As the world eagerly awaits a coronavirus vaccine, the vital role of biomedical research has become increasingly visible. But as researchers—whether they study humans or nonhuman animals—enjoy increased prominence and (in some corners) approval, the challenges of doing their work remain immense. And at a time like this, maintaining the highest ethical standards in research is more crucial than ever. Read more


COVID-19 has taken the lives of more than 120,000 people in the United States and debilitated millions more since arriving on our shores. While anyone can contract the virus, there is a pattern to who gets sick and dies from it here. Yet very few of the Tech Sector’s responses to the disease seem to acknowledge — let alone respond to — this fact. Read more


For COVID-19 clinical trials, we advise researchers to give careful thought to trials’ inclusion and exclusion criteria, make sure people are aware of and invited to participate in trials when eligible, ensure that those eligible to participate have access to studies where they live or get their care, and minimize participation burden. This piece first appeared in Health Affairs and has been cross-posted with permission. Read more


The current pandemic, like all public health crises, forces us to confront difficult questions about how best to find cures or treatments for a disease that is rapidly taking many lives. Although some may argue that the extreme nature of our current circumstances requires throwing out our prior ethical assumptions, we could not disagree more. Adhering to long-established and widely accepted principles of human research ethics must remain an essential component of our efforts to combat COVID-19. Read more