The University’s Research Ethics Advisory Board was formed to advise on questions of research policy. The Advisory Board acts in the belief that thoughtful discussion of these issues is itself a valuable function of an institution of higher learning.
Pitt Research recognizes that researchers not only need to determine how to conduct research ethically, but sometimes need to consider whether, or under what conditions, to conduct some projects. Some research programs present risks to public safety or security. Some technologies have the potential to transform society in dramatic or fundamental ways. Such research and technology development may benefit from thoughtful discussion and careful planning. Moreover, some existing constraints on scientific inquiry may warrant reexamination.
Some research—including in the humanities and social sciences—may present risks, not of immediate physical harm, but of misuse or misinterpretation which can have negative implications for individuals and communities. This Advisory Board provides a forum to examine this potential as well.
What does the Board do?
The Advisory Board facilitates timely, thorough, interdisciplinary consideration of questions of research ethics and institutional policy that may affect Pitt’s research activities. In addition to considering research questions being pursued or contemplated by Pitt researchers, the Research Ethics Advisory Board may initiate examination of research questions and methods by convening symposia or workshops. These may result in anticipatory guidance for Pitt leadership and researchers, or in white papers or other contributions to the development of national and international research policy.