Search Results for “primer” – blog.Bioethics.gov https://bioethicsarchive.georgetown.edu/pcsbi/blog The blog of the 2009 - 2017 Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues Mon, 09 Jan 2017 23:23:29 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Looking Back at the Bioethics Commission’s Blog https://bioethicsarchive.georgetown.edu/pcsbi/blog/2016/12/05/looking-back-at-the-bioethics-commissions-blog/ https://bioethicsarchive.georgetown.edu/pcsbi/blog/2016/12/05/looking-back-at-the-bioethics-commissions-blog/#respond Mon, 05 Dec 2016 16:00:04 +0000 https://bioethicsarchive.georgetown.edu/pcsbi/blog/?p=2125 Throughout its tenure, the Bioethics Commission has maintained an active digital presence to connect with a global audience. A major component of this has been through its blog. This final blog post reflects on the role the blog has played in disseminating the Bioethics Commission’s work.first-blog

Former Bioethics Commission Executive Director Valerie Bonham launched the commission’s blog on November 15, 2010, announcing that the staff would be liveblogging during Meeting Three in Atlanta. From that meeting onward, Bioethics Commission staff continued to blog live from the Bioethics Commission’s meetings, held throughout the country in cities including Washington DC, Philadelphia, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Chicago, and Boston. Meeting posts highlighted salient points of discussion as they occurred during the public meetings. For example, during Meeting Three, a blog post outlined the members’ deliberations regarding the risks and benefits of synthetic biology. During Meeting Eighteen, which focused on ethical issues in neuroscience, a blog post highlighted some of the discussion about the ethical challenges in neuroscience research. The Bioethics Commission also used blog posts to distill complex topics that arose during meetings. During Meeting Twelve, which focused on pediatric medical countermeasure research, a blog post presented a simplified structure of some of the federal regulations concerning pediatric research.

The commission’s blog also highlighted and explained the impact of the commission’s work. For example, during the commission’s tenure, a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to revise the Common Rule—the regulations that govern the ethical conduct of federally supported human subjects research—was published in the Federal Register on September 8, 2015. Elements of the commission’s work were included in this notice. In September and October 2015, the Bioethics Commission released a series of blog posts that described some of the relevant inclusions in the NPRM, and explained their significance.

The Bioethics Commission also used the blog to share its outreach activities and initiatives with a broad readership. For example, when Bioethics Commission staff attended the annual meeting of the American Society of Bioethics and Humanities in October 2015, a blog post highlighted the commission’s outreach efforts, and included answers to frequently asked questions that staff members fielded while at the conference. When the Bioethics Commission presented at the White House BRAIN conference, a blog post shared Executive Director Lisa M. Lee’s remarks. On June 8, 2016, Col. Nelson Michael gave an interview with the bioethics news site BioEdge, and the Bioethics Commission staff wrote a two-part blog post on some of the issues Col. Michael raised regarding democratic deliberation and ethics education. Blog posts were also written to describe publications in academic journals by Commission members and staff. A blog post shared a commentary written by Bioethics Commission Vice Ch
air Dr. James Wagner, who wrote about the importance of early ethics education.

During its tenure, the Bioethics Commission produced over 65 educational materials, and used the blog to picture1announce the availability of new educational materials, including user guides, primers, classroom discussion guides, and deliberative scenarios. Blog posts also helped outline how to use the educational materials. Blog posts also highlighted topics including innovations in ethics education, and the importance of civic engagement. The Bioethics Commission also used the blog to announce and promote its podcast series Ethically Sound, a 10-episode series that focuses on some of the ethical issues raised in the commission’s reports.
Readers can access previous blog posts, educational materials, the podcast series Ethically Sound, along with all of the Bioethics Commission’s reports and related materials at bioethics.gov. On behalf of the Bioethics Commission, we thank our readers for their continued interest in the work of the commission.

