Remembering research integrity leader Daniel Vasgird, December 30, 1945-January 30, 2020 – Retraction Watch
Daniel Vasgird was a widely known determine in research integrity circles. He died in late January on the age of 74. We’re honored to current a remembrance that Michael Kalichman put collectively to honor Vasgird’s reminiscence on the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics (APPE) assembly subsequent week in Atlanta.
Just a number of weeks in the past, the research integrity neighborhood misplaced a pricey buddy and leader. For those that didn’t know Dan nicely, it would assist to explain his explicit function in creating the nonetheless evolving area of “research ethics.”
Dan educated in social sciences, starting with bachelor’s and grasp’s levels in California at UC Riverside, adopted by a transfer to New York, the place he earned his Ph.D. in Social Psychology at Syracuse University. After finishing his Ph.D., Dan accepted an NIMH post-doctoral research fellowship at Berkeley and labored in Asia as a human companies educator and advisor for the federal authorities.
His profession in research ethics started in 1988 with the New York City Department of Health. Dan each chaired the Institutional Review Board and have become director of a Health Research Training Program. His profession trajectory continued with City University of New York (2000-2002) the place he was accountable for overseeing human research protections via 19 Institutional Research Boards, labored on creating a battle of curiosity coverage, and taught programs in research ethics.
Dan’s management within the subject was subsequent acknowledged by Columbia University, which recruited him in 2002 to be Director for his or her Office for Responsible Conduct of Research. His objective at Columbia was not solely to foster a tradition of compliance, but in addition of integrity. As at all times, he selected to transcend the checkbox strategy and to foster integrity via various applications and actions. One element of this was the creation of what stays one of many strongest on-line programs in accountable conduct of research (RCR). This course was subsequently adopted as a central a part of the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) RCR course, a program Dan labored on for a few years. Dan subsequent moved to the Midwest to just accept a place as Director for the Office for Research Compliance Services on the University of Nebraska, Lincoln (UNL). While at UNL, he applied a lot of what he had achieved for Columbia and in addition developed a brand new six-part web-based RCR coaching program. Several years later, Dan returned to the east coast, taking a place as director of Research Integrity & Compliance for West Virginia University (WVU) in 2009. Dan retired from WVU in 2018, however continued an ongoing collaboration with Adil Shamoo to supply RCR training within the Middle East.
Dan was a number one participant in quite a few organizations such because the Society of Research Administrators, CITI RCR Advisory Committee, Public Responsibility in Medicine & Research (PRIM&R), Association for Practical and Professional Ethics, and Responsible Conduct of Research Education Consortium. He may at all times be readily noticed at these conferences when he first arrived sporting his go to uniform: T-shirt, denims or khakis, a jacket, and naturally his NY Yankees cap.
One of Dan’s many admirable qualities was his unabashed satisfaction in and admiration for his spouse Susan and son Mischa. He spoke of each typically. While they had been definitely first in his life, Dan’s dedication to humanity additionally outlined a lot of his profession. Soon after finishing his Ph.D., he concluded an essay he wrote in 1975 for the journal Crisis, with phrases that echoed in the whole lot he did: “Humanity can only survive by complete regard for all of humanity. And any human scientist or science that brutishly supports alienation and non-identification with the subject matter studied is destined itself to become an alien and non-identifiable phenomenon.”
When one thinks of research ethics, the primary issues to come back to thoughts could be research on research integrity, or creation of recent laws, insurance policies, or pointers. These are all in fact necessary and Dan had a job in every. However, arguably his distinctive and important contribution was to be the center for the nonetheless new subject of research ethics. Regardless of this system, Dan was at all times the primary to anchor our work in service to the general public we serve. He spoke of belief and accountability as many do, however his perspective was centered on those that are usually not within the room: The society that experiences each the advantages of science achieved nicely and the prices of science achieved badly. Without this focus the entire different efforts in research integrity are diminished. Fortunately, Dan’s voice was heard by many who can and can make sure that his message stays central to what we do.
In lieu of flowers, the household recommends memorials to the Union of Concerned Scientists.
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