For research oversight committees, there is a certain appeal to using casuistry as a method, which is why I think we often end up there, even if we start from a more abstract point like the Belmont principles. Casuistry is an intuitive, somewhat concrete way —at least as far as ethics goes— of thinking about problems. When it comes to philosophical instruction (and often limited time to engage in abstract thinking for its own sake), casuistry can provide a nice nexus point between the abstract principles and policies and the practical decisions being made. Read more


Hopefully the pandemic is not here to stay, but even when it's gone, I suspect work from home for research administrators will stay in one form or another for many people. Because in the end, it's not just the HRPPs going virtual: the entire research administrative enterprise is in this virtual world with them. Read more


The three largest concerns around the ethics of AI/ML in artificial intelligence human subject research are explainability, identifiability, and algorithmic bias. It is imperative that IRBs understand the AI/ML’s explainability in order to fulfill their responsibility of adequately assessing the risk-benefit ratio in AIHSR. Read more


Years ago, I attended a conference and was handed a small button that read "I (heart symbol) Paper." Nothing resonated more deeply with me at that moment! Technology and automation may pose an inherent element of fear and unfamiliarity. The concept of change may be especially challenging to the deep-rooted paper trail practices in the field of research, no matter the phase. Read more


In the not-so-distant past, IRBs reviewing artificial intelligence and machine learning protocols were quick to give not-human subject research determinations because the application was presented as a software development project. More recently, many IRBs improperly issue exempt determinations because the application is presented as a secondary-use data project. Read more