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Introducing New Primer Series: Spotting and Responding to Hype https://bioethicsarchive.georgetown.edu/pcsbi/blog/2016/08/03/introducing-new-primer-series-spotting-and-responding-to-hype/ https://bioethicsarchive.georgetown.edu/pcsbi/blog/2016/08/03/introducing-new-primer-series-spotting-and-responding-to-hype/#respond Wed, 03 Aug 2016 12:00:28 +0000 https://bioethicsarchive.georgetown.edu/pcsbi/blog/?p=1890 The Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues (Bioethics Commission) has released a new series of primers on spotting and responding to science hype in the media. The three primers cover hype related to topics in new technology, public health and neuroscience. The primers introduce hype about scientific topics in the media, and provide users with ways to spot hype and evaluate scientific claims in media outlets. The primers draw on topics covered in three of the Commission’s reports: New Directions: The Ethics of Synthetic Biology and Emerging Technologies, Ethics and Ebola: Public Health Planning and Response, and Gray Matters: Topics at the Intersection of Neuroscience, Ethics, and Society.

The primers are designed to help members of the public spot and respond to hyped claims in the media, which can often distort, exaggerate or misrepresent scientific information. The primers note that hype is generated from numerous sources, including scientists, communication and public relations professionals, and journalists. Each primer provides users with steps to spot hype as well as respond to hype when they counter such claims in news stories and blog posts. The primers also include examples of hyped claims that were found in news outlets.

The Commission has discussed hype in a number of its reports. In New Directions, the Commission recommended that individuals and deliberative forums should use clear language when communicating scientific information and avoid “sensationalist buzzwords” when describing topics in synthetic biology. The Commission also called for a private organization to fact-check claims that discuss advances in synthetic biology. In Ethics and Ebola, the Commission recommended that governments and public health organizations use the best available scientific evidence to inform decisions about using liberty-restricting measures (e.g., quarantines) and avoid bending to public pressure to inappropriately implement such measures. In Gray Matters, the Commission recommended that neuroscientists, attorneys, judges and members of the media avoid using or engaging with hype in relation to using neuroscience in the courtroom, noting that justice is threatened when unfounded neuroscience is used to make decisions in a courtroom.

This set of primers is the most recent addition to our “Conversation Series” collections of primers. Interested individuals can access our other “Conversation Series,” which discusses discussing incidental findings for consumers, research participants and patients. Users can also find informational primers about incidental findings and consent capacity.

Please stay tuned for information about forthcoming educational materials, including a classroom discussion guide and a deliberative scenario about incidental findings based on the Commission’s report Anticipate and Communicate: Ethical Management of Incidental and Secondary Findings in the Clinical, Research, and Direct-to-Consumer Contexts.

All Bioethics Commission educational materials are free and available for download at www.bioethics.gov/education. The Bioethics Commission encourages feedback on its materials at education@bioethics.gov.

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Bioethics Commission Meeting 24: The Bioethics Commission Educational Materials https://bioethicsarchive.georgetown.edu/pcsbi/blog/2016/03/03/bioethics-commission-meeting-24-the-bioethics-commission-educational-materials/ https://bioethicsarchive.georgetown.edu/pcsbi/blog/2016/03/03/bioethics-commission-meeting-24-the-bioethics-commission-educational-materials/#respond Thu, 03 Mar 2016 20:03:46 +0000 https://bioethicsarchive.georgetown.edu/pcsbi/blog/?p=1805 In the first session of its twenty-fourth meeting, the Bioethics Commission reviewed its current portfolio of educational materials and assessed how it might be expanded to reach new audiences. The Bioethics Commission heard from Elizabeth Pike, J.D., LL.M., a Senior Policy and Research Analyst at the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues; Maneesha Sakhuja, M.H.S., a Research Analyst at the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues; and Steven Kessler, M.S., an Instructor of Biological Sciences at the City College of San Francisco.

