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"Without the freedom to ask difficult questions, research is not really free."

In these bizarre times, the VUB’s humanistic values are as important as ever. Ethics Week is a chance to reflect on the meaning of the VUB’s commitment to research that serves the good of humanity. This year, our kick-off and closing sessions will focus on the importance of informed consent in two different domains: in research in conflict areas, and in medical research. Besides the kick-off and closing sessions, we will also hold a number of sessions with a practical focus, looking at dual use and military research, animal experimentation, data and ethics, and conflicts of interest. Our Science Communication team will organise a session on the US Elections. We will also hold two sessions that reflect the VUB’s core values: an award session for development co-operation, and a ceremony to re-dedicate the VUB’s monument to the victims of human rights abuses.

The VUB’s Ethics Week will take place from 30th of November to 4th of December 2020. Ethics week is a chance to both reflect on our core values in these difficult times, and to provide practical guidance with ethics in research. The week consists of various sessions at the VUB’s two campuses (Etterbeek and Jette). The sessions consist of the following:

  • A series of practical sessions looking at informed consent, medical research, dual use and military research, animal experimentation, data and ethics, and conflicts of interest. These sessions will involve VUB ethics experts and members of our ethical committees and are intended to help researchers at all levels with the ethics questions they face.
  • A Science Bar Brussels (Dutch language) on voting behaviour in the US Elections.
  • Two sessions in which we recognise the VUB’s core values: a re-dedication of the VUB’s human rights monument, and an award for development co-operation.

All the sessions except the Science Bar take place in English.

IMPORTANT: Due to measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19, all Ethics Week sessions will take place online. If you register for a session, you will receive a link to participate in the online session shortly before the session.

 

Monday 30th November 

Kick-off: ‘Conflict & Consent’

  • This session will address the challenges of obtaining informed consent in highly sensitive situations. Two researchers will discuss their experiences of working in conflict zones and working with people who have been involved in conflicts.
  • Speakers: Ellen Vermeulen & Kevin Smets
  • Location: Online session
  • 12:00-14:00
  • Language: English
  • Register here

*NEW!* International Tribute to Fatima Mernissi

  • On 30/11 there is a tribute to the Moroccan sociologist and writer Fatima Mernissi, who was of great importance to the development of feminism in the Muslim world and passed away in 2015. The theme of the evening is Rethinking the Decolonial.
  • Speakers: Asma Lamrabet; Alejandra Tapia (National Autonomous University of Mexico ), Driss Ksikes (Mohammed V University and HEM); Iman Lechkar (Free University of Brussels); Sophia Hadi; Ramón Grosfoguel (University of California, Berkeley; Seloua Luste Boulbina (Diderot Paris 7 university
  • Location: Online session
  • Eveving session 20:00-21:30
  • Location: online session
  • Register here

Tuesday 1st December

Ethics Lunch Session (Etterbeek): Data & Ethics

  • This session will address the importance of metadata for ensuring the reproducibility of scientific research.
  • Speaker: Niek Van Wettere
  • Location: Online session
  • 12:00-14:00
  • Language: English
  • Register here

Science Bar Brussels

  • Science Bar Brussel #CountEveryVote
    • Een wetenschapscafé over politiek, verkiezingen en stemgedrag. In deze Science Bar werpen we niet alleen een blik op de afgelopen Amerikaanse presidentsverkiezingen, maar ook op ons eigen kiessysteem.
  • Speakers: Alison Woodward; Dave Sinardet; Katia Segers
  • Location: Online session
  • Time: 19:00-21:00
  • Language: Dutch
  • Link: Science Bar Brussel Count Every Vote

Student Lunch Session 1 (Jette): Gerontology and Ethics

  • Master’s students from the programme in gerontology will organise a session about ethics issues from their research.
  • Title: Should we prioritize health care for some with COVID-19?
  • Location: Online session
  • 12:00-14:00
  • Language: English
  • Register here

Wednesday 2nd December

Ethics Lunch Session (Jette): Animal Experiments

  • This session will discuss current policy issues relating to animal experiments.
  • Speakers: Professor Karine Breckpot & Professor Eline Menu
  • Location: online session
  • 12:00-14:00
  • Language: English
  • Register here

Thursday 3rd December

Ethics Lunch Session (Etterbeek): Ethics and Military Technologies in Research

  • Speakers: Members of the VUB Ethics Committee for Dual Use, Military Research, and Misuse.
  • Location: online session
  • 12:00-14:00
  • Language: English
  • Register here

Student Lunch Session 2 (Jette): Ethics and Biomedical Sciences

  • Master’s students from the programme in Biomedical Science will organise a session about ethics issues from their research. The session will consist of three short debates on the topics below
  • Titles:
    • Should vaccination for COVID-19, be mandatory or not?
    • Euthanisa on people with Alzheimer and other mental diseases
    • In the case of the emergence of a limited new vaccine (or other drug) against a disease that causes a pandemic, who should be prioritized and receive the care first?
  • Location: Online session
  • 12:00-14:00
  • Language: English
  • Register here

Presentation of University Development Cooperation Career Award

  • The VUB University Development Co-operation Office will present its new award for outstanding development cooperation.
  • Speakers: TBC
  • Location: Online session
  • 16:00-18:00
  • Register here

Friday 4th December

Ethics Lunch Session (Jette): Informed Consent and Medical Research

  • This session will address two current issues in informed consent in medical research:
    • 'Informed Consent’ As The Operationalisation Of The Principle Of Respect For The Autonomy Of Persons'.
    • Issues around informed consent and euthanasia.
  • Speakers: Frank Schweitser & Adelheid Rigo
  • Location: Online session
  • 12:00-14:00
  • Register here

Ethics Lunch Session (Etterbeek): Conflicts of Interest and Spin Offs

  • During this session, the VUB’s Technology Transfer Office will present their guidelines for addressing potential conflicts of interest when researchers start their own spin off companies based on their work.
  • Speakers: Kristel Mommaerts (jurist, VUB TechTransfer); Hugo Loosvelt (IP and licencing manager VUB TechTransfer).
  • Location: Online session
  • 12:00-14:00
  • Language: English
  • Register here

 

 

 

 

TO REGISTRATION

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Registration for Doctoral Candidates

Do the right thing - and get credit for it!

For this year's Ethics Week, you can get study credits for participating in the sessions if you are part of the VUB's Doctoral Progammes.

To get credit for participating, you need to register for the sessions via TEO. Follow the links below:

If you have a VUB TEO Account, please register here.

If you have a VUB TEO Guest Account, please register here.

If you need to make a VUB TEO Guest Account, please go here.

You will get one point for registering. You can't get more than one point, but you can participate in other sessions if you like. If you register via TEO you don't need to register for the sessions via the links on the programme page.

We look forward to seeing you during Ethics Week!