"Trust me, I'm a researcher": Human Research Ethics in Practice

Speakers:
Marilys Guillemin (Director, Centre for Health and Society)
Lynn Gillam (Associate Professor, University of Melbourne/Clinical Ethicist, Royal Children’s Hospital)

It is widely agreed that conducting research in an ethical manner is important and that trust in the research process is crucial. However, there is little research that has systematically investigated what happens in the practice of research ethics. Findings will be presented from a three year project funded by the Australian Research Council to examine how human research ethics committee members and health researchers make decisions about ethical issues in health research.

Eighty-eight individual, in-depth interviews were undertaken: 34 ethics committee members across all categories of membership, and 54 health researchers in fields including biomedicine, epidemiology, clinical and qualitative health research. The research examined how health researchers and ethics committee members understand and think about research ethics and how, in practice, they address ethical issues in research. The cultures and practices of ethics committee members engaged in the process of ethics review will be discussed, together with how the relationship between ethics committee members and health researchers both assists and impedes trust in the human research enterprise.

The presentation will focus on the ways that health researchers, in particular health researchers using social science approaches, understand and practice research ethics. For this group of health researchers, research ethics is not separate or distinct to their practice of doing research; ethics is embedded in their research practice, from the early stages of research design, to their relationships with their participants, through to the dissemination of findings. These findings will be discussed in context of establishing and ensuring trust in the process of human research.

When 9:00am – 1:00pm, Tuesday, 21 September 2010
Where Medical Foundation Auditorium
92-94 Parramatta Rd, Camperdown
Cost FREE
RSVP Please email Cathy Flitcroft for catering purposes

About the Speakers

Marilys Guillemin is the Director and Associate Professor at the Centre for Health and Society at the University of Melbourne. Her professional academic experience is in sociology of health and illness, particularly in the areas of understandings of illness, health and technology studies, and women’s health. Marilys is an established health researcher whose past major research projects include the management of menopause within specialised clinic settings examining the needs and practices of both women and medical practitioners; research on mid-age women and heart disease particularly focusing on women’s understanding of risk and prevention of heart disease; and research on deafness and genetic testing.

Lynn Gillam holds appointments as Associate Professor in Health Ethics at the Centre for Health and Society at the University of Melbourne, and the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and is also the Clinical Ethicist at the Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne. Lynn’s background is in philosophy, theology and bioethics. She teaches ethics in the medical curriculum and the postgraduate social health program. Her research interests include pre-natal diagnosis, genetic testing, and clinical ethics. She also has a strong interest in the intersections between ethics and sociology, and the development of inter-disciplinary qualitative methods suitable for research in ethics. Lynn has 15 years experience on human research ethics committees. She is currently a member of the Human Research Ethics Committee of the University of Melbourne, and the clinical ethics committee of the Royal Children’s Hospital. Lynn has published widely in bioethics, on a range of issues, including clinical ethics, research ethics and ethics committees, the use of human foetal tissue, reproductive technologies and genetic testing.

How We Can Make Our Cities Healthy Places to Live

Speakers:
Prof. Ed Blakely (University of Sydney)
A/Prof. Ruth Colagiuri (Menzies Centre for Health Policy)

Healthy communities are the centre of wealth creation and Australia must make its urban areas healthy because they are the fulcrum of the economy. In this presentation Prof. Ed Blakely will discuss the urban policy and how we can make our cities healthy places to live. He will also outline how Australia’s new economy will make Asia’s growing cities healthy as a larger national export rather than natural resources. A/Prof. Ruth Colagiuri will respond and discuss what public health research is needed to support this.

When 1pm – 2pm, Tuesday, 7 September 2010
Where Carlaw Lecture Theatre 275
Cost FREE

About the Speakers

Prof. Ed Blakely has more than 40 year of international experience in all aspects of urban and regional planning, disaster management and sustainable development. Until 2009 he headed the recovery of the City of New Orleans. In this role he coordinated all aspects of municipal government from planning and financing to construction of major infrastructure related to the recovery of the City from the worst modern urban disaster in the United States. He is currently the Professor of Urban Policy at the United States Study Center at the University of Sydney where he coordinates the Centres programs on global urban issues with an honorary professor appointment.

Ruth Colagiuri is an Associate Professor in the School of Public Health and director of Health and Sustainability Unit at the Menzies Centre for Health Policy. She was recently awarded a University of Sydney Medical Foundation Fellowship. She is also a Vice President of the International Diabetes Federation and leads the activities of the Oxford Health Alliance Asia Pacific Centre. Ruth has worked extensively in the clinical services, health policy, population health plans, health professional training and competencies, and the evidence base for diabetes prevention and care both in Australia and internationally – most notably in the Pacific Islands, Africa and India.

