Didn’t see that coming.
Partnership is an enduring buzzword in development. Just as enduring are efforts to put research institutions in developing countries on a level playing field when they pair up with counterparts in the developed world — on anything from being better able to negotiate contracts to controlling biological resources to having visibility on research papers.
In health research these efforts are now taking a step beyond lofty aspiration or scattered initiatives in the form of a Research Fairness Initiative (RFI): a voluntary reporting mechanism that’s gaining cautious but substantive support.
The case of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old Baltimore man who died in police custody on April 19, 2015 — now ruled a homicide — has raised a number of questions about the treatment of racial minorities within the criminal justice system, as well as about patterns of arrest-related deaths more generally.
The Baltimore Sun‘s 2014 investigation of these issues in that city revealed that “over the past four years, more than 100 people have won court judgments or settlements related to allegations of brutality and civil rights violations.” Other outlets, such as the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, have pursued similar investigations in their region. Still, it remains unclear how much these stark events and figures are characteristic of larger patterns across American society.
Texas lawmakers will meet Thursday to examine policies on how human fetal tissue can be used for scientific research. It will be the first hearing on the subject since a Harris County grand jury in January indicted two undercover videographers who circulated videos about how fetal tissue was procured at Planned Parenthood clinics.
The issue came under heavy scrutiny from Republican leaders in Texas last year after the videographers, David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt, accused Planned Parenthood of breaking a federal law that bans the sale of fetal tissue. Planned Parenthood has vehemently denied the accusations, which were dismissed by a Houston grand jury. That grand jury instead chose to indict the videographers on charges of tampering with a governmental record.