara Stanley, PhD
  5. Leonard Glantz, JD
  6. William Freeman, MD, MPH, CIP
  7. Joan Rachlin, JD, MPH

We are so grateful to these individuals for their incredible commitment and service to PRIM&R. Please read more about them, and our other Pillars of PRIM&R, on our website.

Transparency about our history/lack of diversity
While we honor and celebrate the contributions of these individuals to the success of PRIM&R, we also acknowledge that the group of Pillars, which is largely composed of white men, does not reflect the PRIM&R (or the field of research ethics and oversight) of today. The fact is, the founding of this organization was almost completely devoid of representation from communities of color.

We cannot change that history, or the reality of who was at the table during PRIM&R’s founding and early years. What we can do, and have an obligation to do, is commit to and embrace inclusion, equity, and justice now and into the future. One of the ways we’re doing that is through the honors we bestow.

We are pleased to announce that, starting in 2022, we are launching two new ways to recognize excellence in our field: The PRIM&R Service Award and the PRIM&R Prize. These awards are specifically intended to honor and celebrate the many and diverse types of contributions being made to research ethics and oversight in the 21st Century. We’re looking forward to sharing more about these new awards in the months to come.