Throw the phrase big data out at Thanksgiving dinner and you’re guaranteed a more lively conversation. Your nervous uncle is terrified of the Orwellian possibilities that our current data collection abilities may usher in; your techie sister is thrilled with the new information and revelations we have already uncovered and those on the brink of discovery. Many people likely feel a mix of both these sentiments: enthusiasm tempered by apprehension.
Big data is bringing about change in a variety of sectors, and the health research field is one area where the potential, both positive and negative, is the most dramatic. The recent event, Big Data, Health [...] Read more
I was quite excited to find out about the Big Data: Practical Solutions to Emerging Challenges for Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) webinar offered by PRIM&R. We are in the process of revising the section of our IRB application that deals with data security at my institution, and much of the data we work with certainly fits at least one of the 12 definitions of big data noted in this article that was provided as a background resource by the presenters. Our application revision process has raised many questions: What is the exact scope of the IRB’s responsibility for ensuring researchers’ responsible use of big data? How do we anticipate potential risks, and how do we convey these risks to researchers who may not initially see the potential harms that could arise from lack of attentiveness to ethical use of data? Read more
From a new report that indicates that the use of regulated animals in biomedical research is declining to an editorial arguing for the use of female mice in research, animal research takes center stage in this week’s Research Ethics Roundup.
Conflicts of Interest on Institutional Review Boards Remain Problematic: A recent study in JAMA Internal Medicine concluded that while there has been significant progress with respect to reporting and managing institutional review board (IRB) member conflict of interests, there is still more work to be done. Ed Silverman reports on the findings in this article from The Wall Street Journal’s Pharmalot[...] Read more
It’s been four years since PRIM&R’s last Social, Behavioral, and Educational Research (SBER) Conference and, this November, we will host the 2015 SBER Conference in Boston, MA. As we get ready for this year’s event, let’s look back at topics discussed in 2011 to see how they have transformed and evolved over the years.
Issues around data sharing and privacy have been widely discussed in our community, but they’re not new; even back at the 2011 SBER Conference, these issues were important themes:
In his keynote address, Alex (Sandy) Pentland, PhD, Toshiba professor of media [...] Read more
By Marley Thrasher, director of education and professional development
Welcome to another installment of our featured member interviews where we introduce you to our members—individuals who work to advance ethical research on a daily basis. Please read on to learn more about their professional experiences, how PRIM&R membership helps connect them to a larger community, and what goes on behind-the-scenes in their lives.
Today we'd like to introduce you to Rachel Zand, PhD, the newest member of PRIM&R's Education Committee, who is the director of the office of research ethics at the [...] Read more