Integrity in Translational Research

Jason Scott Robert, PhD

Translational research is all the rage. But while “it seems important to almost everyone,” Woolf (2008) has aptly observed that “translational research means different things to different people.” What is crystal clear, though, is that everybody wants ‘results’. Treatments and cures for diseases top the list of desired results, as do public and population health strategies for disease prevention. Accordingly, the past two decades, especially, have evidenced some fascinating new dynamics in the relationship between science and society, and between scientists and citizens: a new social contract is emerging for how biomedical science works in the contemporary world. Biomedical scientists, whether they like it or not, must promise specific results early in the research process, must produce results sooner and not later, and must promote their results so as to assist in the ‘translation’ of basic research into potentially clinically relevant outcomes. The result is, too often, a loss of integrity in scientific research, compounded by a loss of trust in the research enterprise. In this presentation, Dr. Robert explores how to rescue integrity in translational science.
Jason Scott Robert, PhD
Lincoln Chair in Ethics, Director, Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics, Dean's Distinguished Professor in the Life Sciences, Arizona State University; Director, Arizona Bioethics Network
Recorded October 10, 2014

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