The language of “participant-driven research,” “crowdsourcing” and “citizen science” is increasingly being used to encourage the public to become involved in research ventures as both subjects and scientists....
Abstract As microeconomic calculus and macroeconomic estimation superseded earlier approaches to political economy, broad questions about how things are (ontology), how things might be known (epistemology), and how science should proceed (methodology) were neglected. As a corrective, Critical Realism (CR) has been proposed as an alternative to the orthodox deductive?nomological (ODN) tradition; i.e., to mathematical deduction and statistical induction. In their place, retroduction?the use of analogy, metaphor, intuition and ordinary language?is supposed to illuminate root causes by identifying the deep mechanisms (...) that govern events. CR offers guidelines for social science that are of a most general kind: from initial ?premises,? retroduction proceeds to hypotheses about deep structures and mechanisms. The initial premises are determined by a desire to understand events that surprise us. However, nothing is thereby excluded, including ODN. And since historical processes are revealed neither by assumption nor by the net effects of whatever initial conditions hold, it might be apposite to drop the search for (deep) socio?economic laws and to use whatever evidence is at hand to see whether, and the extent to which, ideal types apply to any given historical sequence. (shrink)
Background: Abortion policy varies significantly between Northern Ireland and Norway. This is the first study to compare medical students’ attitudes towards abortion in two different countries. Objective: To assess medical students’ attitudes to abortion at the University of Oslo (UiO) and Queen’s University Belfast (QUB). Design: An anonymous questionnaire completed by 59 medical students at UiO and 86 medical students at QUB. Participants: Students who had completed their obstetrics and gynaecology placements during 2006/2007. Results: The students’ responses (UiO versus QUB) (...) were as follows: response rate, 95.2% vs 92.5%; stated no religious affiliation, 48.0% vs 4.7%; pro-abortion, 78.2% vs 14.3% (χ2 = 58.160, p<0.001); had seen an abortion while studying medicine, 74.6% vs 9.4% (χ2 = 73.183, p<0.001); in favour of abortion when there was a threat to the mother’s life, 100% vs 93.3% (χ2 = 6.143, p = 0.150); in favour of providing abortion on the mother’s request, 86.4% vs 9.3% (χ2 = 42.067, p<0.001); in agreement that women should have access to free abortion services (mean value on a 5-point Likert scale 1.69 out of 5), versus in disagreement (mean 3.76, p<0.001). Conclusion: There were significant differences in students’ attitudes to abortion, reflecting differences in religious, legal and educational experiences. (shrink)
I agree with Paul Lewis that mathematics has a valuable but not all-encompassing role in economics, that event regularities must be supplemented with a persuasive narrative, and that inferences can inform our understanding of economic behavior. However, Lewis's full-throated defense of critical realism does little to allay my original concerns. It is absurd to maintain, as critical realists do, that mainstream economics has nothing valuable to offer heterodox economists, as their critique of the quantity theory of money tries to demonstrate. (...) More crucially, critical realists?unlike Austrian economists?neglect to provide an epistemological explanation of economic actors? perceptions, which is necessary if we are to bridge critical realism's own division of the social world into the ?actual,? ?empirical,? and ?non-actual real.? (shrink)
Ethics courses are most commonly evaluated using reaction measures. However, little is known about the specific types of reaction data being collected and how these reaction data relate to improvements in trainee performance. Using a sample of 381 ethics training sessions, major reaction data categories were identified. Content and course satisfaction were the most frequently collected types of reaction criteria. Furthermore, content relevance and course satisfaction showed strong, positive relationships with performance criteria, whereas content satisfaction demonstrated a moderate, negative relationship. (...) These results and future directions for ethics training evaluation are discussed. (shrink)
Neural activity and social activity share close parallels, particularly the fact that spontaneous adaptations are paramount in both realms. Environmental pressures require organisms and societies to adapt to new and uncertain situations. Adaptations create, respectively, stronger neural and social networks that may, in turn, make the system more resilient to future uncertainties?but only if the adaptations are beneficial to the system.
