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Welcome to the PREPARED special issue newsletter!

Dear Reader,

Here we are again. We have so much news after our conference at the UNESCO Headquarters that we are issuing a special edition newsletter.

Quick links:

Plenary Recap 

Bienvenue à Paris

More than 50 delegates from 26 countries, including China, South Korea, Brazil, the US, Kenya, South Africa, Uganda, India, and many European countries, were present when PREPARED Co-ordinator Doris Schroeder invited the audience to think big.

“We are a highly privileged group with considerable funding; we should be ambitious and ensure that our work advances the fields of research ethics and integrity” — Doris Schroeder

Joao Monteiro on camera for PREPARED

Accelerating publications

It was an honour to be joined by Chief Editor of NATURE Medicine, Joao Monteiro, and Executive Editor from Springer NATURE, Fritz Schmuhl. They discussed the potential acceleration of paper rejections in times of crisis. Useful research needs to spread fast during a crisis, but the sheer volume of submissions during the COVID-19 pandemic may warrant faster, yet still fair rejection policies. PREPARED will work on this over the summer. 

Bridging research ethics and integrity

As PREPARED will deliver a combined research ethics and integrity code, representatives from funders and research institutions, supported by legal experts, discussed how to break down silos between the two concepts. Building on common values behind the TRUST Code and the Singapore Statement on Research Integrity was regarded as one possibility.

Michael Makanga, EDCTP


Panelists showed a rap from the San community, emphasising how fairness, respect, care and honesty are essential in undertaking research amongst indigenous peoples. Discussions showed the value of solidarity is especially important during global crisis.

Accelerating medical research ethically

A high-profile panel with input from industry, not-for-profit medical research, clinical trial ethics experts and specialists on research ethics committees discussed how to achieve efficiency gains in vaccine research and whether more risk equals faster progress. Watch out for the Paris Report to hear about their conclusions.

Charles Weijer and Klaus Leisinger

Leana Snyders, Collin Louw and Joyce Odhiambo

Making research less risky for marginalized populations

The panel that generated the most interest amongst conference delegates focused on community research and how community members can be empowered to become part of the research team. Delegates from Kenya and South Africa illustrated how inclusive research can be when it involves community researchers at all stages. 

Special Burdens

Research ethics and integrity guidance needs to account for special burdens encountered during global crisis. Thinking solely about researchers in a narrow fashion will not link a moral framework sufficiently to everyday morality. This panel looked at the burdens of frontline personnel, disabled people, those on the poverty line and women researchers.

Giulia Inguaggiato

Ock-Joo Kim and Young Su Park

Case Studies 

Attendees presented three case studies of research in crisis situations: 

 – Disrespectful miscommunication by scientists during the COVID-19 pandemic in France 

 – Ethics-of-care research involving marginalized populations in the Philippines 

 – An enlightening case of informed consent waivers and how civil society opposition caused the South Korean government to drop a proposed change to South Korean law on informed consent for COVID-19 research.

Webinar: Bringing Ethics into Policy-Making

A message from Prof. Peter Singer was one of the highlights of the conference. Soon, the webinar, recorded by SAGE MethodSpace, and life-streamed on the day, will become available publicly. To watch the Singer clip now, click here

View our G20 animation launched at UNESCO

Listen to the endorsement from the President of the Swiss Academy of Sciences

Modi supports a G21

Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, has written to the G20 leaders calling for a permanent seat for the African Union.

This follows a growing number of global leaders expressing support for the inclusion of the African Union into the G20. Official sources call it "a step towards a just, fair, more inclusive and representative global architecture and governance". These are some of the key values our policy brief highlighted.

What we're reading

Reads from our plenary:

"'Uninformative research' is the global health crisis you’ve never heard offrom the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

"The TRUST Code: Research equity gets a new name" from the PREPARED blog

"Rooibos tea profits will be shared with Indigenous communities in landmark agreement" from Nature News

Call for submissions!

The journal Research Ethics, guest edited by our own Dr Kate Chatfield and Dr Hazel Partington, is taking submission for a special issue on the theme: "Preparing for the next disaster: Research ethics and integrity matters in crisis situations". See the potential topics for submission here. Deadline is 30th November 2023.

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