Sunday, 4 June 2017

Registration Open for Our Free of Charge Symposium on Ethics and Antibiotic Resistance!

As I reported before, the Centre for Antibiotic Resistance Research, CARe, at the University of Gothenburg, is organising a free of charge symposium this fall on the theme of Ethics and Value Challenges in Antibiotic Resistance Management, Policy and Research.

Participation is free and open to professionals, officials, policy makers, researchers and interested members of the public, but requires pre-registration. Get more information and sign up here.

Taking place November 15-16, this is a unique opportunity for anyone interested in the topic of antibiotic resistance to learn from and interact with world-leading researchers in this area, representing disciplines such as bioethics, law, medicine, philosophy and public health, including Michael Selgelid, Clare Chandler, Marcel Verweij, Alena Buyx, Jonathan Anomaly, Steven J. Hoffman, Julian Savulescu, Otto Cars, and others.

Below is a flyer for the event - please share it as much as you like!

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Save the date! Symposium on Ethics and Value Challenges in Antibiotic Resistance Management, Policy and Research, November 15-16, 2017

Ethics and Value Challenges in Antibiotic Resistance Management, Policy and Research, symposium in Gothenburg, November 15-16, 2017. Save the date!

The World Health Organization identifies antibiotic resistance as a global challenge so serious that it threatens the fundamental achievement of modern medicine. Ethics and value conflicts are at the centre of this challenge: understanding its nature and stakes, identifying adequate social responses, understanding why policies and actions can be more or less accepted by stakeholders. Underlying issues regard conflict between individual interests and long term interests of society; as well as national as opposed to global societal interests in the short- and long term, how to manage the distribution of benefits and burdens coming out of efforts to mitigate further resistance development and managing consequences of established resistance, and responsibly balancing uncertainty in the face of major public health threats. 

The Centre for Antibiotic Resistance Research (CARe) at the University of Gothenburg started in 2016 as a cross disciplinary hub for research, education and public outreach across six faculties, including collaboration with societal and private actors. More information about CARe is found here:

The original CARe team at its inaugural conference in April 12016

 Now CARe presents a 2 day symposium on the theme of Ethics and Value Challenges in Antibiotic Resistance Management, Policy and Research, November 15-16, 2017. This symposium will house up to 300 participants, and assemble internationally excellent keynote presenters in ethics, law, public health and related areas engaged on this topic – including leaders of recently started major research projects– from Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the USA (see program below). The conference is open and free of charge, but will require pre-registration, details of how to register will follow.

Preliminary program (all speakers confirmed):
Otto Cars (Uppsala University): Global political response to the antiobiotic resistance challenge 
Michael J. Selgelid (Monash University and WHO): Ethics and value challenges created by antibiotic resistance: a roadmap
Marcel Verweij (Wagenigen University): What is responsible care for ABR carriers?
Clare Chandler (London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine): What is care in the wake of antibiotics? Experiences of global health in low resource settings.
Michael Millar (Queen Mary University of London): Antibiotic resistance: a threat to capability security
Jonathan Anomaly (UNC Chapel Hill & Duke University): Antibiotic resistance is a public goods problem
Julian Savulescu (University of Oxford): Collective responsibility and its ethical implication related to ABR
Steven J. Hoffman (University of Ottawa): What is required of effective legal mechanisms in the ABR area?
Jasper Littmann (Robert Koch Institute): Institutional ethics when responding to global security threats, such as ABR
Alena Buyx (Christian-Albrechts University of Kiel): How should policy makers, business and professional practitioners think about the ethical aspects of ABR management?
Christian Munthe (University of Gothenburg): Do we have reason to adjust standard precautionary rules for introduction of new interventions and methods in ABR policy and other public health emergency settings?
Sverker Jagers (University of Gothenburg): The role of public trust to balance ethics and effectiveness in the implementation of global political action 

Organizers: Joakim Larsson (director of CARe), Christian Munthe (PI for ethics in CARe), and the CARe steering committee.

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Independent Science Journalist Who Exposes Research Fraud, Ethics Breaches & Corruption Threatened by Lawsuits: Here's How You Can support Him!

As I have been reporting before, no holds barred independent German science journalist Leonid Schneider, who runs the blog For Better Science to expose and call out science fraud, ethics breaches and general scientific hype and institutional corruption, particularly in the life and medical sciences, has recently been hit by civil lawsuits to silence his reporting. Besides the couple of Thorsten and Heike Walles, another exposed former Paolo Macchiarini associate and likely co-fraudster and ethics villain, Philipp Jungebluth, is now also suing Schneider for libel. In both cases, court injunction have already been made threatening Schneider with massive monetary fines or prison time, and he is now facing the substantive economic cost of defending himself in two separate proceedings and, if the court so decides, pay the fines and the legal costs of the plaintiffs. Note that what Schneider has been reporting is only already publicly available and proven facts, so he is not in any way slandering these people, but rather providing an important information service to universities, hospitals, research funders, and potential patients (and possible guinea pigs) of the dear doctors. Of course, the whole thing is a so-called SLAPP operation, to shut Schneider up by scaring him with the financial consequences of continuing his reporting.

To help Schneider manage through this challenge, you may first of all sign this letter of support of his reporting. If you're in such a position, you may also engage Schneider professionally. But he has also set up this crowd funding page, to help everyone who dislike science fraudsters and unethical researchers, as well as the practice of silencing important public reporting by abusing civil law, to pitch in financially. I've become a monthly "patron", but there are many options and you may chose your contribution freely, with more generous amounts providing you with a steady stream of Schneider's homemade satirical science cartoons, such as this one: