Social, ethical and policy analysis of the issues arising from gene patenting and commercial genetic testing is enhanced by the application of science and technology studies, and Actor-Network Theory (ANT) in particular. We suggest the potential for transferring ANT's flexible nature to an applied heuristic methodology for gathering empirical information and for analysing the complex networks involved in the development of genetic technologies. Three concepts are explored in this paper--actor-networks, translation, and drift--and applied to the case of Myriad Genetics and their commercial BRACAnalysis genetic susceptibility test for hereditary breast cancer. Treating this test as an active participant in socio-technical networks clarifies the extent to which it interacts with, shapes and is shaped by people, other technologies, and institutions. Such an understanding enables more sophisticated and nuanced technology assessment, academic analysis, as well as public debate about the social, ethical and policy implications of the commercialization of new genetic technologies.
The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health is one of the premier centres for research related to substance use and addiction. This research began more than 50 years ago with the Addiction Research Foundation (ARF), an organization that contributed significantly to knowledge about the aetiology, treatment and prevention of substance use, addiction and related harm. After the merger of the ARF with three other institutions in 1998, research on substance use continued, with an additional focus on comorbid substance use and other mental health disorders. In the present paper, we describe the structure of funding and organization and selected current foci of research. We argue for the continuation of this successful model of integrating basic, epidemiological, clinical, health service and prevention research under the roof of a health centre.
Breast cancer patient advocacy groups emerged in the 1990s to support and empower women with breast cancer. Women with cancer and oncologists tend to have divergent perspectives on how breast cancer prevention should be defined and what the priorities for research should be. As their American counterparts have done, breast cancer patient advocates in Canada are seeking greater participation in decision making with respect to research. To date they have had more input into research policy decisions than into the planning of specific projects. In 1993 the National Forum on Breast Cancer recommended that women with breast cancer should have more input into the research process; breast cancer patient advocates will continue to actively pursue this objective.
Research is a critical component of the mission of academic radiology, and success in research is necessary for the future of neuroradiology. Thus, the authors set out to establish a baseline of research activities of American Society of Neuroradiology (ASNR) members.
The authors surveyed 100 fellowship program directors. The survey was Web based, with recruitment from the ASNR Fellowship Database survey site and with e-mail and fax solicitations to the Web site. Questions focused on neuroradiologist and neuroradiology fellow involvement in research.
Forty-eight of the 100 program directors (48%) responded. Several key findings emerged: (a) About one-third of fellowship programs require all fellows to do some research, with most fellows receiving less than 1 day per week of academic time; (b) just over half of the programs expect fellows to publish a paper; (c) about two-thirds of academic neuroradiologists get at least 1 academic day per week; (d) most academic neuroradiologists perform research, but most of this research is unfunded; and (e) about nine of 10 academic sections have at least one neuroradiologist with some extramural funding.
The relative lack of extramural funding among academic neuroradiologists is a reality that is probably multifactorial; however, there may be a direct relationship between amount of academic time free from clinical duties and successful competition for funding. The time (and, thus, financial) support of research-oriented fellows and faculty should be increased.
In Norway, very little data are available on the relation between the total number of research projects on the clinical development of drugs that have been started, the number of these projects in which the research phase has been completed and the number of projects for which results have been published. The aim of this study was to determine the number of projects in which the research phase had been completed and the results published.
Information on research projects carried out on the clinical development of drugs during the year 2000 was obtained from the archives of the Norwegian Research Ethical Committee (REC) and subsequently analysed.
The final analysis revealed that 245 research projects on the clinical development of drugs had been started in 2000. Of these, 178 (73%) completed the research phase as planned. The results of 131 (54%) of these projects were published in a scientific journal, and another 34 (14%) were reported as a congress abstract or as report to a sponsor; 80 (33%) were not published at all. Industrial sponsors seemed to promote both the completion of the research process and the publication of results in scientific journals.