Pike described different kinds of educational materials. She explained how primers, for example, are intended to help specific audiences understand and implement the Commission’s recommendations in Anticipate and Communicate: Ethical Management of Incidental and Secondary Findings in the Clinical, Research, and Direct-to-Consumer Contexts. She also introduced the topic-based modules, noting how instructors can tailor the addition of cutting-edge topics in health, science, and technology to their classroom to stimulate students’ thinking about their impacts on society. Modules also allow instructors to choose among various activities including discussion questions, problem-based learning, and exercises based on optional additional resources.

Sakhuja continued the discussion by more closely diving into the public health case studies. These case exercises present a detailed description of a case based on real-life public health events, describe relevant analysis from the Bioethics Commission’s deliberations, and prompt engaged discussion. For example, the Communicating During a Public Health Emergency case situates readers in the role of a public information officer in a city health department after learning of a confirmed case of Ebola in a nearby hospital. The case then presents readers with relevant analysis from the Bioethics Commission and asks readers to answer questions about how to proceed with communicating to the public. Sakhuja also unveiled a forthcoming educational material format—deliberative scenarios—slated to be released in Spring 2016. The deliberative scenarios will help high school and college students develop deliberative skills in the classroom by practicing forming a consensus and proposing a course of action by incorporating a variety of perspectives. Each scenario is accompanied with a teacher’s companion to help guide and support the deliberation.

Wrapping up the panel, Kessler informed the Bioethics Commission about his use of the discussion guides in biology classes at the City College of San Francisco. The discussion guides were designed to be appropriate for teachers without expertise in ethics and intended to start conversations about bioethics in a way that was accessible to high school and college students.

The Bioethics Commission will continue the meeting with a member discussion about the educational materials.

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Bioethics Deliberation and Education in Gray Matters https://bioethicsarchive.georgetown.edu/pcsbi/blog/2015/10/21/bioethics-deliberation-and-education-in-gray-matters/ https://bioethicsarchive.georgetown.edu/pcsbi/blog/2015/10/21/bioethics-deliberation-and-education-in-gray-matters/#respond Wed, 21 Oct 2015 17:42:27 +0000 https://bioethicsarchive.georgetown.edu/pcsbi/blog/?p=1734 In last week’s continuation of our “Deliberation and Education” series, we discussed the role of deliberation and education in the recommendations issued by the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues (Bioethics Commission) in its sixth report: Anticipate and Communicate. This week’s post will examine deliberation and education in the Bioethics Commission’s Gray Matters reports.

As part of the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative announced in April 2013, President Obama asked the Bioethics Commission to review the ethical issues associated with the conduct and application of neuroscience research advances. Gray Matters is a two volume Commission report on neuroscience and ethics.

In Gray Matters: Integrative Approaches for Neuroscience, Ethics, and Society (Gray Matters, Vol. 1), released in May 2014, the Bioethics Commission focused on the importance of integrating ethics and neuroscience early and explicitly throughout the research endeavor, and called for funding for ethics. In Gray Matters: Topics at the Intersection of Neuroscience, Ethics, and Society (Gray Matters, Vol. 2), released in March 2015, the Commission focused its analysis on three particularly controversial topics that illustrate the ethical tensions and societal implications of advancing neuroscience and technology.

In Gray Matters, Vol. 1, the Bioethics Commission made four recommendations focused on integrating ethics and neuroscience research. In its third recommendation, the Commission directly recommended education as a part of this integration:

Government agencies and other research funders should initiate and support research that develops innovative models and evaluates existing and new models for integrating ethics and science through education at all levels.

During its deliberations, the Bioethics Commission heard from a number of scientists and educators who emphasized the importance of ensuring that researchers understand the role of ethics in good science. The Commission concluded that ethics and science education should be integrated across the curriculum at all levels, not just in graduate school, in order to create a strong, lasting foundation.

