Activities of the CNR Research Ethics and Bioethics Committee

Below is a summary of the Committee’s activities, in chronological order.

Plenary Meeting of the Research Ethics and Bioethics Committee (13 June 2019)

The Assembly discusses the programme of the upcoming researcher training in research integrity, which is scheduled to start next October. The Coordinator then illustrates the broad results of an analysis of cases of alleged research misconduct which involve Cnr institutes. The Assembly moves to a discussion and approval of amendments to the Commette’s rules regarding the procedures the Institute accepts requests for evaluation of cases of alleged misconduct from university deans and heads of research institutions. Next, the Assembly receives updates on the documents under elaboration and decides to establish a new workgroup dedicated to the criteria of “Authorship” (Rapporteurs: Cinzia Caporale and Daniele Fanelli). Requests for Ethical Clearance by Cnr Institutes and other scientific insititutions. The Committee debates and approves the answer to a letter to the Committee sent by the Director of the Cnr Department for Biomedical Sciences, prof. Tullio Pozzan. Finally, it discusses and approves, with amendments, the document “Increasing Risks of predatory Publishing: Recommendations for Researchers” (Rapporteur: Vincenzo Di Nuoscio).

Plenary Meeting of the Cnr Research Ethics and Bioethics Committee (11 April 2019)

The President opens the plenary expressing his appreciation for the activities of the Committee and offers some indications for the prosecution of the activities during the year. The Coordinator proceeds with some communications concerning the 10th Anniversary of the Committee and the elaboration of a volume and a training programme on Research Integrity. Several new international activities and planned initiatives are also presented. The first revision of the "Guidelines for Research Integrity" is then discussed and approved (Rapporteurs: Cinzia Caporale and Daniele Fanelli). According to the next item on the agenda, cases of alleged research misconduct are examined and the advisory ethics opinions on these cases are approved. The session continues with the discussion of the draft document “Incidental Findings in the natural and social sciences” (Rapporteur: Federica Migliardo). Finally, the Committee evaluates and approves the requests for Ethical Clearance submitted by Cnr Institutes.

Plenary Meeting of the Cnr Research Ethics and Bioethics Committee (7 February 2019)

The Committee discusses and approves the opinion “Dignity, freedom and equality in the European Research Area” (Rapporteurs: Carmela Decaro, Sveva Avveduto, IRPPS-Cnr). Next, the Committee examines a case of alleged research misconduct. This is followed by the discussion and approval of amendments to the “Guidelines for Research Integrity “(Rapporteurs: Cinzia Caporale and Daniele Fanelli) and by a debate on the draft documents “Predatory Journals: ethical toolkit for researchers” (Rapporteur: Vincenzo Di Nuoscio) and “Incidental Findings in the natural and social sciences” (Rapporteur: Federica Migliardo). Lastly, the Committee evaluates and approves the requests for Ethical Clearance submitted by Cnr Institutes.

Plenary Meeting of the Cnr Research Ethics and Bioethics Committee (4 October 2018)

The assembly verifies the progress of the activities of the Thematic Workgroups and establishes new ones. Francesco Maria Pizzetti, member of the Committee, reports on the new European and Italian regulation for the protection of personal data. Maria Luisa Rastello, member of the Committee, presents the topic of “Quality of scientific data and the so called Fake Data phenomenon in the sciences” and proposes the elaboration of a document (on this subject (approved). The Committee then debates the advanced draft of the document “Dignity, freedom and equality in the European Research Area” (Rapporteurs: Carmela Decaro and Sveva Avveduto, IRPPS-Cnr). The approval of the text is postponed until the plenary session to take place in November. The Committee then discusses the legal issues concerning the protection of whistleblowers, also in light of recent rulings, and checks for similarities and differences with the protection of those who report cases of alleged research misconduct. Finally, the Committee examines and approves the requests for Ethical Clearance submitted by Cnr institutes, as well as a further clearance requested by the scientific organization Bioversity International.

Plenary Meeting of the Cnr Research Ethics and Bioethics Committee (21 June 2018)

The Committee discusses updates from the Thematic Workgroups. In particular, Carmela Decaro, Rapporteur for the Thematic Workgroup “Dignity, freedom and equality in the European Research Area”, presents an advanced draft of the text. The document “Gender medicine and clinical trials” is then discussed and approved (Rapporteurs: Cinzia Caporale and Silvio Garattini). Daniele Fanelli, member of the Committee, presents an update lecture to the Assembly with a report on new international data regarding research misconduct. A further procedural matter is addressed in this field, concerning the treatment of cases of alleged research misconduct with respect to the pseudonymization of cases submitted to the Sub-Committee dedicated to Research Integrity, in order to act in compliance with the ethical principle of proportionality. Before moving on to the last item of the agenda, which includes the evaluation and approval of Ethical Clearances, the several critical issues arising from the implementation of the EU Regulation 2016/679 (General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR) are also explained and discussed.

