Activists’ investigations of animal cruelty expose the public to suffering that they may otherwise be unaware of, via an increasingly broad-ranging media. This may result in ethical dilemmas and a wide range of emotions and reactions. Our hypothesis was that media broadcasts of cruelty to cattle in Indonesian abattoirs would result in an emotional response by the public that would drive their actions towards live animal export. A survey of the public in Australia was undertaken to investigate their reactions and (...) responses to. The most common immediate reaction was feeling pity for the cattle. Women were more likely than men to feel sad or angry. Most people discussed the media coverage with others afterwards but fewer than 10 % contacted politicians or wrote to newspapers. We conclude that the public were emotionally affected by the media coverage of cruelty to cattle but that this did not translate into significant behavioral change. We recommend that future broadcasts of animal cruelty should advise the public of contact details for counseling and that mental health support contacts, and information should be included on the websites of animal advocacy groups to acknowledge the disturbing effect animal cruelty exposes can have on the public. (shrink)
The conduct of research in settings affected by disasters such as hurricanes, floods and earthquakes is challenging, particularly when infrastructures and resources were already limited pre-disaster. However, since post-disaster research is essential to the improvement of the humanitarian response, it is important that adequate research ethics oversight be available. We aim to answer the following questions: 1) what do research ethics committee members who have reviewed research protocols to be conducted following disasters in low- and middle-income countries perceive as the (...) key ethical concerns associated with disaster research?, and 2) in what ways do REC members understand these concerns to be distinct from those arising in research conducted in non-crisis situations? This qualitative study was developed using interpretative description methodology; 15 interviews were conducted with REC members. Four key ethical issues were identified as presenting distinctive considerations for disaster research to be implemented in LMICs, and were described by participants as familiar research ethics issues that were amplified in these contexts. First, REC members viewed disaster research as having strong social value due to its potential for improving disaster response, but also as requiring a higher level of justification compared to other research settings. Second, they identified vulnerability as an overarching concern for disaster research ethics, and a feature that required careful and critical appraisal when assessing protocols. They noted that research participants’ vulnerabilities frequently change in the aftermath of a disaster and often in unpredictable ways. Third, they identified concerns related to promoting and maintaining safety, confidentiality and data security in insecure or austere environments. Lastly, though REC members endorsed the need and usefulness of community engagement, they noted that there are significant challenges in a disaster setting over and above those typically encountered in global health research to achieve meaningful community engagement. Disaster research presents distinctive ethical considerations that require attention to ensure that participants are protected. As RECs review disaster research protocols, they should address these concerns and consider how justification, vulnerability, security and confidentially, and community engagement are shaped by the realities of conducting research in a disaster. (shrink)
Previous research on cross-situational word learning has demonstrated that learners are able to reduce ambiguity in mapping words to referents by tracking co-occurrence probabilities across learning events. In the current experiments, we examined whether learners are able to retain mappings over time. The results revealed that learners are able to retain mappings for up to 1 week later. However, there were interactions between the amount of retention and the different learning conditions. Interestingly, the strongest retention was associated with a learning (...) condition that engendered retrieval dynamics that initially challenged the learner but eventually led to more successful retrieval toward the end of learning. The ease/difficulty of retrieval is a critical process underlying cross-situational word learning and is a powerful example of how learning dynamics affect long-term learning outcomes. (shrink)
Precision medicine research is rapidly taking a lead role in the pursuit of new ways to improve health and prevent disease, but also presents new challenges for protecting human subjects. The extent to which the current “web” of legal protections, including technical data security measures, as well as measures to restrict access or prevent misuse of research data, will protect participants in this context remains largely unknown. Understanding the strength, usefulness, and limitations of this constellation of laws, regulations, and procedures (...) is critical to ensuring not only that participants are protected, but also that their participation decisions are accurately informed. To address these gaps, we conducted in-depth interviews with a diverse group of 60 thought-leaders to explore their perspectives on the protections associated with precision medicine research. (shrink)
