How to embed ethics into laboratory research – a new publication in the Accountability in Research

We kindly invite you to read our new article How to embed ethics into laboratory research published in the Accountability Research.

Health-related innovation in biotechnology requires anticipating potential bioethical implications. In this article, we present a strategy to embed ethics in a group of early-stage researchers performing research in gene therapy and regenerative medicine in the laboratory phase. We conducted a series of focus group meetings with early-stage researchers who work in biotechnology laboratories. The objective was to reflect on the bioethical challenges of their own work and to promote the integration of research ethics with laboratory practice. The activity was assessed with questionnaires completed by the researchers before and after the meetings, and the analyses of the focus groups’ content. As a result of the focus group series, all participants changed their perspectives about ethical issues regarding their planned research, developed the ability to reflect and debate on research ethics and had increased awareness of ethical issues in their own research activities. Half of them made changes in their research work. The study provides a concrete strategy to embed ethics and to strengthen responsibility in laboratory research. It is a strategy that allows to perform ethics reflection “on site” and in “real time” and complements the classic strategy of ethics assessment of the research protocol before starting the research procedure.

Paola Buedo, Idalina Odziemczyk, Jolanta Perek-Białas & Marcin Waligora (2023): How to embed ethics into laboratory research, Accountability in Research, DOI:10.1080/08989621.2023.2165916

This project received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 955335.