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Ethics and Research, experience of University of Primorska

Olga Ethics, RRI

How do you understand Ethics in biosciences research? Working at the Department of Biodiversity, I am aware about differences in opinions regarding the human relationship toward the rest of the natural world.  Conservation biologists agree that biodiversity is valuable and that the extinction of species, caused by human activities, should be decreased and avoided. However, justifications for these principles vary, ranging from arguments that emphasize the instrumental value of other species for humans to ethical theories that assert that wild life has intrinsic value. The debate on environmental ethics is focused on developing universal theories why humans should protect their natural environment. What we are facing in our research and working with students is the challenge to find a solid rational justification for why nature should be protected. What are the current standards and actions to achieve better Ethics in your University and in your country? In the case of animal and human subjects’ research, all research conducted on Faculty of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Information Technologies must be approved by National Medical Ethics Committee or by National Ethics commission for animal experiments. All field work with animal has to be approved by Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning. What are you aiming for with the implementation of the STARBIOS2 actions towards better Ethics standards for your institute? In relation to Ethics, our strategy is to raise awareness and evaluate the procedures for planning and including research ethical issues in researchers’ work via developing Code of conduct for conservation biology …

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Ethics in Biosciences Research, University of Oxford

Olga Ethics, RRI

How do you understand Ethics in biosciences research? Ethics in biosciences research should be understood as means to ensure high-quality research and guarantee the protection of fundamental rights. Even though ethic principles are well defined and established, as biosciences research progresses, new ethical conflicts may arise. All biosciences research must be carried out within the good practice framework that Ethics represents. What are the current standards and actions to achieve better Ethics in your University and in your country? In the case of human subjects’ research, all research conducted on National Health Service (NHS) patients or their information must be approved by the Research Ethics Committee (REC) of the National Research Ethics Service (NRES) which coordinates RECs across the UK. If the research does not include NHS patients or their information, the University of Oxford has its own system of research ethics governance: the Central University Research Ethics Committee (CUREC). The majority of approvals are decentralised to Interdivisional RECs, and then to Departmental RECs. In the case of research conducted on animals, the UK has strict regulations that are overseen by the Home Office Department of the Government. Researchers must be trained and be granted a Home Office License in order to be able to conduct research on animals. What are you aiming for with the implementation of the STARBIOS2 actions towards better Ethics standards for your institute? In relation to Ethics, our strategy is to raise awareness and evaluate the procedures for planning and including research ethical issues in …

Gender in Biosciences, seen by Oxford University

Caroline Gender, RRI

    Dr. Laurel Edmunds –  is a Senior Research Fellow working in collaboration with the NIHR Oxford BRC and relevant researchers across the University of Oxford. She is currently leading on a series of systematic reviews evaluating women in academic medicine and research efficacy in the NIHR Oxford BRC. 1. How do you understand Gender in biosciences research? Gender is of growing importance in bioscience research for two main reasons. First, women should not be disadvantaged or treated differently in the workplace just because they are women. Second, as more and more women are going into scientific careers, they are bringing new perspectives and alternative approaches. We cannot afford to lose these resources from the biosciences. 2. What are the current standards and actions to achieve better Gender in your University and in your country?  Since 2008 we have had the Athena SWAN Charter for improving gender equality in sciences in the UK. Higher education institutions sign up to the Charter and then apply for an award (either Bronze, Silver, Gold) and complete applications with supporting evidence, and submit these to the Athena SWAN organisation. Bronze requires an assessment of gender equality, a 4-year action plan and an organisational structure that can deliver the plan; Silver is awarded when a department has delivered and shown an impact from these actions; Gold these are maintained and the department supports others. Few science departments hold a gold award as they are difficult to get and keep. There is now a similar Charter …