Plenary Meeting of the Cnr Research Ethics and Bioethics Committee (3 May 2018)

The assembly begins with a review of the activities of the active Thematic Workgroups and the setting of priorities. Next, the Committee examines the draft document “The communication of scientific knowledge – ethical standards for researchers” (Rapporteur: Armando Massarenti), already approved in its general structure at the plenary session of 8 February 2018. After the debate, the assembly decides to separate the contents into an introductory theoretical part, followed by operational guidelines for researchers. The discussion then moves on to the text “Dignity, freedom and equality in the European Research Area” (Rapporteurs: Carmela Decaro and Sveva Avveduto IRPPS-Cnr). It is decided that the drafting of the document will continue and that a further document on other aspects of the European Charter for Researchers will be elaborated (ethical-deontological issues in the relationships among researchers, research institutions and industry (outreach, copyright, etc.), and among researchers themselves and Principal Investigators. The document “Incidental Findings in scientific research: Criteria and indications for -Omics Sciences” (Rapporteur: Giuseppe Testa) is finally approved after the debate. Moreover, four cases of alleged research misconduct are examined, following which some procedural aspects are discussed. The Committee also makes plans to revise the “Guidelines for Research Integrity”. As a last item on the agenda, the Committee evaluates requests for Ethical Clearance submitted by Cnr institutes.

I° RIO Boot Camp ENERI (The European Network of Research Ethics and Research Integrity), Rome 9-10 April 2018

The first edition of the RIO Boot Camp, promoted by the European Network of Research Ethics and Research Integrity (ENERI) and funded by the European Commission, took place at the Central Library “G. Marconi” of the Cnr, on 9 and 10 April. The most representative initiative of its kind ever organised in Europe, RIO Boot Camp was carried out by the Cnr Research Ethics and Bioethics Committee and its Secretariats. The event was opened by Erika Löfström, network coordinator, and Isidoros Karatzas, European Commission delegate (Head of Ethics Sector, DG RTD). The sessions were divided into working groups and dealt with the following topics: i) ALLEA code and research misconduct; ii) Ethics review boards in social sciences and humanities; iii) Impacts of the new Data Protection Regulation; iv) Challenges for responsible publication: Issues related to authorship, peer review and plagiarism; v) Creating a Culture of Integrity; vi) ENERI Ethics/Integrity Expert Database; vii) Resource on research ethics and integrity; viii) Conflict of interests. Considering the prestigious participation of distinguished European ethics experts, the activities of the first RIO Boot Camp played the twofold role of providing a platform for the international comparison of best practices adopted by each of the 22 participating countries and a constituent assembly with the function of standard-setting at a European level.

Annual Meeting ENRIO (European Network of Research Integrity Offices), Rome, 11 April 2018

The Annual Meeting of ENRIO (European Network of Research Integrity Offices), the largest and longest standing European network of offices, centres and facilities dedicated to the subject, took place at the Cnr. The meeting is the fourth of this kind hosted by the Committee over the years (the previous ones were held in 2010, 2012 and 2013). It was attended by 28 European delegates, the European Commission delegate Isidoros Karatzas (Head of Ethics Sector, DG RTD) and the coordinator of the Asian Pacific Research Integrity Network (APRI) and African Network on RI (ARIN). The Italian Committee coordinator, Cinzia Caporale, updated her colleagues on the Italian progress and the Cnr experience in the field, particularly on the guarantee procedures for the analysis of cases of alleged research misconduct and on the establishment of a Research Integrity Unit for this purpose. The sessions included the presentation of national best practices in the EU and at an international level, the illustration of policies and commitment of the EU Commission to this subject, the presentation of the newly established European Network for Academic Integrity (ENAI), and finally a discussion of the new General Regulations on data protection from an ethical and legal viewpoint. (Photo).

Plenary Meeting of the Cnr Research Ethics and Bioethics Committee (8 February 2018)

The assembly examines the progress of the Thematic Workgroups activities. Carmela Decaro, Rapporteur for the Workgroup “European Charter for Researchers: Ethical aspects”, presents the first draft of the document to be discussed by the assembly. Next, cases of alleged research misconduct are evaluated, in collaboration with the Research Integrity Unit established within the Scientific Secretariat of the Committee, responsible for carrying out a preliminary technical analysis. This is followed by the discussion and approval with amendments of the draft documents “Incidental Findings in scientific research: Criteria and recommendations for -Omics Sciences” (Rapporteur: Giuseppe Testa) and “The communication of scientific knowledge: ethical standards for Researchers” (Rapporteur: Armando Massarenti). Lastly, the Committee proceeds to analyse and approve requests for Ethical Clearance submitted by Cnr institutes and a request received from the University of Ghent (Belgium) for an ERC grant.

