Monday, October 29, 2012

U of Sheffield REC Suspended Professor for Discussing Research

The Times Higher Education reports that in 2010, the director of research in the University of Sheffield Management School told Professor Stuart Macdonald to suspend his research, even though the professor had done nothing but mention another professor's research during a "discussion on research ethics and integrity."

[Paul Jump, "Found guilty until proven innocent over unapproved research claims," Times Higher Education, 25 October 2012.]

The story reports, "Fifteen days later, [Macdonald] received an email from the chair of the research ethics committee, Richard Jenkins, saying a 'misunderstanding' had occurred, although he was offered no apology or further explanation."

Macdonald filed a formal complaint about his treatment by the REC, but it was dismissed.

The case echoes the experience of Bernadette McCauley, who also received an order to suspend all research from an ethics committee that had no idea of what it was doing.

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