Talents often play a significant role in our personal and social lives. For example, our talents may shape the choices we make and the goods that we value, making them central to the creation of a meaningful life. Differences in the level of talents also affect how social institutions are structured, and how social goods and resources are distributed. Despite their normative importance, it is surprising that talents have not yet received substantial philosophical analysis in their own right. As a (...) result, the current literature is rife with conceptual ambiguity: a talent is referred to as all of a skill, potential, ability, capacity, endowment, and a natural gift. In response to this confusion, in this paper I develop an account of what a talent is, based on the debate concerning the metaphysics of ability and dispositions. I argue for a position that I call ‘talent dispositionalism’: S has a talent for skill A in circumstances C iff S has the general disposition to excellently develop and maintain A when, in circumstances C, she tries to excellently develop and maintain A. On this account, a talent is not the skill itself, but a general iterated ability for the excellent development and up-keep of a particular skill, constituted by an agent’s dispositional properties. I defend the account against four objections usually levelled against traditional dispositionalist theories of ability, and highlight some ways the account may influence debates in other areas of philosophical inquiry. (shrink)
While many aspects of stock and option based compensation for corporate officers remain controversial, we suggest that the growingtrend for similar practices in favor of boards of directors will prove to be even more contentious. High-ranking corporate managers do not set their own salaries nor authorize their own stock options. By contrast, boards of directors do, in fact, set their own compensationpackages. Other potential conflicts of interest include setting option performance targets, stock buybacks, stock option resets and reloads, consolidations (mergers (...) and acquisitions). and service on multiple boards. As trust is the most valuable commodity in a capitalist society, we suggest that these potential conflicts of interest and related outcomes may ultimately serve to erode any anticipated benefits of director stock compensation. (shrink)
While a ubiquitous phenomenon, initial public offerings (IPOs) have received no attention in the ethics literature. We provide an overview of a series of potential conflicts of interest that pervade the IPO process. We also report the results of an empiricalassessment of IPOs and those elements that may inform a substantive moral hazard faced by key players in the period prior to and justafter an IPO.
The term "third wave" within contemporary feminism presents some initial difficulties in scholarly investigation. Located in popular-press anthologies, zines, punk music, and cyberspace, many third wave discourses constitute themselves as a break with both second wave and academic feminisms; a break problematic for both generations of feminists. The emergence of third wave feminism offers academic feminists an opportunity to rethink the context of knowledge production and the mediums through which we disseminate our work.
Many areas of business ethics research are “sensitive.” We provide an empirical assessment of the randomized response techniquewhich provides absolute anonymity to subjects and “legal immunity” to the researcher. Beyond that, RRT techniques provide complete disclosure to subjects, unconditional privacy is maintained, and there is no deception.
To assist in resolving ethical questions surrounding unregulated mHealth research, we conducted in-depth qualitative interviews with experts from four key stakeholder groups: patient/research advocates, researchers, regulatory professionals, and mobile app/device developers. They discussed challenges and potential solutions in the context of two hypothetical scenarios involving unregulated mHealth research, including notifications/permissions for research use of mHealth data, data access procedures, new primary data collection, offering individual research results, and data sharing and dissemination.
Director compensation can potentially represent an ethical minefield. When faced with supporting strategic decisions that can lead to an increase in director pay, directors may consider their own interests and not solely those of the shareholders to whom they are legally bound to represent. In such cases, directors essentially become agents, rather than those installed to protect principals (shareholders) from agents. Using acquisitions as a study context, we employ a matched-pair design and find a statistically significant difference in outside director (...) compensation between acquiring and control firms. Outside directors of acquiring firms earn more than twice as much as their counterparts in the matched-sample. (shrink)
Some would argue that the more promising areas of business ethics research are "sensitive." In such areas, it would be expected that subjects, if inclined to respond at all, would be guarded in their responses, or respond inaccurately. We provide an introduction to an empirical approach -- the unmatched block count (UCT) -- for collecting these potentially sensitive data which provides absolute anonymity and confidentiality to subjects and "legal immunity" to the researcher. Interestingly, under UCT protocol researchers could not divulge (...) subjects' responses even if they were inclined to do so. Beyond that, UCTs provide complete disclosure to subjects and there is no deception. (shrink)
This brief but ambitious book explores our relationship with nature through the imagery we use when we talk about Mother Nature. Employing the critical tools of religious studies, psychology, and gender studies, Catherine M. Roach examines the various manifestations of nature as "mother" and what that idea implies for the way we approach the natural world. Part One, "Nature as Good Mother," discusses the notion that nature is, or is like, a beneficent and nurturing mother who provides and maintains (...) life. In studying the "green" slogan "Love Your Mother," Roach questions the effects—for women and for the environment—of imputing female gender to nature. She asks us to look at the associations that "motherhood" and "mothering" carry within a culture still shaped by patriarchy. She notes the danger of such an apparently pro-environmental slogan if "mother" evokes the bountiful, self-sacrificing provider who herself requires no care. Part Two, "Nature as Bad Mother," looks at the contrary notion of nature as a violent, threatening, and wrathful mother. This image arises most often when humans and technology are depicted as masters of unruly nature. Here Roach draws on theological reflection to analyze this ambivalence toward nature manifested in a fantasy that casts humans as gods. She explores the contributions of eco-theology and eco-psychology to a "heart of darkness" perspective. Finally, Part Three, "Nature as Hurt Mother," looks at possibilities and pitfalls of environmental healing inherent in the image of nature as a mother we have wounded and now seek to heal. (shrink)
