That wearable fitness device on your wrist is measuring so much more than your exercise levels. Digital tools offer unprecedented opportunities in health research and healthcare but it can come at the cost of privacy. Six days of step counts are enough to identify you among a million other people – and the type of inferences that can be made from other everyday behaviors is growing rapidly.
Camille Nebeker, EdD, MS is Associate Professor of Behavioral Medicine in the Department of Family Medicine & Public Health at the UC San Diego School of Medicine. She discusses the ethical considerations of informed consent and potential harms and benefits of these technologies. She also shares ideas on how we can work together to create systems that define and encourage safe digital health research and practice.
Watch — The Digital Revolution: Ethical Implications for Research on Healthy Aging
“Mother Nature is not happy right now and she’s trying to tell us, in many ways,” says Kimberly Prather, Professor of Climate, Atmospheric Science, and Physical Oceanography at UC San Diego.
New weather patterns and events are causing concern but how do we know these changes are caused by human activity? Climate scientists are looking at trends over time to determine our impact on the planet.
Prather discusses recent CAICE studies aimed at advancing our understanding of how the oceans influence human and planetary health including novel experiments being conducted in a unique ocean-atmosphere simulator.
Watch — How Do We Know Humans are Impacting the Health of Our Planet? – Exploring Ethics
In 2014 with vaping newly on the rise, Dr. Laura Crotty Alexander joined us to talk about the potential health risks.
Five years later, we revisit the topic to see how the research is bearing out how e-cigarettes and their usage has evolved. Dr. Alexander shares a physician’s view of the specific dangers of vaping.
For more programs bringing the public and scientists together to explore how science can best serve society, watch Exploring Ethics https://uctv.tv/exploring-ethics/
Watch — How Bad Are E-cigarettes? – Exploring Ethics
Research imaging studies are crucial to finding effective treatments and therapies. Protocols are in place to protect both the study participant and the science, but what if the images reveal a previously unknown condition? Or a false positive or negative? Unraveling this question is more than a simple task and the consequences can range from unnecessary worry to wrong treatment decisions.
Kathryn Fowler, MD, Associate Professor of Clinical Radiology, walks you through how studies are designed to avoid this scenario and the ethics of patients and physicians being made aware of research results if they are not verifiably accurate.
Watch — If Researchers Find a Tumor, Should They Tell You? – Exploring Ethics.
“What we do in my group is we zoom in on the aerosols.”
Vicki Grassian and her team look at aerosols at a microscopic level to determine their impact on our health and our climate. Aerosols can be mineral dust and sea spray from the ocean or created by human activity or stem from any number of sources. They can travel across the globe impacting people, animals, and the planet in their wake.
Grassian’s work seeks to understand how aerosols and other gases not only affect us but how we might harness them for solar geoengineering.
Watch — What is in the Air We Breathe? – Exploring Ethics