In Gray Matters, Vol. 2, the Bioethics Commission focused its analysis on three topics: cognitive enhancement, consent capacity, and neuroscience and the legal system. The Commission made 14 recommendations to guide the ethical progress of neuroscience research and its applications; the recommendations are divided by topic area and including one concluding recommendation. The Commission included education in its tenth recommendation, under neuroscience and the legal system:

Government bodies and professional organizations, including legal societies and nonprofit organizations, should develop, expand, and promote training resources, primers, and other educational tools that explain the application of neuroscience to the legal system for distribution to members of the public, jurors, judges, attorneys, and others.

In addition, education was also included in the Bioethics Commission’s final, overarching recommendation:

The BRAIN Initiative should establish and fund organized, independent, multidisciplinary efforts to support neuroscience and ethics research and education, including the activities recommended in this report.

Education plays a central role in both volumes of Gray Matters. By providing ethics education and information on the advances of neuroscience, we can ensure that ethical neuroscientific advances continue while avoiding hype and misinformation in a rapidly evolving field.

Both volumes of Gray Matters and all other Bioethics Commission reports are available at bioethics.gov.

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Bioethics Deliberation and Education in Anticipate and Communicate https://bioethicsarchive.georgetown.edu/pcsbi/blog/2015/10/15/bioethics-deliberation-and-education-in-anticipate-and-communicate/ https://bioethicsarchive.georgetown.edu/pcsbi/blog/2015/10/15/bioethics-deliberation-and-education-in-anticipate-and-communicate/#respond Thu, 15 Oct 2015 18:32:16 +0000 https://bioethicsarchive.georgetown.edu/pcsbi/blog/?p=1732 Last month, we left off our “Deliberation and Education” series with the blog post “Bioethics Deliberation and Education in Safeguarding Children.” Like previous posts in this series, it examined the role of deliberation and education in the recommendations issued by the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues (Bioethics Commission). This fifth post in the series will examine deliberation and education in the Bioethics Commission’s sixth report: Anticipate and Communicate: Ethical Management of Incidental and Secondary Findings in the Clinical, Research, and Direct-to-Consumer Contexts.

Anticipate and Communicate, released in December 2013, expands upon the Bioethics Commission’s previous report, Privacy and Progress in Whole Genome Sequencing. Recognizing that the ethics of reporting incidental findings to individuals was an important and unsettled issue raised in Privacy and Progress, the Commission chose to examine both incidental and secondary findings further in a later report.

The Bioethics Commission made 17 recommendations, divided into overarching and context-specific recommendations for clinicians, researchers, and direct-to-consumer companies. In its fourth overarching recommendation, the Commission directly recommended education as a part of the ethical management of incidental and secondary findings:

Public and private entities should prepare educational materials to inform all stakeholders—including practitioners, institutional review boards, and potential recipients—about the ethical, practical, and legal considerations raised by incidental and secondary findings.

The Bioethics Commission recognized that education is important for ensuring both that the public is able to make informed decisions and that practitioners are aware of their ethical obligations with regard to incidental findings. With this in mind, the Commission created a series of primers for IRB members, practitioners, and recipients to support the practical application of its recommendations. These primers are only the beginning; there still remain numerous opportunities for a variety of groups, organizations, and professional bodies to assist in educating stakeholders about incidental and secondary findings.

Anticipate and Communicate, the Bioethics Commission’s educational materials, and all other Commission reports are available at bioethics.gov.

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New Bioethics Commission Educational Materials and Improved Website Access https://bioethicsarchive.georgetown.edu/pcsbi/blog/2015/09/14/new-bioethics-commission-educational-materials-and-improved-website-access/ https://bioethicsarchive.georgetown.edu/pcsbi/blog/2015/09/14/new-bioethics-commission-educational-materials-and-improved-website-access/#respond Mon, 14 Sep 2015 15:47:47 +0000 https://bioethicsarchive.georgetown.edu/pcsbi/blog/?p=1711 The Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues (Bioethics Commission) has released new educational materials and unveiled a reorganized webpage to facilitate easier access to all of its educational resources.