The potential for the occurrence of multiple-role relationships is increased when professors also consult with athletic teams on their campuses. Such multiple-role relationships have potential ethical implications that are unclear and largely unexplored, and consultants may find multiple-role relationships both difficult to deal with and unavoidable. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to explore the nature of teacher-practitioner multiple-role relationships. Participants (N=35) were recruited from Association for the Advancement of Applied Sport Psychology (AAASP) certified consultants (CCs) who were also (...) affiliated with a university (N=68). All participants completed a 28-item survey exploring the incidence and relevant issues pertaining to multiple-role relationships. Chi-square analyses revealed that licensed mental health practitioners (i.e., psychologists and counselors) were more likely than nonlicensed AAASP CCs to believe that multiple-role relationships were never appropriate in sport psychology, ?²(1,N= 30) = 12.80, p <.001, and to have never taken part in a multiple-role relationship, ?²(1, N= 33) = 12.44, p<.001. Independent samples t tests revealed that mental health practitioners also reported that they would have higher levels of concern for both the practitioner, r(30) = -2.77, p = .009, and the client, f(30) = -2.50, p = .018, in such a relationship. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2008 APA, all rights reserved). (shrink)
The language of “participant-driven research,” “crowdsourcing” and “citizen science” is increasingly being used to encourage the public to become involved in research ventures as both subjects and scientists. Originally, these labels were invoked by volunteer research efforts propelled by amateurs outside of traditional research institutions and aimed at appealing to those looking for more “democratic,” “patient-centric,” or “lay” alternatives to the professional science establishment. As mainstream translational biomedical research requires increasingly larger participant pools, however, corporate, academic and governmental research programs (...) are embracing this populist rhetoric to encourage wider public participation. We examine the ethical and social implications of this recruitment strategy. We begin by surveying examples of “citizen science” outside of biomedicine, as paradigmatic of the aspirations this democratizing rhetoric was originally meant to embody. Next, we discuss the ways these aspirations become articulated in the biomedical context, with a view to drawing out the multiple and potentially conflicting meanings of “public engagement” when citizens are also the subjects of the science. We then illustrate two uses of public engagement rhetoric to gain public support for national biomedical research efforts: its post-hoc use in the “care.data” project of the National Health Service in England, and its proactive uses in the “Precision Medicine Initiative” of the United States White House. These examples will serve as the basis for a normative analysis, discussing the potential ethical and social ramifications of this rhetoric. We pay particular attention to the implications of government strategies that cultivate the idea that members of the public have a civic duty to participate in government-sponsored research initiatives. We argue that such initiatives should draw from policy frameworks that support normative analysis of the role of citizenry. And, we conclude it is imperative to make visible and clear the full spectrum of meanings of “citizen science,” the contexts in which it is used, and its demands with respect to participation, engagement, and governance. (shrink)
Since the late 1980s, the human genetics and genomics research community has been promising to usher in a “new paradigm for health care”—one that uses molecular profiling to identify human genetic variants implicated in multifactorial health risks. After the completion of the Human Genome Project in 2003, a wide range of stakeholders became committed to this “paradigm shift,” creating a confluence of investment, advocacy, and enthusiasm that bears all the marks of a “scientific/intellectual social movement” within biomedicine. Proponents of this (...) movement usually offer four ways in which their approach to medical diagnosis and health care improves upon current practices, arguing that it is more “personalized,” “predictive,” “preventive,” and “participatory” than the medical status quo. Initially, it was personalization that seemed to best sum up the movement's appeal. By 2012, however, powerful opinion leaders were abandoning “personalized medicine” in favor of a new label: “precision medicine.” The new label received a decisive seal of approval when, in January 2015, President Obama unveiled plans for a national “precision medicine initiative” to promote the development and use of genomic tools in health care. (shrink)