Diabetes and Sustainable Development: A Global Crisis

Speaker:
Professor Jean-Claude Mbanya (President of the International Diabetes Federation)

The world is experiencing unprecedented national debt and an uncertain economic future. The diabetes epidemic is at crisis point and challenges current global health and development approaches and priorities.

With 80% of the current 285 million cases of diabetes in LMCs, increasingly affecting people aged 35 to 64 ‐ the productive years ‐ diabetes has become a significant determinant of personal poverty, and transgenerational hardship and loss of life chances.

There is an insidious relationship between diabetes and key development indicators such as poverty and malnutrition; gender inequity and maternal mortality; major infections such as TB; and climate change. The impact of forgone income resulting from lost productivity due to diabetes is of concern to both developing and developed countries. In LMCs it undermines progress towards achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and contributes to state fragility.

This lecture will provide insights into these issues and discuss possible solutions for consideration by the 2011 UN Summit on Non‐Communicable Diseases.

When 5.30pm-7.00pm, Thursday, 2 September 2010
Where Lecture Theatre 101, New Law School
Cost FREE

About the Speaker

Jean Claude Mbanya is Professor of Medicine and Endocrinology at the Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University of Yaounde I, Cameroon and Consultant Physician, Director of the National Obesity Centre University of Yaounde and Chief of the Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases Unit at the Hospital Central in Yaounde.

His primary research interests are in the distribution, determinants and consequences of diabetes and related chronic diseases including cultural diabetes‐related factors, which are often unique to the African countries and communities he studies. His practice and research have largely contributed to increase the world’s awareness on diabetes in Africa, a continent where the devastating personal and macroeconomic economic impact of non‐contagious diseases like diabetes are too often overlooked.

Professor Mbanya was instrumental in the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) led ‘Unite for Diabetes’ campaign which resulted in the UN Resolution on Diabetes in December 2006. As President of IDF, he steers IDF strategic direction to encourage governments to implement policies for the treatment, care and prevention of diabetes and is currently leading the development of a global diabetes plan in preparation for the 2011 UN Summit on Non‐ Communicable Diseases.

Complex Social Dynamics in Health Promotion

Speakers:
Associate Professor Liaquat Hossain
Associate Professor Michael Dibley
Dr Cynthia Hunter

The presentation will first introduce complex social network dynamics and discuss the theoretical and methodological foundations required to understand different types of networks. Then the importance of complex social network analysis in discovering existing social links, or predicting emerging network structures, which could have an impact on individual, group and organisational outcomes, will be highlighted. In the last section of the presentation, the connection between complex social networks and health promotion will be explored.

When 1:00pm – 2:00pm, Tuesday, 31 August 2010
Where Norman Gregg Lecture Theatre, Edward Ford Building
Cost FREE

About the Speaker

Liaquat Hossain‘s work aims to explore the effects of different types of social network structures and patterns of information technology use on coordination in a dynamic and complex environment. He is interested in exploring (modeling and empirical investigation) the effects of different types of social network structures on coordination and organisational performance from a theoretical and an applied perspective. In his research he uses methods and analytical techniques from mathematical sociology (i.e., social networks analysis), social anthropology (i.e., interview and field studies) and computer science (i.e., information visualisation, graph theoretic approaches and data mining techniques such as clustering) to explore coordination problems in a dynamic, distributed and complex setting.

Michael Dibley is a nutritional epidemiologist working mainly on international public health nutrition issues. His research focuses on examining the “double burden of under and over nutrition” found in many countries in our region. To prevent child under- or over nutrition requires effective communication interventions with parents and children. Social and cultural norms often influence the behaviours we seek to alter in these public health interventions. A new area of inertest for Prof Dibley is how to harness the power of social networks to make these interventions more effective.

Cynthia Hunter is a medical anthropologist and senior lecturer in the International Public Health team at the University of Sydney. Cynthia teaches in the Masters of International Public Health programme. Her research interests focus on illness and healing ethnography and the delivery and quality of health care, particularly the interface between medicine and culture. She has worked in the Asia-Pacific, including Papua New Guinea and Indonesia where she lived for two years conducting ethnographic research of village folk’s access to health care. More recent research has focused on failed asylum seekers and forced migration, as well as a hospital ethnography of clinicians’ interactions with each other in everyday work activities in Australian tertiary paediatric hospitals. Current research projects include 1) clinicians’ communications in a major teaching hospital in Jakarta; 2) a community response to avian influenza in Bali and Lombok funded by the WHO (Indonesia).