Plenary Meeting of the Cnr Research Ethics and Bioethics Committee (23 November 2017)

The meeting opens with Rapporteurs from the various active Thematic Workgroups illustrating the state of the art and informing the assembly of future plans. The Coordinator Cinzia Caporale proposes to the assembly to appoint Demetrio Neri as Rapporteur of the permanent Sub-committee dedicated to the preliminary activities necessary for the issuing of official Ethical Clearances and Daniele Fanelli as Rapporteur of the Sub-committee for Research Integrity, which conducts pre-evaluations of cases of alleged research misconduct. The assembly approves and congratulates Neri and Fanelli. A third Sub-committee is established to provide information, consultancy and best practice-sharing within the Cnr for animal welfare in scientific research. The Coordinator proposes that the role of Rapporteur be taken by a member of the Committee (to be defined) together with an expert of the Cnr, Maria Cristina Riviello (IBCN-Cnr). The Committee approves and proceeds to discuss ethical advisory reports on cases of alleged research misconduct. A description is provided for the technical reports prepared by the Research Integrity Unit in light of the procedures previously validated by the Committee. The cases will be examined by the dedicated Sub-Committee and submitted to the Committee for approval. However, one of the cases is discussed by the assembly and dismissed because the claims are deemed unfounded upon proposal of the Coordinator. The opinion “Informed Consent in Scientific Research: Ethical Toolkit” is then discussed and approved. The second draft of the opinion “Ethics of communication of knowledge and scientific knowledge” (Rapporteur: Armando Massarenti) and the first draft of the opinion “Incidental Findings in scientific research: Criteria and Recommendations for -Omics Sciences” (Rapporteur: Giuseppe Testa) are then examined. Finally, the Committee proceeds to the analysis and approval of requests for Ethical Clearance on Cnr projects, as well as an opinion requested by the Association Centro Documentazione Donna of Modena.

Following the general meeting of 20 November 2017, the Thematic Workgroups have been meeting individually and not in general sessions. These meetings are then not included in this list.

General Meeting of the Cnr Research Ethics and Bioethics Committee’s Thematic Workgroups (20 November 2017)

A general meeting of the Thematic Workgroups of the Research Ethics and Bioethics Committee is held. In the course of the sessions, the documents under elaboration are analysed and debated in view of their presentation at the Committee’s plenary meeting, scheduled for the 23rd of November. The new Sub-Committee on “European Charter for Researchers: Ethical aspects” (Rapporteur: Carmela Decaro, Sveva Avveduto, IRPPS-Cnr; Scientific Secretariat: Marta Rapallini) has defined the subject, structure and objectives of the first of the documents to be drawn up, which examines one of the ethical aspects of the Charter.

Plenary Meeting of the Cnr Research Ethics and Bioethics Committee (21 September 2017)

The Committee is renewed and four new members are added (Elisabetta Cerbai, Vincenzo Di Nuoscio, Giuseppe Ippolito, Silvio Garattini), while two members renounce their membership on account of work commitments. Plans to promote and disseminate the “Code of Ethics and Deontology for Scientific Activity in the field of Cultural Heritage” and the “Child Protection Policy and Code of Conduct” are discussed and approved. The Committee then goes on to examine 12 cases of alleged research misconduct at the Cnr and decides to postpone their assessment until the 23 November plenary meeting. This is due to a change in the analytical methodologies used in cases of research misconduct, which is examined and approved by the Assembly with the aim of producing a more effective and comprehensive evaluation. The Rapporteur, Armando Massarenti, then presents a draft of the opinion on “The communication of scientific knowledge – ethical standards for researchers”, the structure of which is approved by the Committee after extensive discussion. The Committee moves on to analyse and approve several requests of Ethical Clearance submitted by Cnr Institutes, and a clearance requested by scientists of the HuGeF Foundation (Human Genetic Foundation-Turin). Lastly, the Committee examines the progress made in the elaboration of the opinion on informed consent in scientific research.

