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PM2019 session: Successful integration of ethics and integrity in partnerships – a joint responsibility

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In this series of articles, we look back at the highlights of the sessions that were organized at this year’s Lygature Partnerships Meetup.

The session ‘Successful integration of ethics and integrity in partnerships – a joint responsibility’ focused on the question of how to approach ethics and integrity in public private partnerships.

Speakers at the session were:

  • Iris Lechner, Project Research Fellow, The Embassy of Good Science
  • Suzanne van de Vathorst, Professor, AMC
  • Alistair Niemeijer, Universitair Docent en Onderzoeker Zorgethiek & Beleid
  • Susanne Rebers, Associate Scientific Staff Member at The Netherlands Cancer Institute
  • Martin Boekhout (moderator), Senior Consultant at MLC Foundation
  • Inga Tharun (moderator), Program Manager at Lygature

Ethics is an evaluating attitude to have in research, it is more than just ticking boxes in the process. There will always be new ethical issues to deal with so, it is an institutional responsibility to facilitate real ethics and create a culture of sharing mistakes.

In research and partnerships, ethics should be included already in the goal-determining phase, and supervisors should act as role models by making integrity part of their, and their team’s, daily practice. They should promote reflectivity and transparency on methods and data used. The biggest hurdle to developing such an environment are procedures. Everyone would like to have templates on how to include ethics and integrity considerations into (research) projects, and while support is important, such procedures take away the incentive for people to make their own considerations and choices, thus making the reflection process rather static.

The ELSI service desk is a Dutch initiative that gives practical, expert advice on ethics and legal matters by making dilemmas concrete and offering solutions. The Embassy of good science is an EU project to build a platform for research ethics and integrity. The Embassy’s goal is to foster good science by sharing best practices and to have individuals spark conversations on ethics and integrity at their institutions.

Also find the visual report of this session , made by Inga Tharun, Program Manager at Lygature during the session.

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