New materials include Users Guides that provide field-specific directories to Bioethics Commission educational materials, Public Health Case Studies that provide public health professionals and educators with opportunities to explore ethical issues that might arise in the course of their work, and Classroom Discussion Guides that provide prompts and questions that instructors at various educational levels can use to integrate ethics into their classes. These new resources add to a collection of educational materials that the Bioethics Commission has developed and made available to support the integration of bioethics into many disciplines in traditional and nontraditional educational and professional settings.

The Users Guides are designed to help professionals and educators quickly identify the most relevant materials for their needs. Guides are currently available for Researchers, Human Subjects Researchers, Public Health Professionals, Legal Educators, Public Policy Educators, and Science Educators. Future blogs will highlight the new Public Health Case Studies and Classroom Discussion Guides.

The updated education webpage facilitates access to Bioethics Commission educational materials by grouping them by categories. Categories include Users Guides for professionals in various fields, Primers for professionals and the public, Teaching Tools for educators and professional training instructors, and Videos for all audiences.

All Bioethics Commission educational materials are free and available at www.bioethics.gov/education. The Bioethics Commission encourages feedback on its materials via email to education@bioethics.gov.

 

 

 

 

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Capacity, Consent, and Progress: Recommendations from the Bioethics Commission https://bioethicsarchive.georgetown.edu/pcsbi/blog/2015/07/29/capacity-consent-and-progress-recommendations-from-the-bioethics-commission/ https://bioethicsarchive.georgetown.edu/pcsbi/blog/2015/07/29/capacity-consent-and-progress-recommendations-from-the-bioethics-commission/#respond Wed, 29 Jul 2015 17:48:26 +0000 https://bioethicsarchive.georgetown.edu/pcsbi/blog/?p=1680 (This post also appears on PRIM&R’s Amp&rsand blog)

Earlier this year, the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues (Bioethics Commission) released the second part of its report on neuroscience and ethics—Gray Matters: Topics at the Intersection of Neuroscience, Ethics, and Society (Gray Matters, Vol. 2). The report examines in depth several controversial topics that bring ethical issues to the fore, including cognitive enhancement, neuroscience and the law, and the ethical conduct of research with participants with impaired capacity for informed consent.

The challenge of impaired consent capacity has been a perennial issue in research ethics for decades yet it is nonetheless well-placed in a report about contemporary neuroscience. Neuroscientists commonly study the very diseases that can cause impairments in decision-making capacity, making informed consent difficult or impossible. These include head trauma, stroke, dementia, schizophrenia, and major depression, among others. Neuroscience research can promote progress towards understanding and alleviating these conditions, but that progress requires the participation of persons affected. Informed consent is a central tenet of research ethics and, in its absence—when working with participants whose capacity is impaired—researchers and IRBs need clear guidelines for whether and how to proceed ethically.

It is vital to find ways whenever possible to ethically and responsibly include individuals with impaired consent capacity in research, but researchers must also vigilantly protect participants from exploitation and abuse. In addition, researchers must guard against and mitigate stigma and harmful assumptions about individuals based on diagnoses or impaired consent capacity.

With all of this in mind, Gray Matters, Vol. 2 explains the long and complex history of national bodies crafting guidance about impaired consent capacity, describes the current regulatory framework to protect participants, and elucidates additional protections that can be employed when consent capacity is impaired or in question. These additional protections include using improved assessment techniques, respecting assent and dissent, engaging independent consent monitors, limiting acceptable levels of risk, requiring legally authorized representatives, honoring research advance directives, and ensuring meaningful stakeholder engagement. The Bioethics Commission made four recommendations in this area, emphasizing responsible inclusion, and calling for clearer requirements for identifying legally authorized representatives to provide permission on behalf of participants when consent capacity is impaired.

As a part of its continued efforts to distribute its findings and recommendations to relevant stakeholders, the Bioethics Commission has developed educational materials to accompany its reports. Included among the Gray Matters educational material is a primer for researchers on neuroscience and consent capacity. Researchers can use the primer to aid ethical decision making and ensure that they have considered and implemented appropriate safeguards. All of the Bioethics Commission’s materials are free and available at http://education.