Plenary Meeting of the Cnr Research Ethics and Bioethics Committee (22 June 2017)

Three new members join the Committee (Paolo Legrenzi, Vittorio Marchis, Angela Santoni) while Gilberto Corbellini resigns, since he has taken over as director of the Department of Social Sciences and Humanities, Cultural Heritage (DSU) of the Cnr. The Coordinator illustrates the procedures developed for the prevention of research misconduct and for the evaluation of cases of alleged misconduct. The Committee then proceeds to examine 19 Cnr cases, half of which are moved for dismissal. The draft opinion “Informed consent in scientific research: ethical toolkit” (Rapporteur: Cinzia Caporale) is then examined. Finally, the Committee analyses and approves several requests for Ethical Clearances from Cnr institutes and one clearance requested by the Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM).

Plenary Meeting of the Cnr Research Ethics and Bioethics Committee (4 May 2017)

The Committee discusses and approves the “Ethical Charter on Social Sciences and Humanities Research” and some amendments to the Internal Regulation, in particular with regard to Research Integrity and prevention of misconduct procedures. In addition, three cases of alleged research misconduct are addressed, two of which are external to the Cnr. The Committee then examines and approves various requests for Ethical Clearance submitted by Cnr Institutes and the Institute for International Affairs (IAI). Lastly, the Sub-Committee “Ethical Profiles of the European Charter for Researchers” is established (Rapporteurs: Carmela Decaro and Sveva Avveduto, IRPPS-Cnr; Scientific Secretariat: Marta Rapallini, ITB-Cnr).

Plenary Meeting of the Cnr Research Ethics and Bioethics Committee (16 March 2017)

The Committee discusses and approves with some amendments the “Ethical Charter on Social Sciences and Humanities Research” (Rapporteur: Carlo Secchi). Next, the Committee Coordinator presents the plan for the prevention of research misconduct, which includes the activities planned for 2017-2018. Subsequently, the Committee examines, discusses and approves an advisory ethics opinion for the President of the Cnr concerning a case of alleged research misconduct upon request of a scientific research Foundation in the Piedmont Region.

General Meeting of the Cnr Research Ethics and Bioethics Committee’s Thematic Workgroups (9 February 2017)

A general meeting is held as an udate. In particular, the new “ICT and BIG DATA” Thematic Workgroup (Rapporteur: Francesco Maria Pizzetti) hears from the ad acta expert Walter Quattrociocchi (IMT School of Advanced Studies Lucca) in preparation for an opinion to be released on the subject. Following that, the activities of the next meetings are planned and a relevant bibliography is compiled.

Plenary Meeting of the Cnr Research Ethics and Bioethics Committee (24 November 2016)

The session opens with updates from the Thematic Workgroups (“Research Integrity”, “Incidental Findings in Scientific Research” and “Ethical Charter on Social Sciences and Humanities Research”). Soon after, the opinion on “Dual Use in Scientific Research” is approved (Rapporteurs: Federica Migliardo and Demetrio Neri). A letter addressed to the President of the Cnr is then discussed, concerning the urgent need to design and implement an action plan aimed at raising researcher awareness of the fundamental importance of Research Integrity, and at promoting the prevention of research misconduct. The Committee moves on to discuss the draft document concerning the protection of minors in the field of scientific research (“Child Protection Policy and Code of Conduct”, Rapporteur: Lorenza Violini), which was modified and approved. Finally, a number of requests for Ethical Clearance submitted by Cnr institutes and one by the International Affairs Institute (IAI) are discussed and approved.

Plenary Meeting of the Cnr Research Ethics and Bioethics Committee (15 September 2016)

The Committee discusses the draft document on the protection of minors in the field of scientific research (“Child Protection Policy and Code of Conduct”, Rapporteur Lorenza Violini) and then examines and approves with amendments the draft opinion “Dual Use in scientific research” (Rapporteur Federica Migliardo and Demetrio Neri). Finally, the Committee analyses and approves requests for Ethical Clearance submitted by Cnr institutes and an one opinion requested by scientists from INGV.

Plenary Meeting of the Cnr Research Ethics and Bioethics Committee (16 June 2016)

The Committee develops and approves an agenda of future activities. The prioritized items are the following:

  • child protection policy in research;
  • ethical-deontological aspects relating to incidental findings in genetic research;
  • ethical and legal aspects of the creation and certification of biobanks;
  • ethics in science communication and use of social networks;
  • types of sanctions for research misconduct and protection of the whistle blower.

The third draft of the “Ethical Charter on Social Sciences and Humanities Research” was then discussed, elaborated by the workgroup coordinator Carlo Secchi and by the ad acta expert Filippo Giordano (LUMSA University, Rome).

