December 7th, Brussels

VUB & ULB assess ethics in research

Research undergoes exhaustive ethical screening and funding organisations increase the emphasis on ethics in all fields of research. Participants to experiments must get all the possible relevant medical and legal information and understand what is required of them, informational and authorisation forms are not allowed to be too exhaustive but neither should they be too short. Animal right organisations go undercover in universities. The law on privacy is becoming more and more severe: participants can withdraw from experiments and retroactively demand the removal of information, one should collaborate internationally but take care that research and data do not fall into’ bad hands’… .
So many factors. Justifiably so, but can one still claim to participate in free research under these requirements?

One year after our academic world was shaken on its ethical foundations, due to an undercover investigation from the animal rights activists: Gaia, there is a strong need to reflect on the subject of Integrity and Ethics in academic and private research.

Through means of this congress, the VUB and ULB wish to zoom in on the broader ethical topics that have an impact on research. By means of debates, lectures and panel discussions we wish to offer a platform to students and researchers to reflect about the ethical values and issues within their disciplines.