Ethics and Gender
Encouraging women in high-level education and specifically in STEM is imperative for a more diverse and inclusive contribution in research and this also holds true in the field of taxonomy. Previous research conducted by our Consortium’s partner MeiseBG on co-collection of biological specimens also evaluated the importance of the role of women in this field. This provides an understanding of how scientific collection, learning and communication operates and can give insights into the biases and effectiveness of the collection process.
The gender dimension will be addressed within the following activities:
The 3PP specifically encourages the application by and inclusion of women in the project as the concrete capacity-building activities are a strong lever to reach and win women for the science of taxonomy. The success will be monitored in the evaluation of the 3PP (WP7).
All partners involved in this project are equal opportunity employers. Lastly, gender and other equality issues will be monitored and regulated by an Equality and Diversity Champion appointed by the TETTRIs General Assembly (WP9). In addition to addressing gender balance in the field of taxonomy, the project will focus on inclusion of specimens of different sexes as these are important to many studies on the biology of sex and are relevant to the human biology and culture. For example, pollution-based feminisation of freshwater animals may be a first indicator of problems of human fertility. The project will also examine inevitable sex biases in the development of the machine learning.
The proposal raises some ethical issues (Humans, Personal data, Environment, Health & Safety, Artificial Intelligence), most of them identified by the consortium and addressed in the Ethics Self-Assessment. Appropriate safeguards to ensure compliance with regulations concerning the involvement of Human Participants must also be in place. In addition, “third party projects” will be funded (WP 7) for which compliance with regulations on Ethics issues are ensured. The General Assembly will appoint an Independent Ethics Advisor by month 1. A report by the Advisor will be submitted at the end of each reporting period (M18, M42) to the Commission.
The Advisor should be consulted on the above quoted ethics issues, the following being matters of special concern: i) protection of rights and interests of human participants (different stakeholders) in assessments of needs and demands through participatory processes; ii) protection of personal data, since it is unclear which sensitive data will be collected and processed; and iii) ensuring that Horizon Europe’s provisions concerning Ethics are duly considered in the calls for “third party projects”, as well as in the evaluation and performance of such projects.