The last part of the session is dedicated to the evaluation and approval of an advisory ethics opinion for the President of the Cnr concerning a case of alleged research misconduct that occurred within the Institution.

A preliminary examination of a case of alleged research misconduct in a Piedmont-based scientific institution is also carried out. The evaluation of the latter case is subject to further investigation.

Extraordinary Plenary Meeting of the Cnr Research Ethics and Bioethics Committee (27 April 2016)

The extraordinary meeting is dedicated to the recent public statements by the Cnr President and provides an opportunity to discuss the ethics of different forms and procedures of funding for research projects, as well as the role of Cnr in these contexts. At the end of the session, the Committee unanimously renews its full confidence in the President and is ready to develop a document that analyses the ethical profiles of various forms of research funding.

Plenary Meeting of the Cnr Research Ethics and Bioethics Committee (14 April 2016)

The session begins with a welcome speech by the new President of the Cnr and the Committee, Massimo Inguscio. This is followed by a discussion of two cases of alleged research misconduct. The assembly then examines the preliminary draft of the “Ethical Charter on Social Sciences and Humanities Research”, prepared by Carlo Secchi (Rapporteur) and the ad acta expert Filippo Giordano (LUMSA, Rome), as well as the document “Opinion on scientific research and Dual Use” edited by the Rapporteurs Federica Migliardo and Demetrio Neri. Finally, the Committee examines and approves various requests for Ethical Clearance submitted by Cnr institutes.

Plenary Meeting of the Cnr Research Ethics and Bioethics Committee (8 and 9 February 2016)

The Committee begins a preliminary discussion of an advisory ethics opinion for the Cnr President on a case of alleged research misconduct. The Coordinator also informs the Committee of a further allegation regarding a researcher from Cnr. The Committee then examines the amendment proposals received at the end of the public consultation regarding the “Guidelines for Research Integrity” and the “Code of Ethics and Deontology for Scientific Activity in the field of Cultural Heritage”, giving final approval to the two texts.

In the second part of the plenary session, held on 9 February, the Committee approves a request for Ethical Clearance submitted by a Cnr institute. This is followed by the presentation of the main structure of the “Ethical Charter on Social Sciences and Humanities Research” by the Rapporteur of the Thematic Workgroup, Carlo Secchi, and the ad acta expert Filippo Giordano (LUMSA, Rome).

At the end of the meeting, a press conference is held in which the President of the Cnr, Luigi Nicolais, and the Coordinator, Cinzia Caporale, present the results of the last two years of the Committee’s activity and in particular, the “Guidelines for Research Integrity”, which constitutes the first national document on the subject.

Plenary Meeting of the Cnr Research Ethics and Bioethics Committee (25 November 2015)

The Committee discusses and unanimously approves the “Code of Ethics and Deontology for Scientific Activity in the field of Cultural Heritage” and then proceeds to the examination and approval of five Ethical Clearances. This is followed by a discussion on the “Opinion on Scientific Research and Dual Use” prepared by the Thematic Workgroup for which Federica Migliardo is Rapporteur. The Committee hears from two experts in the field: Antonino Di Caro, (National Institute for Infectious Diseases Lazzaro Spallanzani - IRCCS) and Francesco Rogo, (Finmeccanica). Finally, the ad acta expert Filippo Giordano (LUMSA, Rome) presents a short summary on ethics and deontology for researchers working in the field of social sciences and humanities. Carlo Secchi is Rapporteur of the Thematic Workgroup. The Committee goes on to discuss and lay down the essential points of the document.

Plenary Meeting of the Cnr Research Ethics and Bioethics Committee (17 September 2015)

The Committee discusses the second draft of the “Code of Ethics and Deontology for Scientific Activities in the field of Cultural Heritage”, making amendments and additions to the text in view of its final approval. Two Ethical Clearances are then examined and approved. At the end of the session, the Committee proceeds to set the objectives and priorities for 2016 and define the means by which to promote a public consultation on the “Guidelines for Research Integrity”.

General Meeting of the Cnr Research Ethics and Bioethics Committee’s Thematic Workgroups (25 June 2015)

The Thematic Workgroup for the elaboration of Ethical Clearances meets to examine the documentation enclosed in the report submitted by the National Fire Corps (CNVVF) and by the AREU - Regional Emergency and Rescue Agency of Lombardia. The evaluation of the opinion is conducted via videoconferencing. The opinion is approved. The other Thematic Workgroups meet to discuss the documents under elaboration.

