Institute of Environmental Science and Research
Ethical and responsible development OF waste-water based epidemiology technologies.pdf (573.03 kB)

Ethical and responsible development of wastewater-based epidemiology technologies

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posted on 2021-10-18, 05:55 authored by Suzanne Manning, Mathew Walton
Wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) is a recent field of study which uses chemical analysis to measure substances of interest in samples of wastewater, to provide population-level data. As an emerging set of technologies, ethical and public acceptance issues are actively being discussed by scientists, ethicists and policymakers. This interview-based study, informed by systems thinking approaches, contributes to the literature by investigating stakeholder views on ethical approaches appropriate for a Crown Research Institute to implement, with regards to WBE. The study concluded that an institution-wide responsible research and innovation (RRI) approach, supported by robust, strategic and coherent internal research assessment processes, was the most appropriate system for ESR. These processes should draw on a diversity of perspectives and enact a meaningful dialogue with Māori as indigenous partners under Te Tiriti o Waitangi. These processes and partnerships are essential for ESR to fulfil its legal and socially expected role of undertaking research for the benefit of all New Zealanders.