So Mr. Big Food, The J-Man and I went to this guy’s talk:
Sep 13, 2016
Visiting Speaker September 23 – Dr. Gregory Pence
Dr. Gregory Pence will be giving a talk in our department on September 23. Dr. Pence is a Professor and the Chair of the Department of Philosophy at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, as well as the Director of the Early Medical Student Acceptance Program in UAB’s College of Medicine. His talk, titled “Is one of the most famous studies in neuroscience like the infamous Tuskegee study?” will occur from 2-4pm in McCain Hall, Room 185.
Attendance at this talk can serve as MSU IRB refresher credit and for Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) credit. Contact Kacey Strickland (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
Dr. Pence’s abstract is as follows:
In 2000, researchers at Harvard, Tulane and Maryland saw a unique opportunity with Romania’s abandoned orphans to do a study in nature about how deprivation affects development of brains and personality in children. Dividing groups of institutionalized orphans into two groups of about sixty, they matched the two groups for several variables. In the treatment group, researchers strove to get foster parents or adoption for orphans. In the control group, they left the orphans alone in Romanian institutions, where hundreds often had only one cleaning woman as a custodian. By 2013, after going back and testing subjects in both groups, these researchers say they had proved that lack of human contact in large institutions profoundly harmed those children.
But should these researchers have done more for orphans in the non-treatment group? Wasn’t it already known by 2000 that lack of stimulation and isolating profoundly affects brain development? Why did no IRB object to this study? Because it was in poor Romania? Why is this study presented in courses in neurosciences as if it’s ethically uncontroversial?
Me again– . It was an interesting talk. He is an interesting guy. Even seems reasonable. He likes gradients. Slopes are interesting.
He is struggling with his own guilt issues– why else even mention that his neighbor’s kid is one of the PIs on the the Romanian orphan project? He likes his neighbor. Maybe the neighbor’s kid is an accidental victim of Wrong Lab Wrong Time– an honest guy who happens to be an honest scientist caught up in something… . He likes his neighbor.
Somehow, the valence turns out to be local. Is that a thing I can say that makes sense?
How Romanian orphans affect him is informed by the chance event that he is neighbors with one of the Romanian orphans project’s PIs’ parents.
And I blame Ceaușescu, may he burn in Eternal Hell.