Plenary Meeting of the Cnr Research Ethics and Bioethics Committee 10 June 2015)

The Committee discusses and unanimously approves the “Guidelines for Research Integrity”. Some requests for Ethical Clearances submitted by Cnr institutes are then discussed and approved. The Committee dedicates the second part of the plenary session to the Thematic Workgroup for the development of the “Code of Ethics and Deontology for Scientific Activities in the field of Cultural Heritage”, which is coordinated by Louis Godart. The group includes two ad acta experts who present during the plenary session: Silvia Chiodi, (Cnr) and Roberto Colasanti (Head of the Carabinieri Command Office for Cultural Heritage Protection).

General Meeting of the Cnr Research Ethics and Bioethics Committee’s Thematic Workgroups (26 May 2015)

The Thematic Workgroups of the Committee met on the 26th of May 2015. In particular, the Workgroup dedicated to the drafting of the “Code of Ethics and Deontology for Scientific Activities in the field of Cultural Heritage” (Rapporteur: Louis Godart) meets to plan the agenda of activities and schedule the presentations that will take place at the plenary meeting on June 10. The ad acta expert Silvia Chiodi (Cnr) participates in the group activities.

General Meeting of the Cnr Research Ethics and Bioethics Committee’s Thematic Workgroups (12 February 2015)

After the plenary session, the following Thematic Workgroups convene:

  • Neuroscience Research (Rapporteur: Lucio Annunziato), attended by the ad acta experts Andrea de Bartolomeis (University of Naples Federico II), Elisabetta Sirgiovanni (Sapienza University of Rome) and Gioacchino Tedeschi (University of Naples Federico II);
  • Biopatenting (Rapporteur: Lorenza Violini) with the participation of the experts Domenico Coviello (Ente Ospedaliero - Galliera Hospitals, Genova), Roberto Defez (Cnr) and Leonardo Vingiani (Assobiotec, Confindustria).

Plenary Meeting of the Cnr Research Ethics and Bioethics Committee (12 February 2015)

The Committee discusses and refines the draft document of the Guidelines for Research Integrity in view of its approval at the next plenary session. An advisory ethics opinion for the President of the Cnr on a case of alleged research misconduct, submitted to the Committee upon request of the University of Naples Federico II, is then discussed and approved. The next step is the examination and approval of requests for Ethical Clearances submitted by Cnr institutes. Finally, three ad acta experts are heard in relation to the Agri-Food Thematic Workgroup: Francesco Loreto, Director of the Department of Biology, Agriculture and Food Science of the Cnr, Cesare Ponti, Vice President of Federalimentare (Confindustria), and Leonardo Vingiani, Director of Assobiotec (Confindustria). 

General Meeting of the Cnr Research Ethics and Bioethics Committee’s Thematic Workgroups (19 January 2015)

The Agri-food Thematic Workgroup meets in order to discuss the draft document under preparation. The Workgroup also defines the agenda of its activities and decides on the presentations to take place at the next plenary session. Domenico Pignone (Cnr) and Francesco Alicino (LUISS Guido Carli, Rome) participate as ad acta experts. The other active Workgroups also meet to discuss the progress of the documents under elaboration.

General Meeting of the Cnr Research Ethics and Bioethics Committee’s Thematic Workgroups (17 December 2014)

The Agri-food Thematic Workgroup, with Carmela Decaro as Rapporteur, meets to discuss the structure of a document that emphasises the fundamental role of science for the safety, quality and sustainability of agri-food. The following ad acta experts participate: Roberto Defez (Cnr), Domenico Pignone (Cnr), Francesco Alicino (LUISS Guido Carli, Rome), Angelo Rinella (LUMSA, Rome). The other active Workgroups also meet to discuss the progress of the documents under elaboration.

Participation in the 20th edition of the Forum of National Ethics Councils (NEC Forum) represented amongst the 28 EU member countries (Italian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, Palazzo Chigi, 18 and 19 November 2014)

The Committee is invited to participate in the initiative of the Italian EU Council Presidency on bioethics and bio-rights taking place in Rome, Palazzo Chigi, from 18 to 19 November. The meeting is attended by: the National Committee for Bioethics, the presidents of the National Committees for Bioethics of the 28 member countries (NEC Forum), the European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies (EGE), which is the committee of reference for the European Commission, James Wagner (Vice-President of the US Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues), Stefano Semplici (President of UNESCO’s International Bioethics Committee), Isidoros Karatzas (Head of Ethics Sector, DG RTD, European Commission) and government politicians.

For the first time, a session is dedicated to Research Integrity (Research Culture and Research Integrity: Ethical Challenges). The chairmanship of the session is entrusted to Cinzia Caporale, member of the Italian Committee for Bioethics and Coordinator of the Research Ethics and Bioethics Committee of the Cnr. The other sessions, with the overall aims of promoting international dialogue and the pursuit of common biopolitics, deal with the following topics: Security and Surveillance Technologies; Biological and Health Data; Ethics and Neurosciences; Delivery of Health Care and Robotics.

