3rd Annual Workshop in Applied Ethics

Northeastern University, Boston, MA, September 27-29, 2013

Informed, autonomous consent is widely considered to be central to the ethics of human subjects research. However, it remains both conceptually and practically underspecified. A conceptually clear account of informed consent that is appropriate to the broad array of human subjects research, from medical to social science, has been elusive. Moreover, it has proven to be difficult to operationalize informed consent in practice. These challenges to the ethics of informed consent have been compounded by the globalization of research and rapid technological developments.

This interdisciplinary workshop will bring together practitioners and theorists at the leading edge of the ethics of informed consent to share their research and discuss the future of informed consent. The workshop is designed to be highly interactive, and to provide speakers with constructive feedback from colleagues working on related issues.

We invite the submission of abstracts (no more than 750 words) from researchers working on the theoretical and practical challenges of informed consent. Possible topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
•Conducting research on vulnerable populations
•Conducting cross-cultural research
•Conducting research in virtual environments
•Informed consent and incidental health findings (MRI, genetic)
•Community health research
•Community-based participatory research and its challenges to traditional informed consent
•Community research boards
•Ethical issues in reporting data to participants
•When IRBs confuse human subjects protection with research design
•Genetic testing outside institutional contexts (e.g. mail order)
•Theories/definitions of informed consent
•Alternatives to informed consent for human subjects research
•Theoretical/definitional work on informed consent and its role in human subjects research
•Informed consent, parental/guardian responsibilities, and minors
•Extending informed consent to nonhuman research subjects

Please email submissions (and questions) to Ronald Sandler

The abstract submission deadline is May 1st, 2013. Abstracts will be reviewed by a program committee. Those selected for the program will be asked to submit completed papers one month prior to the workshop, and papers will be made available on the workshop website. Papers can be of any length, but speakers will be limited to twenty-five minutes to present their ideas, followed by thirty minutes of discussion. For more information about the workshop go to This workshop is sponsored by Northeastern’s Ethics Institute, Social Science Environmental Health Research Institute, and Department of Philosophy and Religion.