Mobile devices with health apps, direct-to-consumer genetic testing, crowd-sourced information, and other data sources have enabled research by new classes of researchers. Independent researchers, citizen scientists, patient-directed researchers, self-experimenters, and others are not covered by federal research regulations because they are not recipients of federal financial assistance or conducting research in anticipation of a submission to the FDA for approval of a new drug or medical device. This article addresses the difficult policy challenge of promoting the welfare and interests of (...) research participants, as well as the public, in the absence of regulatory requirements and without discouraging independent, innovative scientific inquiry. The article recommends a series of measures, including education, consultation, transparency, self-governance, and regulation to strike the appropriate balance. (shrink)
Researchers now commonly collect biospecimens for genomic analysis together with information from mobile devices and electronic health records. This rich combination of data creates new opportunities for understanding and addressing important health issues, but also intensifies challenges to privacy and confidentiality. Here, we elucidate the “web” of legal protections for precision medicine research by integrating findings from qualitative interviews with structured legal research and applying them to realistic research scenarios involving various privacy threats.
When individuals cannot resolve a disagreement in a single episode, the argument is likely to reoccur over time resulting in a serial argument. Prior research on serial arguing has shown that engaging in hostile communication during episodes and taking a resigned stance after episodes is detrimental to one’s physical health. This study investigates the mechanisms by which hostile communication and taking a resigned stance lead to negative outcomes in a sample of emerging adults. Mutual hostility is related to physical and (...) mental health symptoms and this relationship is mediated by the degree to which the participants feel hyperaroused. Taking a resigned stance toward a serial argument with one’s parent is related to health symptoms and this relationship is mediated by the participants’ rumination after argumentative episodes. (shrink)
We summarize the ethnographic literature illustrating that “abnormal birth” circumstances and “ill omens” operate as cues to terminate parental investment. A review of the medical literature provides evidence to support our assertion that ill omens serve as markers of biological conditions that will threaten the survival of infants. Daly and Wilson (1984) tested the prediction that children of demonstrably poor phenotypic quality will be common victims of infanticide. We take this hypothesis one stage further and argue that some children will (...) be poor vehicles for parental investment yet are not of demonstrably poor quality at birth. We conclude that when people dispose of infants due to “superstitious beliefs” they are pursuing an adaptive strategy in eliminating infants who are poor vehicles for parental investment. (shrink)
SummaryThis essay explains why and how nineteenth-century chemists sought to stabilize the melting and boiling points of organic substances as reliable characteristics of identity and purity and how, by the end of the century, they established these values as ‘Constants of Nature’. Melting and boiling points as characteristic values emerge from this study as products of laboratory standardization, developed by chemists in their struggle to classify, understand and control organic nature. A major argument here concerns the role played by the (...) introduction of organic synthesis in driving these changes. Synthetic organic chemistry vastly increased the number of known organic substances, precipitating the chemical identity crisis of my title. Successful natural product synthesis, moreover, depended on chemists’ ability to demonstrate the absolute identity of synthetic product and natural target – something late nineteenth-century chemists eventually achieved by making reliable, replicable melting and boiling point measurements. In the period before the establishment of national standards laboratories, chemists and scientific glassblowers worked together to standardize melting and boiling points as physical constants, such collaborations highlighting the essential importance of chemical glassware and glassblowing skill in the development of nineteenth-century organic chemistry. (shrink)
What did nineteenth-century chemists know? This essay uses Emil Fischer’s classic study of the sugars in 1880s and 90s Germany to argue that chemists’ knowledge was not primarily vested in the theories of valence, structure, and stereochemistry that have been the subject of so much historical and philosophical analysis of chemistry in this period. Nor can chemistry be reduced to a merely manipulative exercise requiring little or no intellectual input. Examining what chemists themselves termed the “art of chemical experimentation” reveals (...) chemical practice as inseparable from its cognitive component, and it explains how chemists integrated theory with experiment through reason. (shrink)