Research ethics experts visit Yukon to share knowledge
WHITEHORSE—Two members of the Canadian Association of Research Ethics Boards (CAREB) will be at Yukon College next week to give a public talk on research ethics and provide training to the College’s Research Ethics Board (REB).
Dr. Sharon Freitag directs the research ethics office at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto and Dr. Rachel Zand directs the research ethics office at the University of Toronto.
“Training in research ethics sets the standards for responsible conduct in human research. It focusses researchers on the need to be accountable to the public and contribute to the good of society as a whole,” said Freitag. “While one might think that these principles are intuitive, history has shown us that continuous education and training is needed.”
Clint Sawicki, Interim Vice President Research at the College said research ethics has grown to encompass more than just clinical medical trials.
“Our concerns are around personal information and how people and their information are protected,” said Sawicki, noting that such information can be about anything from language preservation to climate change.
“We do a lot of work in the Yukon with various groups, and this means talking to people about a broad range of local and traditional knowledge. There are many nuances around this knowledge, some of which can be used publicly, and some of which can’t. At the core of this is ensuring the protection of research subjects, and assuring the public that Yukon College handles information gained from research in a proper manner,” added Sawicki.
The eight-person Yukon College Research Ethics Board was established in 2009. It adjudicates all College-based research involving human knowledge/information gathering. The board has five new members this year, and is made up of College faculty plus one community and one First Nations representative. The training session led by Freitag and Zand will help all new members understand their roles and responsibilities.
“Research ethics is an evolving field,” said Julie Munich, research administrator at the College. “Ongoing training opportunities like these are necessary to support our REB and to ensure that the College maintains or exceeds national standards.”
The public talk, Research Ethics 101, will take place Wednesday, March 22 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., in A2206.