Plenary Meeting of the Cnr Research Ethics and Bioethics Committee (18 November 2014)

The Committee examines and approves requests for Ethical Clearance. The document relating to the Guidelines for Research Integrity is then read out. Some additions to the text are proposed, in particular with regard to the values on which the opinion ought to be based and the formulation of principles and criteria of conduct originating from them. It is decided not to maintain the terms and expressions in the original English language, but to develop a glossary of corresponding terms in Italian, also for the purpose of promoting an Italian culture of Research Integrity. Two additional contributions to the document are then illustrated and discussed, relating respectively to the case of plagiarism (definition and legal profiles) and to potential ethical guidelines for the training of researchers. Finally, the activities of the Committee’s Thematic Workgroups and the state of progress of the documents under preparation are reported, with the aim to provide policy-oriented guidance to researchers in specific sectors.

General Meeting of the Cnr Research Ethics and Bioethics Committee’s Thematic Workgroups (5 November 2014)

Meetings of the following Thematic Workgroups are held:

  • Research Integrity (Rapporteur: Daniele Fanelli)
  • Neuroscience Research (Rapporteur: Lucio Annunziato)

The meeting is attended by the following ad acta experts: Andrea de Bartolomeis (University of Naples Federico II), Silvia Scalzini (Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies and Max-Planck Institute, Heidelberg), Emilia Taglialatela (University of Naples Federico II), Roberta Martina Zagarella (University of Palermo). In addition, the Thematic Workgroup on Ethical Clearance convenes to examine several requests and releases an opinion to be evaluated for approval in the plenary session of November 18.

General Meeting of the Cnr Research Ethics and Bioethics Committee’s Thematic Workgroups (17-18 September 2014)

Meetings of Thematic Workgroups (GdL) are held, the establishment of which was decided by the plenary assembly. The specific purpose of the Workgroups is to prepare one or more opinions on their assigned topic and submit them to the plenary assembly for approval, publication and dissemination. The activities of the Workgroups extend for the time necessary to draft the texts. In particular, on 17 and 18 September, the Workgroups dedicated to ethical and legal analysis of the following topics are convened:

  • Bio-patenting (Rapporteur: Lorenza Violini)
  • Science Communication and Knowledge Transfer (Rapporteur: Armando Massarenti)
  • ICT and Big Data (Rapporteur: Francesco Maria Pizzetti)
  • Research Integrity (Rapporteur: Daniele Fanelli)
  • Dual Use and Ethics in Scientific Research (Rapporteur: Federica Migliardo)
  • Agri-food Sector (Rapporteur: Carmela Decaro).

The next Thematic Workgroups to be established will be dedicated to Neuropharmacological Research (Rapporteur: Lucio Annunziato) and Environment and Energy Research. The following ad acta experts attend the sessions: Roberto Defez (Cnr), Fosca Giannotti (Cnr), Domenico Laforenza (Cnr), Domenico Pignone (Cnr), Silvia Scalzini (Superior School of Sant’Anna), Emilia Taglialatela (University of Naples Federico II), Emanuela Zaccone (LUISS University, Rome), Roberta Martina Zagarella (University of Palermo).

On September 18, the Thematic Workgroup on Ethical Clearances met to examine and approve several clearances. The procedure for the approval of clearances by the Committee is then activated via videoconference and the clearances are conclusively approved. With the same procedure, the latest version of the opinion “Ethical advisory report to the President of the Cnr on the case of alleged research misconduct examined by the Research Ethics and Bioethics Committee in the plenary session of 20 March 2014” is approved.

Plenary Meeting of the Cnr Research Ethics and Bioethics Committee (9 July 2014)

The Committee discusses and approves several requests for Ethical Clearance and then examines the third draft of the “Guidelines for Research Integrity”. The keynote speaker, scientist and Senator for Life Elena Cattaneo, presents on the following subjects: a) Research Integrity and the necessity to define codes shared at a national and European level (the role of the Cnr and possible collaborations are also discussed); b) scientific thought, the scientific method and its results and the critical issues of mutual understanding and the relationship between public opinion and the scientific community, which have also recently emerged; c) the currently difficult relationship between scientific research and politics. Rosaria Conte, vice-president of Cnr’s Scientific Council, takes part in the sessions. At the end of the first year of its mandate, the Committee draws up a report on its work and discusses the planning of activities for the next year. Further Workgroups are established.

