A History of Research (Ethics)

This is a history of diverse phenomena that, throughout the ages, have shaped how we currently think about, and engage with, the ethics of research.

The stories have been put into one of four categories:;xNLx;• Opening Up Knowledge: These are stories that have helped knowledge become more accessible. In ancient times, temples, libraries and universities helped store and share knowledge. These institutions continue to up to this day, but the open science movement has given this notion great momentum.;xNLx;• Legislation, Declarations & Frameworks: Numerous documents and guidelines have been created throughout the ages that have shaped how research is conducted. This has not always been for the better. The stories in this category captures these documents and some of the debates that surround them.;xNLx;• Improving Research: This category is for a wide-range of stories that - you might realise - don't quite fit in any of the others! Some of these stories have to do with improvements in scientific methodologies, conceptual developments that help us better engage with society, and activist movements that shape research for the better.;xNLx;• Research Tragedies: These are examples we find in common discussions of the history of research ethics. They are the tragedies that inspire declarations, legislation and frameworks but, above all, help us see that research can be deeply interlinked with nefarious ideologies.;xNLx;;xNLx;Each story also has tags. There are four tags: How We Do Things (roughly, stories with this tag have influenced approaches to the conduct or research and spreading of knowledge), What We Value (these are stories about the rise of moral and epistemic values throughout the ages), Science Influencers (stories with this tag are mostly about how people, documents and movements from outside science have shaped its conduct and underlying values), and Bioethics (stories that relate with medical research ethics and have had a particularly strong influence on modern research ethics more broadly).;xNLx;;xNLx;(N.b.: The way I – Ismael Kherroubi García – use "we" above is to refer to us as a global community - I do not see research as a task for a privileged few but a natural process in our seeking new and improved understandings, as individuals and as humankind.);xNLx;;xNLx;;xNLx;;xNLx;"An Incomplete History of Research Ethics" is a work in progress, and aims to be a collaborative endeavour. If you have any thoughts on the current site, you can suggest changes using this [GitHub site](https://github.com/Ismael-KG/An_Incomplete_History_of_Research_Ethics). And if you find GitHub at all overwhelming (which you might if you are new to GitHub), please reach out to me via [Twitter](https://twitter.com/hermeneuticist) or [LinkedIn](https://www.linkedin.com/in/ismaelkherroubi/).;xNLx;;xNLx;And do feel free to share this site!;xNLx;;xNLx;;xSTx;a class="twitter-share-button" href="https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?text=Take%20a%20look%20at%20this%20History%20of%20Research%20Ethics%20by%20@hermeneuticist%20on%20@tiki_toki%20https://www.tiki-toki.com/timeline/entry/1753034/A-History-of-Research-Ethics/";xETx;;xNLx;Share on Twitter;xSTx;/a;xETx;;xNLx;;xNLx;;xNLx;This timeline is being compiled on [Github](https://github.com/Ismael-KG/A-History-of-Research-Ethics);xNLx;@ 2021, Ismael Kherroubi Garcia,. CC BY 4.0

0030 BC-01-01 00:00:00

Cleopatra, the Legend

Two stories attributed to the last pharoah of Ancient Egypt teach us about authorship in science, but also of a terrible research tragedy.

0200-01-01 00:00:00

Concerning the Diseases of Women, by Metrodora

Metrodora appears to be the first female author of a medical text.

0215 BC-01-01 00:00:00

Recipes for Fifty-Two Ailments

A precursor to China's long tradition of "materia medica" serves as an early standard for the modern pharmacopoeia.

0340-01-01 00:00:00

Ge Hong & Bao Gu

Ge Hong reconciles Confucianism and Daoism, leaves instructions for a 2015 Nobel Prize winner, and records Bao Gu's techniques in moxibustion.

0400 BC-01-01 00:00:00

The Hippocratic Oath

Still pledged to - although in more modern versions - the oath provided a code of conduct to ancient Greek physicians

0400-01-01 00:00:00

Monastic Life Begins

Literacy became a worthwhile skill in monks

0450-01-01 00:00:00

University of Nalanda

The University of Nalandais established in the Magadhan Empire. It was destroyed in the 12th century AD.

0500 BC-01-01 00:00:00

The World's First University

The University of TakshaShila, located in modern-day Pakistan, taught students until 6th century AD.

0859-01-01 00:00:00

University of al-Qarawiyyin

The university (still operating today) is established in Morocco, initially as a mosque.

0900-01-01 00:00:00

Adab Al-Tabib by Al-Ruhawi

The title can be translated to "Practical ethics of the physician"

0970-01-01 00:00:00

University of al-Azhar

The university, which is still in operation, was established in Egypt.

1200-01-01 00:00:00

Nahua Metaphysics & Ethics

Pre-Hispanic Mesoamerican philosophy teaches us of the link between beliefs about the world, and how we engage with one another and our natural environment.

1500 BC-01-01 00:00:00

Ebers Papyrus

An ancient compilation of medical texts.

