Sunday, June 7, 2015

For the Record: Member of President Kaler's Clinical Research Re-engineering Team Calls Him Out

Professor Naomi Scheman is a member of the group selected by University of Minnesota President Kaler to come forward with new policies to rectify the mess that is clinical research at the University.

From the Sunday Star-Tribune  (emphasis mine)

Credit Carl Elliott and Leight Turner for prodding people into action 

As a member of the implementation team at the University of Minnesota whose recommendations concerning human subjects protection are being hailed as “Markingson’s legacy” (“The best thing for the U now is to move forward,” May 31), I need to demur. 
While I think our recommendations if seriously implemented will greatly improve human subjects protection, the ground on which that edifice will stand is still problematically unstable. Unanswered questions and failures to hold individuals accountable remain and need to be addressed. Furthermore, credit for what we have accomplished is misplaced. 
Neither the team nor the external review on whose recommendations our work was based would have existed but for the efforts of Carl Elliott and his colleague Leigh Turner. 
Those of us in the Faculty Senate who called for the outside review deserve credit only — and this is no small thing — for refusing to go along with the clear message from successive administrations that Dr. Elliott was not to be taken seriously, and that while academic freedom afforded him some protection from direct retaliation, others’ academic responsibility lay in shunning him. 
The university administration owes Profs. Elliott and Turner an apology and a debt of gratitude, but, most important going forward, it needs to grant them the credibility they have earned. 
Naomi Scheman, St. Paul 
The writer is a professor of philosophy at the University of Minnesota.

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