Plenary Meeting of the Cnr Research Ethics and Bioethics Committee (22 May 2014)

The Committee verifies the contents and structure of its website, managed by the Coordinator and published on the Cnr website. Several requests for Ethical Clearances are discussed and approved. The meeting is attended by the Director of the Cnr Department of Humanities and Social Sciences and Cultural Heritage, Prof. Riccardo Pozzo, who updates the Committee on a European project on Responsible Research and Innovation. Michèle Leduc, President of the Comitè d’Ethique du CNRS (COMETS), presents on Research Integrity and, more generally, on the scientific and institutional collaboration between the two institutions.

Plenary Meeting of the Cnr Research Ethics and Bioethics Committee (20 March 2014)

Five new members join the Committee (De Benedetto, Deitinger, Di Giovine, Fanelli, Migliardo). A case of alleged research misconduct reported to the Committee by the President of the Cnr is discussed. It concerns two scientists from the Cnr accused of fabrication/falsification of images in a scientific article. Giuseppe Mancino, Professor at the Sapienza University of Rome, attends the meeting as ad acta expert.

After extensive discussion and examination of the documents, the Committee assesses that the case actually constitutes a fabrication/falsification of data, as described by internationally established definitions, and therefore constitutes a form of research misconduct. The Committee communicates to the President of the Cnr the relevant advisory ethics opinion.

Next, a report by an ad-hoc Committee nominated by the Dean of the University of Naples Federico II, Massimo Marrelli, regarding a case of alleged research misconduct in the University is discussed and examined: The report was submitted to the Committee by the President of the Cnr, upon request of the aforementioned Dean.

Concerning the release of Ethical Clearances, the Committee defines certain standard procedures for the ethical approval of research projects.

Lastly, the second draft of the “Guidelines for Research Integrity”, elaborated by the Thematic Workgroup coordinated by Daniele Fanelli is examined.

Plenary Meeting of the Cnr Research Ethics and Bioethics Committee (16 January 2014)

The Committee discusses several contributions to the text of the Charter on Research Ethics currently under elaboration and approves a timetable of activities. Furthermore, the Cnr Code of Conduct presented by the Director General is read out and commented on. The Committee examines the preliminary website prepared by the Coordinator in collaboration with the Technical and Scientific Secretariat, and proposes amendments and integrations. The Committee examines the ENRIO website, managed by the Coordinator, ENRIO and the Technical and Scientific Secretariat, as well as, regarding its technical aspects, by the Cnr Network and IT Systems Office.

Plenary Meeting of the Cnr Research Ethics and Bioethics Committee (28 November 2013)

The Committee discusses the thematic structure of the Cnr Charter on Research Ethics, which will consist of two sections: an introduction concerning the role of scientific research and the general principles on which it should be based, and a special part containing operational guidelines for Research Integrity. The issue of international relations in this field is then addressed: the commitment to closely follow the activities of European networks in this sector is confirmed, together with the establishment of collaborations with similar Committees of other European countries. In this regard, as a first initiative, contact will be made with the Comité d’éthique du CNRS (COMETS).

Plenary Meeting of the Cnr Research Ethics and Bioethics Committee (15 October 2013)

The Committee discusses the main international documents on Research Integrity and the implementation of a protocol on research ethics for Cnr researchers. The Cnr Director General, Paolo Annunziato, attends the meeting and presents the contents of the Cnr Code of Conduct which is currently being prepared. The Committee then proceeds to the discussion and approval of some requests for Ethical Clearance.

Plenary Meeting of the Cnr Research Ethics and Bioethics Committee (28 June 2013)

At the inaugural meeting of the Committee, which has been renewed and extended in its composition and functions, the new tasks and objectives of the Committee are explained and discussed, and the main ethical issues relating to research activities at the Cnr are presented. A Thematic Workgroup on Research Integrity is established and an action plan is identified. The Committee also decides to entrust a specific Thematic Workgroup with the preliminary evaluation of Ethical Clearances prepared by the Coordinator in collaboration with the Technical and Scientific Secretariat. The Committee then discusses and approves a number of Ethical Clearances.

Annual Meeting ENRIO (European Network of Research Integrity Offices), Rome, 3-4 June 2013

During the third ENRIO meeting, participants discuss the outcome of the 3rd World Conference on Research Integrity (Montréal, Canada, 5-8 May 2013) and the activation by Science Europe of a Thematic Workgroup on the subject. The Participants provide updates on the situation in the different member countries and address operational issues regarding the financing of ENRIO activities and the creation of the website, which is entrusted to the Cnr.

Last update: 01/07/2019