1519-01-01 00:00:00

"The Conquest" begins in Mesoamerica

Spanish officials appear to control most of the narrative around their colonisation of Mexico

1543-01-01 00:00:00

Heliocentrism, Part I

Copernicus argues, through mathematical approaches, for heliocentrism, the idea that the Earth revolves around the sun.

1603-01-01 00:00:00

Accademia del Lincei

The world’s first scientific institute that studies the natural sciences from an experimental viewpoint is established in Rome, Italy.

1610-01-01 00:00:00

Heliocentrism, Part II

Galilei argues for heliocentrism following his observations through the telescope.

1620-01-01 00:00:00

Novum Organum by Francis Bacon

Bacon argues for empirical approaches to making scientific discoveries.

1652-01-01 00:00:00

Academia Naturae Curiosorum

A highly specialised medical science institute is established in Schweinfurt, Germany.

1660-01-01 00:00:00

Royal Society

The Royal Society is established in London, England.

1665-01-05 00:00:00

Journal des Sçavans

The world's first academic journal is published in Paris, France.

1666-12-22 00:00:00

Académie des Sciences

The French Académie of Science is established as a hub for the advancement of science in Paris, France.

1734-01-01 00:00:00

Göttingen University

Göttingen University, in Germany, advocates for an early form of "academic freedom."

1755 BC-01-01 00:00:00

Code of Hammurabi

An ancient legal text that makes reference to the punishment of physicians who harm their patients.

1782-01-01 00:00:00

Princess Dashkova directs the Petersburg Academy of Arts and Sciences

Princess Dashkova Yekaterina Romanovna Vorontsova is appointed to direct the Petersburg Academy of Arts and Sciences, establishes the Russian Academy, and helps reflect on gender stereotypes and allyship.

1810-01-01 00:00:00

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

"Academic freedom" gains form in Humboldt’s University of Berlin, in Germany.

1835-02-01 00:00:00

Black Codes, Jim Crow Laws

Racism finds legal grounding in the US.

1884-05-08 00:00:00

Eugenics, Part I

Francis Galton leads the pseudoscientific ideology of eugenics.

1886-01-01 00:00:00

Berne Convention

Signatories agree that a work’s copyright status requires no formalities and is internationally recognised.

1890-12-12 00:00:00

The Right to Privacy, by Warren & Brandeis

The authors identify privacy as possibly coming under threat by socioeconomic and technological change.

1893-01-01 00:00:00

Émile Durkheim coins "collective consciousness"

The term can be seen as referring to a sort of "group mind," but has also been interpreted as a "moral conscience" for collectives.

1905-01-01 00:00:00

Principle of Patient Autonomy

Four court cases in the US result in the legal establishment of "patient autonomy."

1910-01-01 00:00:00

Hind Swaraj, by Mahatma Gandhi

The English edition of Gandhi's "Hind Swaraj" states "No Rights Reserved" on the front cover.

1932-01-01 00:00:00

Tuskagee Syphilis Study, Part I

A study the evolution of untreated syphilis in black men that involved deception and was grounded in racism.

1936-01-01 00:00:00

The work of art in the age of mechanical reproduction, by Walter Benjamin

Benjamin provides an analysis of art that is relevant to non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

1939-08-02 00:00:00

Atomic Bomb, Part I

Albert Einstein warns of the possibility of Germany developing powerful bombs with uranium, urging the US pursue a similar programme.

1942-08-01 00:00:00

Atomic Bomb, Part II

The world's first moonshot is aimed at defeating the Nazis in creating nuclear weapons.

1944-12-24 00:00:00

Atomic Bomb, Part III

The news that the Nazis were not close to developing nuclear weapons is enough for Rotblat to leave the project creating the atomic bomb.

1945-08-06 08:15:00

Atomic Bomb, Part IV

The US drop atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

1947-08-19 00:00:00

Nuremberg Code

The Nuremberg Code was the outcome of the "Doctors' Trial" against Nazi officials

1948-12-10 00:00:00

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

A milestone document in the history of human rights.

1959-01-01 00:00:00

The Principles of Humane Experimental Technique, by Russell and Burch

The book introduces the Three Rs of animal research: replacement, reduction and refinement.

1964-06-01 00:00:00

Declaration of Helsinki

The World Medical Association adopts the Declaration of Helsinki.

1964-07-02 00:00:00

Civil Rights Act

The Civil Rights Act is signed in response to the Civil Rights movement in the US.

1967-05-23 00:00:00

Project 523

Youyou turns to ancient texts to create a vaccine against malaria in the midst of political upheaval.

1969-06-28 00:00:00

Stonewall Inn Uprising in the US

Black lesbians and trans women protested the police brutality they were subject to.

1971-01-01 00:00:00

Project Gutenberg

Makes online versions of books in the public domain freely available.

1972-07-26 00:00:00

Tuskegee Syphilis Study, Part II

Details of the Tuskegee Syphilis Study are leaked to the New York Times, leading to the end of the project.

1974-07-12 00:00:00

National Research Act in the US

The National Research Act is signed in the US following scandals in scientific practice.

1975-01-01 00:00:00

Animal Liberation, by Peter Singer

Provides a utilitarian argument in defence of animals’ rights.

A History of Research (Ethics)

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