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New Primer for Researchers on Neuroscience and Consent Capacity Now Available https://bioethicsarchive.georgetown.edu/pcsbi/blog/2015/06/24/new-primer-for-researchers-on-neuroscience-and-consent-capacity-now-available/ https://bioethicsarchive.georgetown.edu/pcsbi/blog/2015/06/24/new-primer-for-researchers-on-neuroscience-and-consent-capacity-now-available/#respond Wed, 24 Jun 2015 16:20:35 +0000 https://bioethicsarchive.georgetown.edu/pcsbi/blog/?p=1659 The Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues (Bioethics Commission) has posted to Bioethics.gov a new educational primer: this primer provides researchers with information on neuroscience and consent capacity. The module accompanies the Bioethics Commission’s two-volume report Gray Matters: Integrative Approaches for Neuroscience, Ethics, and Society (Gray Matters, Vol. 1) and Gray Matters: Topics at the Intersection of Neuroscience, Ethics, and Society (Gray Matters, Vol. 2).

The primer on neuroscience and consent capacity was designed to help researchers, especially those working in neuroscience, understand and implement the Bioethics Commission’s recommendations about responsibly including individuals with potentially impaired consent capacity in their studies. The primer will aid ethical decision making and help researchers consider and implement appropriate ethical safeguards throughout their work.

The primer consists of frequently asked questions, which help researchers understand whether they should include participants with impaired consent capacity in their studies, and how to do so ethically. It includes an explanation of the ethical considerations involved in enrolling such participants, catalogues relevant laws and regulations, and describes potential safeguards that could help protect participants. The primer directs researchers to the Gray Matters report for further in-depth reading about the topics covered in it.

In addition to this primer, other educational materials have been posted to accompany the Bioethics Commission’s work. Several other primers have been developed to accompany the Bioethics Commission’s 2014 report Anticipate and Communicate: Ethical Management of Incidental and Secondary Findings. The goal of the primer series is to provide concise, understandable materials for researchers, clinicians, and other health care professionals looking to implement some of the Bioethics Commission’s recommendations in particular contexts.

All Bioethics Commission educational materials are free and available at www.bioethics.gov/education. The Bioethics Commission encourages feedback on its materials at education@bioethics.gov.

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Bioethics Commission Recommends Creation of Educational Tools for Neuroscience in the Legal System https://bioethicsarchive.georgetown.edu/pcsbi/blog/2015/06/03/bioethics-commission-recommends-creation-of-educational-tools-for-neuroscience-in-the-legal-system/ https://bioethicsarchive.georgetown.edu/pcsbi/blog/2015/06/03/bioethics-commission-recommends-creation-of-educational-tools-for-neuroscience-in-the-legal-system/#respond Wed, 03 Jun 2015 17:39:07 +0000 https://bioethicsarchive.georgetown.edu/pcsbi/blog/?p=1652 On March 26 the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues (Bioethics Commission) released the second part of its two-volume report on neuroscience and ethics, Gray Matters: Topics at the Intersection of Neuroscience, Ethics, and Society (Gray Matters, Vol. 2). In Gray Matters, Vol. 2, the Bioethics Commission addressed the application of neuroscience to the legal system. Advances in neuroscience offer a deeper understanding of human behavior and, when applied to legal decision making and policy development, can potentially improve accuracy, reduce errors, and advance justice. However, the application of neuroscience to the legal system is not without ethical concerns, including questions about scientific reliability and overreliance.

Neuroscience is already and increasingly being used in criminal and civil court cases and to influence policy at the highest levels. Bridging the interdisciplinary gap between neuroscience and the law can be difficult. To understand and accurately interpret neuroscience, stakeholders must be educated. Specifically, the Bioethics Commission recommended:

Government bodies and professional organizations, including legal societies and nonprofit organizations, should develop, expand, and promote training resources, primers, and other educational tools that explain the application of neuroscience to the legal system for distribution to members of the public, jurors, judges, attorneys, and others.

