On October 19 (Thurs.), Michael Young, professor and chair of the Department of Psychology, spoke about ethics in human subject research at the Illinois Math and Science Academy. Located in Aurora, Ill., the public state-wide residential high school is for students talented in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.
During his presentation, Young stressed that many ethical issues may not be obvious and that attention to ethical issues should be a routine part of researchers thinking. He also focused on the specific procedures that are in place, like Institutional Review Board (IRB) review, to assure that research with humans is conducted in an ethical manner. The 200 students in attendance learned about specific examples of the wide range of human subjects studies and about the various ethical issues they raise, such as risk-benefit ratios, confidentiality, deception, appropriate methods of compensation, and informed consent. Young also was happy to share a little of his personal history about his path from math and physics to psychology, remaining a scientist all along the way.