Brown Bag Talk by A/P Stuart Derbyshire on 16 January


Speaker: A/P Stuart Derbyshire

Title: The Proposed Human Biomedical Research Bill: A Looming Crisis For Research In Singapore

Date: 16 January, 1-2pm 

Venue: AS4/02-08 (Psychology Department Meeting Room)


The Nuremberg code, a response to the 1946 Nuremberg Medical Trials, was the first attempt to formally state ethical requirements for medical research. The Code was generally ignored as a response to the peculiarly barbaric Nazi atrocities and an unnecessary fetter on normal research. A series of research scandals, however, led to more successful attempts at regulating medical research and to the introduction of various ethical committees during the 1970s. Since then, ethical committees have expanded their remit to regulate social as well as medical research and operate according to precautionary standards that far exceed what is necessary to protect public safety. The recently proposed Human Biomedical Research Bill will add a severely punitive framework to enforce regulatory compliance. The rationale for such a framework is uncertain but the outcomes are predictable: Researchers will practice defensive research and work according to the principle of covering their backs. Deficient research designs, avoidance of difficult populations such as children and the disabled, and safe, boilerplate, boring student research projects are the inevitable consequences of a defensive research environment. 

About the Speaker:

Stuart is an A/P at NUS Psychology and currently serves on the British Pregnancy Advisory Service Research Ethics committee as well as the Psychology Department Ethics committee (DERC). Previously he has chaired the University of Birmingham Psychology Ethics committee and was a founding member of the central UoB Research Ethics committee (despite leading the charge not to cooperate with it). He has also written and lectured extensively (generally in a hostile manner) on research ethics.

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