Practical challenges make it difficult for neuroscience to be applied accurately to the legal system. Neuroscience and the law are two disciplines that involve vastly different kinds of expertise, assumptions, terminology, and goals. Generally, neuroscience research aims to make correlations in the aggregate across populations, whereas the law seeks to draw conclusions about individual behavior and motivation. Neuroscientific evidence also can be relevant and add value to decision making processes, but the persuasive allure of brain images can unduly influence decision makers.

Judges and lawyers need to understand and accurately interpret new kinds of scientific evidence—including neuroscience evidence—and work to avoid overreliance and misapplication. In addition, members of the public that might serve as jurors would benefit greatly from educational resources that help bring high-level scientific concepts and information into lay terms. Efforts to train lawyers and judges are already under way. For example, organizations like the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the MacArthur Foundation have created materials, hosted seminars, and developed continuing education programs that help legal decision makers understand and keep up with developments in neuroscience.

Neuroscience has the potential to improve legal and policy decision making. But its effective use requires easing the translation of concepts and results across disciplines. Education is essential to achieving this goal.

Gray Matters, Vol. 2 and all other Bioethics Commission reports are available at Bioethics.gov.

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The Bioethics Commission and Ethics Integration at All Levels https://bioethicsarchive.georgetown.edu/pcsbi/blog/2015/02/19/the-bioethics-commission-and-ethics-integration-at-all-levels/ https://bioethicsarchive.georgetown.edu/pcsbi/blog/2015/02/19/the-bioethics-commission-and-ethics-integration-at-all-levels/#respond Thu, 19 Feb 2015 17:15:58 +0000 https://bioethicsarchive.georgetown.edu/pcsbi/blog/?p=1573 This week, Research Analyst Elizabeth Fenton will present on behalf of the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues (Bioethics Commission) at the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics Twenty-fourth Annual International Conference. The presentation is part of a four-day conference held by the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics (APPE), an organization founded to promote the advancement and teaching of practical and professional ethics. APPE’s annual conference has a number of different program tracks, including: bioethics, business ethics, environmental ethics, empirical ethics, media and journalism ethics, and research ethics.

Fenton’s presentation is part of the conference’s Bioethics track. Her presentation, “Bioethics Education: Presidential Bioethics Commission and Ethics Integration at all Levels and Across Disciplines,” highlights the Bioethics Commission’s pedagogical materials. Noting the need for improved resources to support ethics education, the Commission has committed to building a foundation of educational materials that can be used across a wide range of academic disciplines in a variety of settings using contemporary ethics issues. The educational materials produced by the Commission range from topic specific modules created to correspond to Commission reports, to primers for physicians, researchers, and patients; the Commission also offers Spanish translations for its materials related to its analysis of the unethical STD research conducted in the 1940s in Guatemala.

Fenton’s presentation will discuss the importance of integrating ethics into educational disciplines such as science, where ethical challenges frequently arise but where researchers might not have the skills or vocabulary needed to recognize or address them. Ethics integration promotes ethical conduct, professional responsibility, and engagement with the broader societal dimensions of research to enable thoughtful decision-making. The presentation will also highlight the need for further research to evaluate the best models for ethics integration.

“Ethics integration is very much a two-way street,” Fenton says. “It is a process in which experts in both ethics and science can become competent and literate in each other’s fields. When scientists develop a vocabulary for expressing ethical concerns, and ethicists have the scientific vocabulary to understand those concerns, both fields benefit.”

All educational materials developed by the Bioethics Commission are available for free on its website at www.bioethics.gov/education. Instructors are encouraged to access, use, and adapt the materials, provide feedback on their utility, and suggest improvements. We encourage comments or suggestions at education@bioethics.gov.

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