The 2023-24 GYA Sasha Kagansky Interdisciplinary Grant was awarded to Mohammad Hosseini (Northwestern University, USA), Muhammad Zaffar Hashmi (University of Lahore, Pakistan), Leila Niamir (International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Austria), Estrella Díaz Sanchez (University of Castilla-La Mancha, Spain) and Sandra López-Vergèz (Gorgas Memorial Institute for Health Studies, Panama) for their project: An interdisciplinary database of ethics dumping cases.
With an increase in global and multinational research collaborations over the last decades, research groups have adopted different strategies to minimize costs or speed up the research process. One such strategy is to outsource specific parts of their research to low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) to exploit weaker regulatory systems or limited oversight in these countries. This practice is called ethics dumping and facilitates research that would otherwise be heavily scrutinized or not be allowed in high income countries. More importantly, however, ethics dumping disproportionately affects vulnerable populations and erodes trust in science.
This GYA project aims to create an interdisciplinary database of cases of ethics dumping. The project participants, GYA members from different disciplines and world regions, will work together with a research assistant towards achieving the following objectives:
This project will build on existing work and catalogue ethics dumping cases to create opportunities for interdisciplinary research to learn from the past, developing context-specific and interdisciplinary educational materials and supporting affected communities in LMICs (e.g., to advocate for themselves or find allies in other parts of the world and learn from one another). Using the Embassy of Good Science (https://embassy.science/) as the home for this database will allow easy access to these cases using an existing international interface that is specifically focused on interdisciplinary cases related to research ethics.
The project aims align with the Trust in (young) Scientists Working Group’s goal of better explaining how science works, and with the aims of the GYA to increase scientific capacity and improve the state of the world using evidence-based research.