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Professional Ethics Report: Summer 2015

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Summer 2015 Professional Ethics Report

Cover Story

In Spring 2015, the AAAS Science and Human Rights Coalition held an essay competition, calling for analyses of any topic at the intersection of science and/or technology with human rights. A winner was chosen in both the graduate and undergraduate categories, and the winning essays are printed here.

"Profits, Medicine, and the Human Right to Health in the Pharmaceutical Industry: Educating (Future) Business Leaders" by Wasima Khan

"The Pursuit of Perfection? Fetal Genetic Screening" by Lauren Y. Chan 

In the News

House Committee Releases Report on the Vulnerabilities of HHS Information Security Practices

HHS Seeking Comments on Human Research Subjects

In the Societies

APA Resolution to Ban Members from National Security Interrogations

AAAS Acquires New Service to Promote Transparency and Public Trust in Scientific Journals


UNESCO Chair in Bioethics 11th World Conference
Bioethics, Medical Ethics and Health Law
October 20-22, 2015
Naples, Italy

More information:

17th International Conference on Ethics Across the Curriculum
October 8-10, 2015
Clemson University, Greenville, SC

Panels, papers, and discussion at the conference will focus on issues including but not limited to economic development, human rights, cosmopolitanism, global poverty and aid, global corporate responsibilities, and moral education in diverse contexts. More information:

Calls for Paper and Submissions

Association for Practical and Professional Ethics 25th Annual International Conference
February 18-21, 2016
Reston, Virginia

Submissions are invited on ethical issues in all fields as well as interdisciplinary and multi-disciplinary issues that cut across professions such as biomedical, educational, environmental, public health and research.

Submissions are invited for the following categories: (1) Individual Presentations; (2) Panel Discussions; (3) Pedagogical Demonstrations; (4) Case Studies; (5) Posters; (6) Creative Arts (e.g., short play, poetry, or fiction); (7) Book submissions of recent works in ethics.

Individuals should submit their work no later than September 25, 2015 via the online form, available along with more information at

Bioethics: Preparing for the Unknown
March 17-19, 2016
Western Michigan University, Center for the Study of Ethics in Society
Kalamazoo, Michigan

This conference will focus on the fundamental role of uncertainty in bioethics. The Center invites submissions on topics including but not limited to unintended consequences of innovative medical technologies, public health planning for new diseases, incidental findings in clinical research and practice, prevention of medical error and communication of risk.

Submissions will be accepted in the category of formal papers and panel discussions. Authors should submit their completed manuscripts or 500-1000 word abstracts, prepared for blind review, to by November 16, 2015. For more information, visit

Beyond IRBs: Designing Ethical Review Processes for Big Data Research
December 10, 2015
Future of Privacy Forum
Washington, D.C.

The new use of information that resulted from the rise of Big Data has led to the need for review of research in addition to that pursued by institutional review boards (IRBs). The Future of Privacy Forum is hosting an academic workshop, supported by the National Science Foundation, will discuss the guidance necessary for such review to take place. The Forum invites papers for submission that address topics including but not limited to issues such as ethical questions surrounding data-driven research, lessons learned from existing IRBs, insights from government or industry practice, the organizational structure of ethical review processes, and the proper function of review and consent in data-driven research.

Authors should submit their 2500-3500 word manuscripts to no later than October 25, 2015. Accepted papers will be published online, and four papers selected for a $1000 stipend. More information:


Joel Ericsen

Program Associate