Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Markingson Lecturer: As we reform research ethics, let's not raise the bar too high.

From the comments of Dr. Gerald August at the first Dan Markingson Memorial Lecture, designed to honor the memory of a victim of an exploitative research study at the University of Minnesota, a message of defensiveness and self-glorification:

"Research is the wellspring of scientific discovery. As we consider new policies and regulations in research ethics, let's be careful that we do not raise the bar so high that we demoralize, discourage, overwhelm and make it impossible for investigators to conduct research."

"The academic motto of the University of Minnesota is 'Driven to Discover.'  The road on which we drive to discovery is fast and frenetic. Problems are inevitable. The investigators in this audience, and I know many of you -- early, middle, and late stage -- are dedicated scientists who give much of your lives to searching for answers to vexing and formidable questions. The work is time-consuming, labor-intensive, and undertaken without guarantees of any success. Nevertheless, we persevere, because this is our life's work to improve the health and wellspring of our clients and patients." 

"What is not often publicized and heralded is the pioneering and transformational science that is going on at the University of Minnesota, nor the groundbreaking advances in clinical care."

"I will close here with a statement taken verbatim from a recent summary statement of a grant proposal of mine that was written by an NIMH reviewer..."

'The University of Minnesota is a world-class institution. There can be no doubt about the superior research quality at the University of Minnesota and the impressive, visionary, multidisciplinary, field-changing scientific collaborations and breakthroughs this university has consistently produced over the decades.'

"Thank you."

1 comment:

  1. Interesting, that is exactly how I feel every time I go to their thirty second pill-based clinic: demoralized, discouraged, overwhelmed. I wish she would say disbarred.